Oh dear Lord, here we go again. Mommy-shamers in the HOUSE!
Simpson's message? Well, her caption read "safety first" — an apparent nod to Maxwell's bike helmet.
But critics of the photo say that Simpson's choice to post a bathing suit shot of Maxwell online is a dangerous move.
We sighed heavily reading the comments, particularly the "I would never"s that are the hallmark of mommy-shamers everywhere.
"I would NEVER post a picture like this of my 5-year-old daughter!" one sanctimonious (and apparently perfect) parent posted. "This is an account anyone can see. Jessica shame on you for exposing your daughter instead of protecting her!"
Um, we're thinking that bike helmet is a pretty good indicator that Jessica is doing A-OK at protecting Maxwell, and maybe everybody needs to stop sexualizing young girls, m'kay? Because what Maxwell's wearing is pretty much the summer uniform for a lot of little girls. And making a big ugly kerfuffle about what a 5-year-old is wearing on a hot day in an innocent pic taken by her mother seems unnecessary and unhelpful — even if her mom is a celebrity.
We hate that this is where we are as parents in 2017. Social media is full of ominous doomsday warnings of creepers and perverts and pedophiles. Do horrible people exist? Sure. Is one photo of a beloved kid clowning around in a bathing suit and a bike helmet a breach of good parenting? We think not.
"Please lock down the pictures like this to only true friends," another member of Jessica Simpson's Instagram fan base commented. "There are disgusting people out there who would use this picture for bad things. Never post pictures of young girls in bathing suits for the public to see!"
And still more:
"A child posing like that... that's just creepy," said another commenter. "If I had a daughter that age I [wouldn't let her] wear a tiny bikini like that and pose herself like a model."
Ah, the old "if I had a daughter that age" — that's a group almost as fun as the "I would never" club. And have any of you ever been around a 5-year-old girl? They pose like models like it's their job, peeps! They pose, they prance, they dress up, they dress down and they're not doing it for anyone but themselves. Can we all kindly stop judging?
"I like Jessica, and I think this picture is cute, but it should only be shared privately," one more commenter wrote. "Otherwise I've got 2 words for you: JonBenét Ramsey."
To pull JonBenét Ramsey out of her grave and into this discussion is what's really creepy — not Maxwell chilling on a summer day.
The revolting, punishing comments go on and on. In the mood to lose your faith in humanity a little more? By all means, check them out at the original post. We were glad to see, though, that many of Simpson's fans came to her defense.
"It's a BODY!" said one pragmatic commenter. "If it was a little boy in swim trunks, no one wouldn't bat an eye or utter a word! Quit #bodyshaming girls. Women have enough expectations without adding the weight of others judgments. It's skin, it's a swimsuit, it's summer... HAVE FUN!!!"
"I'm sorry that people have to sexualize your daughter and try to make you feel bad about something fun and innocent," said another fan.
Damn straight. She's 5, her mom obviously adores her, she's rocking her bike helmet and bathing suit with the kind of confidence most of us have beaten out of us by the age of 15. Stop with the "suggestive pose" crap. Knock off the sexualization and the judgy-as-hell predator warnings, which honestly are pretty freaking creepy and unnecessary.
Can't we all just have a nice summer — and snap photos of our kids being kids without being accused of dangling them as pedophile bait?
Because if that's what you see when you look at Jessica Simpson's picture of her daughter, maybe you're the problem. Just a thought.