I have been absolutely astounded this week by the backlash faced by Victoria Beckham, having shared, what I and many others believe to be, a beautiful photo of herself kissing her daughter on her birthday. Not usually a fan of Victoria, although David is a completely different matter, I thought it was lovely to see her being herself, not pouting or posing for the camera, but simply being a Mummy, just like the rest of us. I imagine that she released the photo with no idea whatsoever of the controversy it would cause, to share a side to her that shows us, despite the fame and fortune, she is still just a wife and Mummy, and a proud one at that.
And as a Mummy who also puts myself out there, who shares our lives on social media and through my blog, as a Mummy who shares personal moments and countless photographs, I can only imagine how horrendous the response must have been. To have such vile comments stating that kissing her daughter was “completely gross and sexual” or, as one not so eloquent “fan” commented, “totally lesbianish”. must have been absolutely devastating.
Because as a Mummy of four, my family and I kiss eachother a lot, infact hundreds of times a day. I kiss them on their cheeks, on the top of their heads, their lips. I shower them with kisses, tickling them on the back of their necks, on their tummies when I change their nappy, on their little hands and feet when they smell so good straight after their bath. And at thirty six, I still kiss my parents on the lips, always have and always will. I kiss my best friends on the lips, even more so when we’ve had a few too many, and I think nothing of it. Because it’s completely and utterly normal, isn’t it?
It’s not like anyone is talking about a snog, for Gods sake. There’s no mention of smooching or tongues (“It’s only weird if you use tongues..” – isn’t that a given?). It’s a peck on the lips, the kind of kiss that you might give your Granny, a sign of affection between two people, whatever the relationship. A kiss speaks volumes doesn’t it? It says I love you, I’ve missed you, I’m so happy to see you. It says hello, goodbye, I’m sorry. It says I trust you, I’m comfortable with you, you’re one of my favourite people in the whole world. Never in a million years did I think there was anything wrong with kissing my children on the lips. I still don’t.
An ‘expert’ in social etiquette, and I use that term loosely, said
“Normally with a member of your own family you don’t kiss on the lips unless its your husband….I wouldn’t say it presents a particularly good example,”
A good example?? Kissing someone you love on the lips doesn’t set a good example? Surely it sets a great example, to teach our children that your kisses are reserved for only those who you truly love. To only kiss those who you hold dear, your family, your best friends, and one day, your partner.
It’s a sad world we live in when someone thinks that kissing your own child on the lips is sexual. I actually find it deeply disturbing that anyone would view it that way, there’s actually a name for people who find that kind of thing sexual and it says a whole lot more about those people than it does about us.
Will I ever stop kissing my children on the lips? Only if they want me to. Do I think that day will ever come? Absolutely not. And the main thing that I will teach my children about all of this, and something I think we all need to realise is this.
It’s only weird if you think it’s weird.
Now excuse me, I’m off to smother my children with kisses…..