A slew of celebrity moms have been shamed for sweet pics of them kissing their kids. How did a little innocent expression of love get twisted into something else?
Celebrity moms get flack for just about everything they do—whether they breastfeed or don't, whether they vaccinate or don't, whether they post a lot of pictures of them or don't. But the one I still can't wrap my head around is shaming moms for kissing their kids on the lips. Victoria Beckham, Hilary Duff, and Olivia Wilde have all faced criticism for posting pics of chaste kisses on the lips with their kids.
"Kissing your kid like your husband. It's not good for him," one critic wailed after Olivia Wilde posted her pic. Others say it spreads germs, or even that it confuses kids since they can't tell the difference between the more romantic kisses you and your mate share and the peck on the lips parents share with their kids.
A post shared by Olivia Wilde (@oliviawilde) on Oct 3, 2017 at 2:43pm PDT
But I say that's completely bunk. The very first thing I did when I held my new daughters in my arms was shower them with kisses on their head and cheeks—and yes, on their lips. I've kissed my parents and my grandparents on the lips my entire life—and I still kiss my tween and teen good night. (My tween recently asked me to stop giving her a kiss on the blacktop to help preserve her cool factor, which I can definitely respect.)
I was never "confused" about what those kisses meant—and neither were they. They were always just a simple sign of love and affection, and nothing more. It's like when people try to sexualize breastfeeding—even though breasts are really meant for doing exactly that. And apparently, experts agree that a kiss on the lips is A-OK. Parenting expert and family therapist Alyson Schafer, author of Honey, I Wrecked The Kids responded with a simple, "Dear god! Kiss away!" when asked if we'd be messing up our kids by giving them a kiss on the lips.
And as for the concern about germs? Science says that you're no more likely to spread germs kissing than you are shaking hands, or touching somewhere where your child sneezed. And man, they seem to sneeze everywhere. I do refrain from smooching if someone has the sniffles to help minimize the chance of spreading, but honestly, you're just as likely to catch a wicked cold from sharing close quarters with someone who's sick—or, you know, tending to a sick kid.
I'd be sad to live in a family where they don't kiss their kids. A quick peck on the lips to show a little love and affection to your kids? That's the way my family rolls.