JR Smith recently posted a pic of him holding his baby daughter in the shower nude and sparked controversy on social media.
Subsequently, fans asked the Cleveland Cavaliers player to delete the photo, calling it “inappropriate.”
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That picture of JR Smith naked with his daughter is so inappropriate idc idc like what is the actual purpose tho??! I need answers
— Court Court (@CourtneyyLove_) April 3, 2019
This isn’t the first time socials have criticized fathers interacting with their daughters.
Last year, a Christmas post on David Beckham’s IG showing him giving his daughter a peck on the lips stirred disapproval from many.
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This discomfort and often outright shock and horror towards fathers that show affection to their daughters is called the “touch taboo.”
Originally, the “touch taboo” referred to the discomfort of fathers with their daughters’ developing bodies. Certainly, this often leads to the physical withdrawals of fathers.
As their daughter gets older, a father will stop hugging, kissing and showing affection to their child. Notably, this is often detrimental to the father-daughter relationship and can lead to issues for the child’s development.
The touch taboo seems to have extended to a larger society that is uncomfortable with seeing a father interacting with a daughter in an affectionate way. Moreover, the touch taboo sexualizes the relationship and by default, sexualizes the daughter.
Joe Kelly, author and fathering educator, told Psychology Today that he noticed a shift among younger fathers who are more involved in parenting and more open to expressing their anxieties about raising daughters.
This progressive view of fatherhood is apparent in the counter social media response to JR Smith’s photo. Many tweeted about the father bathing his daughter nude being innocent and harmless.
Chile so they’ve started sexualizing the photo of JR Smith and his daughter?
Y’all are a bit much.
— U Can’t Double Jeopardy Me (@eleven8) April 3, 2019
Furthermore, other commentators claimed that it wasn’t the photo that was the issue but rather the sharing of the photo on IG.
JR Smith’s picture is inappropriate for SOCIAL MEDIA! All other weird angles and aspects of the criticism he’s receiving is dumbfounded! Same ppl who think it’s an issue with him bathing his daughter, think mothers shouldn’t breastfeed their sons!
— Unapproachable Slay (@shaychanel) April 4, 2019
We tend to upload our lives online. That’s the world we live in. So, why would the love of a father in this innocent moment be any different?
Fathers should be able to love and show affection to their children even if they are female. Additionally, society should give up the idea of this kind of fatherly love being inappropriate.