by Jeanne Sager
Remember the Coppertone baby? She ran across a beach with a doggy behind her, pulling her bathing suit bottom down to bare an itty bitty butt cheek? The advertisement might have been everywhere once upon a time, but it seems Facebook would not approve of the old-fashioned ad today. After all, the social media site just threatened to ban a mom for posting a photo of her 2-year-old daughter's bottom being bared in a similar fashion.
The irony? Jill White posted the photo of one toddler pulling down another little girl's bathing suit bottom -- and baring her butt -- on the Coppertone Facebook page!
Someone apparently reported it, and Facebook removed the photo, sending the mom a warning.
White, a photographer from Hickory, North Carolina, has become the topic of national news after relating the story to her local TV station. She says Facebook told her she'd be banned for life if she reposted the photo of her toddler after they removed it, so instead White has put up a version with a smiley face icon blocking view of her daughter's tush. Check it out:
Would you be if the icon weren't there?
There have been a rash of these banned photos of late, between the mom kicked off Instagram awhile back for the "shirtless" photos of her 20-month-old and the mom similarly banned from Instagram for her "nude" photo of her toddler showing off her belly button.
The notion that there is something "wrong" with these photos is ludicrous at best. There's nothing sexual about children. Period.
But what's really startling is how moms seem to react every time these stories end in the news. There are a lot of "well, pedophiles are looking" comments and a whole lot of mom shaming.
Talk about fearmongering!
Moms? Dads? Yes, there are pedophiles out there. But here's a not-so-scary statistic for you: researchers estimate that pedophiles account for only 4 percent of the population.
Too many, of course. But still. Four percent. That means 96 percent of Americans are not looking at children with lascivious intent.
What's more, it's important to note that a pedophile who "looks" at a photo of your kid on the Internet is not necessarily going to hurt your kid. In fact, researchers have found that kids who are abused by predators who tracked them down online tend to be older kids who were engaged in chatting with the pedophile -- not innocent babies whose moms photographed them in innocent positions and posted about them online.
Is it freaky to think of a creep looking at your kiddo online? OF COURSE IT IS! But the fact is your kids are at a much higher risk from the people they know than they are some stranger seeing their (innocent!) photo on the Internet. Only 10 percent of abused kids are abused by a stranger, while 30 percent are actual family members!
So maybe we should stop focusing on (innocent!) photos of kids online, hmm?
What do you think when you see photos like this?
Image via Jilly White Photography