As parents, most of us feel like people are watching and waiting to judge our choices all the time, but celebrity moms and dads feel the heat even more. Media mogul Perez Hilton experienced the public’s wrath first hand the other day when he shared a bath time selfie with his son that brought all the pearl-clutchers to the yard.
Hilton is a father to two adorable kids, Mario and Mia, and regularly shares updates about their lives together on his Facebook and Instagram accounts. On Sunday, he shared a sweet shower selfie with his two-year-old son. In it, the boy is smiling from ear to ear near a toy basketball hoop, and the caption reads, “Our family motto is: #fun! We try and incorporate fun into as much of the everyday things [sic] we do!”
Soon after Hilton posted the photo, the backlash began. Apparently lots and lots of people think it’s weird to shower with your child, and they had no problem voicing their objections in the comments on the photo. Some even went as far as to say that the photo is inappropriate solely because Hilton is gay.
Hilton responded to a few of the comments and clarified that he was wearing a bathing suit in the photo, but that didn’t stop people from calling him a “pervert” and unleashing a slew of homophobic hate. Hilton later defended himself by posting a hilarious photo of Betty White flipping everyone the bird with the caption, “This is how I feel right now.” I can’t say I blame him.
As anyone with small kids can tell you, bringing them into the shower or bath is totally normal. In fact, it’d be normal even if Hilton wasn’t wearing swim trunks. I sometimes shower with my 4-year-old and I don’t trouble myself to put on a swimsuit. There’s nothing inherently inappropriate about being naked, and small kids really don’t think anything at all of seeing mommy or daddy’s butt.
It says something really disturbing about our culture when even nudity for the sake of getting clean is seen as somehow dirty or perverted. Hilton is obviously a very devoted father with happy, healthy children. His photo exposes nothing inappropriate and there’s no implication of anything perverse. People who think a shower is somehow abusive just because Hilton is gay, a man, or simply because he’s disrobed in the vicinity of his kid are the ones with the real problem.
Luckily, plenty of people seem to realize that. Since the photo went viral, the comments have been taken over by people showing their support and reminding Hilton that he doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. Some people might choose not to bathe with their kids or ever be nude around them, but that doesn’t make it wrong, and it certainly doesn’t make it child abuse. Perez Hilton is doing what works for him, and the only thing he’s guilty of here is being a great multi-tasker.