he internet is a strange place. In an instant a person can go from relative anonymity to the center of a raging debate, the focus of the derision of strangers, or lauded as a hero. Seemingly innocuous subjects can cause unexpected controversy. Possibly the most controversial, heated, and harshly judged subject is parenthood. No matter what you are doing, a faction of the internet will think you are doing a terrible job while others will think you're doing great. When it comes to raising our kids, everyone else has an opinion.
The most internet-controversial thing we can do as parents, apparently, is kiss our children on the lips.
Olivia Wilde sparked controversy when she posted this sweet bath time moment. There are people out there who are nothing short of scandalized at the sight of a kiss on the lips. To them, it seems, lips are sexual only. Any kiss on the lips is sexual.
When Victoria Beckham shared this picture, the lip puritans once again came out with pitchforks.
Parents know that baby kisses are sloppy and wet. Toddler kisses are sweet and affectionate. All kisses for our children come from a place of love and affection. There is no place for sexuality in that relationship and it’s disturbing when other people project twisted beliefs onto our sweet parenting photos and moments.
When Instagram user eyeconicash posted a sweet video of her twins, she had no idea that the trolls would come for her.
The video shows her twin toddlers hug and kiss one another as they are about to begin their school day. As mom shoots the video you can hear her ask, “Are you going to be caring friends?” The clip ends with the two boys running back to mom when she says, “What about huggies and kissies for mommy?”
Most people who commented on the video were taken in by how sweet the boys are, and by the clear message of kindness and empathy that their mom is trying to impart on them.
But some were hyper focused on the fact that the boys kissed. On the lips. This is not OK according to the trolls of the internet.
Maybe it's because they are boys? Would people react the same if it was twin toddler girls?
Maybe it’s because they are black? Would it be different if these were white kids? In our current climate of toxic masculinity, one would think that teaching boys about love, affection, appropriate displays of affection, kindness, and empathy would be celebrated.