Leona O'Neill: If you think a dad kissing his child on the lips is 'weird' it's you that has the problem
A picture posted online by David Beckham of he and his young daughter kissing has sparked widespread criticism but it is people who take issue with this image of father-child affection who are weird, not the image, writes Leona O'Neill
WHAT is wrong with celebrity parents? Do they not know that posting anything about their kids on social media will result in them being ridiculed, condemned and likened to the Devil himself, if the devil did actual parenting. Celebrities, in my opinion, should leave their kids and their parenting quirks off social media.
But England footballing superstar David Beckham doesn't listen to my advice. He just posts whatever he wants, even when he knows it will result in a huge backlash, will be in all the papers and have commentators talking about it for days.
Last week he broke the internet by posting a picture of himself giving his seven-year-old daughter Harper a kiss on the lips.
"Christmas is coming," he captioned the photo of him and his little girl at an ice rink. "Let's go skate."
Some of Beckham's 52.2 million followers took issue with the picture, labelling it ‘inappropriate'. When it spilled out on to the wider world social media commentators went crazy, many calling the perfectly natural display of affection ‘weird'.
One of his fans wrote, "I'm calling the police” and another wrote, "I never let my dad kiss my lips, it's so disgusting. Another questioned UK culture: "It's really weird for me, is this English's culture?!"
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, who is no stranger to launching a vicious and controversial comment at other people, called Beckham ‘creepy' and ‘weird' for the way he shows his daughter affection.
Others jumped to his defence saying that it was really important for parents to be affectionate with their children, that it makes for happy adults.
It's not the first time the celebrity parents have hit the headlines for showing their children affection. Last year David's wife Victoria was branded ‘disgusting' for giving her little girl a peck on the lips on her birthday. David himself posted a similar photo kissing Harper in 2017 which led to a mammoth backlash.
I doubt the multimillionaires lose much sleep over what strangers tapping on their keyboard really think. They are probably too busy sitting on golden thrones in their palatial mansion counting all their £10 notes.
The people turning this sweet snap of a father and daughter into something sinister are sick. Parents should show their children affection. Goodness knows there are enough kids in the world being physically abused, beaten and neglected in their own homes.
Just because you or I might not kiss our kids on the lips does not mean other parents are wrong to. We all have our little quirks in parenting. Before we leave every morning I get a hug and a kiss from all my kids, I tell them I love them and that I hope they have a really great day. I hug and kiss them all day long, not on the lips, but that's just me. I wouldn't condemn any other parents for doing that.
There is an innocence to the picture of David and Harper that I love. To me it's just a father showing his daughter that he loves her, and his daughter reacting to that. It's a beautiful display of affection that mirrors the strong family bond.
As every parent knows, our kids don't stay kids for long. As long as a child is comfortable with kissing his or her mum and dad on the lips then I think it's perfectly fine. In the blink of an eye they are surly teenagers that roll their eyes when you speak and don't want to be even seen with you, never mind give you a hug and a kiss.
We need to embrace these little life moments, and an excuse to show love, for as long as we can.
People who see something beyond innocent affection in David's picture would need to take a long look at themselves. They are weird, not this picture.