Danish comedian Torben Chris is in hot water after posting what he thought was a harmless photo of himself with his daughter.
Dad and daughter are naked in a bathtub full of toys, and while it seems innocent enough, it inspired a lot of people to call him out, saying it was inappropriate, with some going as far as calling it “gross” and akin to pedophilia.
Chris’ photo, which has been shared over 6,500 times already and has thousands of comments, has generated quite the heated discussion. While he certainly has his supporters, Chris wrote a message to all those critical of him:
There is nothing wrong with a father who washes his daughter’s bottom and vagina when she’s a child. On the contrary, it is bloody disgusting if nobody does it, and unfair if only the mother does it. […] Nudity with your child’s not gross, but natural. A father in the shower with his daughter’s not pedophilia, it’s fun.
He’s right. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with bathing with your child (of the same or opposite sex). Sometimes it’s necessary if you’re in a rush, and sometimes it is actually fun and a neat way to bond. That said, there is a problem with snapping a photo of bath time and posting it on a public Facebook page for anyone to see.
Listen, Chris, it’s adorable that you take baths with your little girl and that she loves it, and feel free to talk about it all you want. But nobody wants to see pictures of it (and I would highly question those who are eager to see photographic images). And not that I spent all that much time scrutinizing the photo, but there seems to possibly be some NSFW stuff peeking through on your end, and nobody wants to come across accidental genitals like that. Especially on Facebook. So please, think a bit before posting pictures like this. Again, not because taking baths with your kid is wrong — feel free to do that until she’s not into it anymore! — but because it’s not cool to publicly post pictures like this for everyone to see.
Dr. Deborah Gilboa, family physician and author of Get the Behavior You Want… Without Being the Parent You Hate!: Dr. G’s Guide to Effective Parenting, also feels that there are two different issues. The first is the bathing together, which Dr. Gilboa doesn’t see as harmful. “We have all kinds of stress in our culture that we seem to believe that nudity and sex are equal, and they’re not,” she says. That said, there is an issue with then posting photographic evidence of that A-OK experience on social media.
“I think we should be really careful posting naked pictures of anyone on Facebook,” she tells SheKnows. “That goes certainly for kids, even if you can’t see anything.” Dr. Gilboa makes the great point that we need to model appropriate behavior for our children, particularly when it comes to social media. How do you explain to your 14-year-old that it’s OK for you to post baby pictures of him naked, but he can’t post naked pictures of himself on social media? Best way to handle this? Just don’t post naked pictures! Dr. Gilboa reminds us that, as parents, we’re helping to start our children’s digital footprint, and we want to be careful with what we connect to them.
So, Danish comedian Torben Chris and everyone else, listen up: Yes, it’s perfectly fine to bathe with your child as long as they’re into it. It’s not weird or gross or creepy. It’s healthy and totally legit. Enjoy! But keep that enjoyment to yourself. It’s not cool to post naked pictures of your kids all over the Internet, and honestly, nobody wants to see you naked in a bath either. Really.