Perez Hilton is used to lobbing barbed comments at Hollywood's elite, but it was his turn in the hot seat this week.
Perez Hilton is used to lobbing barbed comments at Hollywood's elite, but it was his turn in the hot seat this week. The brouhaha started a couple of days ago, when the celebrity blogger and single dad of two posted a shot on Instagram showing him and 2-year-old son Mario in the shower. Unlike, say, an old Brittany Spears photo, Hilton's was totally SFW, featuring just the guys' happy, smiling faces. "Our family motto is: #fun! We try and incorporate fun into as much of the everyday things we do! #Bathtime," he wrote.
While the majority of his followers saw the photo as a sweet moment between father and son, some commenters decried it as tasteless, wrong, and "kinda creepy." One even went so far as to call it "child abuse." They wondered why a dad would shower—gasp!—naked with his son. (Um, because who in the world bathes with clothes on?) Some commenters also seemed to take issue with the fact that Hilton is gay, as if his sexual orientation should impact how he bathes his children.
Though the haters were certainly in the minority, their vitriol was enough to prompt a response from Hilton. He fired back with an explanation: "I had my bathing suit on. And I didn't feel the need to clarify that in the caption."
Nor should he, in my opinion. My husband showers with our 4-year-old son almost every night, and no, not with a bathing suit on. Those short showers are a good chance for them to bond, a quick way for my son to get clean, and a nice reprieve for me after being on kid duty all day. We all win. And judging by conversations with friends, I know plenty of other parents—gay and straight—who regularly hop in the shower with their kiddos. It's as much a part of their nighttime ritual as brushing teeth and reading books. It's hardly "creepy" and anything but "child abuse."
But I'd love to hear from you: What's your take on the bathroom selfie?
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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.