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Is It OK To Kiss Your Child On The Lips?

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Photo: @victoriabeckham
Trolls will get angry over anything on social media these days. Even, it seems, a mother showing love for her five-year-old daughter on her birthday.

Victoria Beckham faced backlash on Instagram recently after posting a photo of herself kissing her daughter Harper on the lips. “Happy Birthday baby girl 🙏🏻💕 We all love you so much 💜💜💜 X @davidbeckham@brooklynbeckham kisses from mummy X," she wrote.

Angered followers commented on the picture, calling it "horrible", "controversial" and “disgusting”. Some even said kissing her daughter on the lips was an example of “paedophilia” and called Beckham and Harper “lesbians”.

But others posted comments in support, telling Beckham to ignore the haters. One Instagrammer wrote: “The worlds [sic] gone mad!!! I kiss my 5yr old and 2yr old on the lips 😘”. Another added: “Great picture! Lovely family (: Needless to say - ignore the idiots.”
While some believe it’s unusual for parents to kiss their children on the lips (a social etiquette expert called Liz Brewer, for example, told the BBC it would make her feel “uncomfortable”), most parents online seem baffled by the negative reaction to the image.

Parents writing on a Mumsnet thread on the subject seem largely bewildered that the parental bond would be sexualised in this way, and others around the world are posting photos of themselves kissing their kids, showing it’s a perfectly normal way to show love.

“Let's flood the Internet with images of us kissing our children ON THE LIPS in solidarity with @victoriabeckham”, tweeted one woman.

Some seemed personally offended that people would find it distasteful to kiss your own children on the lips.

Dads got involved, too.
And some even posted videos.

Sue Atkins, a parenting expert and broadcaster, didn't know what all the fuss was about either. She told Refinery29: "The photo of Victoria is full of love, joy and celebration. Each family is different – older kids tend to grow out of huge kisses as they hit the teenage years."

Beckham hasn’t responded to the backlash herself yet, but it will be interesting to see if she takes as strong a stance against the bullies as her husband did last year. David Beckham hit back against the Daily Mail for their coverage of Harper using a dummy.

“Why do people feel they have the right to criticize a parent about their own children without having any facts ??,” he said. Too right.

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