A photograph of a naked man holding a young boy in the shower has sparked online controversy. While some people see it as an image of parental affection, others got mad and said it wrong to post such a picture on social media.
Heather Whitten took this photo of Thomas, her husband, and their son, Fox, in November 2014.
Fox had gotten severely ill. He was feverish and had bouts of vomiting and diarrhea that day. Instead of letting his son suffer alone in embarrassment, Thomas undressed himself and his son so that the water could instantly wash away the mess.
He sat in the shower naked while he held Fox in his arms
Heather, a photographer, and mom-of-four from Southern Arizona wrote this caption for the photo:
“Thomas had spent hours in the shower with him, trying to keep his fever down and letting the vomit and diarrhea rinse off of them both as it came.
“He was so patient and so loving and so strong with our tiny son in his lap… I stepped out and grabbed my camera and came back to snap a few images of it and, of course, shared them.”
According to the Mirror, Heather described it as a “powerful moment for us as parents.”
Fox was later hospitalized; it turned out that he had Salmonella poisoning, the BBC reports.
The photograph garnered more than 130,000 “likes” and has been shared more than 30,000 times since it was posted on Facebook in May this year.
Most people said the photo depicted parental love and tenderness. But, there were those who thought otherwise.
Some were quick to comment on the nudity in the picture. They said it was “disgusting” and “inappropriate” while others said the snapshot “has undertones of pedophilia.”
Inevitably, Heather was shocked when she read all the negative comments about the picture, which for her immortalized a compelling, loving moment between her husband and son.
“I was taken aback by how many people missed the story or didn’t even look past the nudity to find the story.
“They were just hung up on them both being nude and being in the shower. I had crossed a line. It was too intimate. It shouldn’t be shared publicly. But, I disagree.
“My family may be different than yours. But, that doesn’t make your way right or my way wrong.
“There is nothing sexual or exploitative about this image. There aren’t even any “private parts” showing. I wish I could express this all in a better way.”
Heather Whitten told BBC Trending that “she respects people’s rights to disagree, and she has never deleted a negative comment posted under the photo.”
The social media platform removed the picture—not just once—for apparently violating photo rules, yet they end up reinstating it each time. The BBC reports that a spokeswoman for Facebook substantiated that the photograph “had been taken down in error.”
For Heather, the photo captured “something honest and human.”
“For me, it’s just such a positive image and my hope is that it’s a normalizing image, normalizing family nudity.”
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