STFU Parents: The Naked Truth About Children And Nudity On Social Media

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This week, I’m going to tell you a secret: For almost four years, I’ve gone through security at the airport trying not to think about the fact that my laptop has some pretty questionable shit on it. Now, I know what you’re thinking — since it’s me talking, I must be referring to literal shit. Well, yes, that’s partly true. It does concern me when I hand over my laptop to get repaired and suddenly recall the pile of horrific poop submissions sitting in the proverbial toilet bowl that is my hard drive. But beyond poop pics, beyond pictures of placentas, and even beyond the submissions in my “Parents Who Sexualize Their Kids Online” folder, there’s the Nakedness folder. And man, does it creep me out.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not threatened or offended by nudity, regardless of gender, sex, or age. I believe that everyone should celebrate their body and shake what their mama gave them on the dance floor. But there is a difference between nudity in real life and nudity on Facebook.

Technically, you’re not supposed to post pictures with nudity on the site because doing so violates Facebook’s Terms Of Services, but rules were meant to be broken, especially according to the parents of babies and young children. In fact, many of the parents who happily post pictures of their kids naked will likely tell anyone who disagrees with their decision that “babies aren’t sexual” and “there’s nothing wrong with a naked baby.” I’ve even seen parents imply that if you think a picture of a naked child on Facebook is inappropriate, then you’re the one with the problem. (By “problem” they mean, “There’s nothing wrong with a naked baby, you sick pervert.“)

However, I’ve received so many of these Nakedness submissions over the years, my folder is starting to look like a nudist colony. Clearly there are just as many, if not many MORE, people who have a problem viewing these images as there are parents posting them. For years I’ve kept the submissions “clothed” and hidden them from public view, occasionally posting an edited image here and there as part of a post with a separate focus, but today I’m dedicating a whole column to this subject, because enough is enough.

Granted, I think oversharing on social media keeps getting crazier, rather than more subdued, so chances are this trend won’t stop anytime soon (especially since Facebook’s target audience continues to age and have more babies). But I’m posting this column anyway with a simple plea: Parents, whether you find your babies’ naked bodies funny, cute, or beautiful (and yes, they are all of these things!), please refrain from exposing their cute little butts and funny little genitals on the internet. There are many instances in which you may think that posting these images is appropriate, but unfortunately, the naked truth is that you’re wrong.

With that said, I’ve broken the submissions into seven main categories. These are the most popular instances in which parents post nude pictures of their kids online:

1. Delivery Room Nakedness

STFU Parents

This one is pretty obvious. Babies are — as far as I know — always born naked, and therefore parents are tempted to post their perfect little bodies Made By God on social media. And hey, I get it; it’s a naked baby! Five fingers, five toes, one sweet cry — Nature’s Miracle! But, here’s my question: Why is it that SOME people post cute pictures of their babies swaddled, and others…do this:

“Perfect apricot balls” doesn’t sound like a phrase that should be written on Facebook unless it’s in reference to a salad made with a melon baller. And yet, Sarah, Aalia, and John are content to discuss this baby’s genitals like they’ve just come in season.

PS: Liza, just stop talking. You’re making my head hurt. (No, not that one.)

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