Many moms feel like our every parenting move get scrutinized and judged. Well, as it turns out, when it comes to having their parenting decisions questions, celebrities are just like us.
Real Housewives of New Jersey star Melissa Gorga is on vacation with her family this week. She took a gorgeous picture of her 10-year-old daughter, Antonia, standing by the edge of the water in a bikini and posted the image on Instagram, captioning it, “My little Italian beauty today.”
Most of her followers saw the image for what it was — a perfectly innocent photo a mother took as she reflected on how quickly her little girl is growing up. But others were quick to criticize Gorga for allowing her daughter to wear a bikini. The slams ranged from suggesting Gorga was inviting predators to prey on her daughter by posting the image online to saying the bikini was too provocative.
There were also those who talked about how her father will have his hands full raising Antonia, which is more than a little annoying because being a pretty young girl doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to grow up to be a rebellious teenager or that you need your dad to fight your battles for you.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Gorga allowing her daughter to wear a bikini or posting the image online. Millions of girls wear two-piece bathing suits; they’re for sale in every single clothing store in the girl’s section from February until mid-July, when they magically disappear to make room for backpacks and candy corn, even though there are still six weeks of pool season left. Plenty of girls younger than Antonia wear bikinis, and there are parents who don’t think twice about posting those playful swimming pictures online, so she’s far from an outlier here.
But beyond that, there is nothing sexual about this picture. The suit is tasteful and really quite cute. All of her bits and pieces are fully covered (and then some, thanks to that fringe skirt). She’s not jutting out a hip or thrusting out her chest or trying to emulate any other sort of pose you might see on the cover of a fashion magazine. She’s not even making the duck-lip pout face for crying out loud! It’s simply a photo of a beautiful young girl, standing in the water, with her hair blowing in the breeze.
We need to stop trying to read into things and sexualize images that aren’t intended to be sexual. If this photo makes you uncomfortable, the problem isn’t with Gorga or her family, it’s with you.
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