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

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.)

STFU Parents

First off, either I’m shrinking or this newborn is enormous. She looks like she’s big enough to skip the baby swings. Second, speaking as a woman whose vagina has never graced the pages of Facebook (that I’m aware of), this picture makes me sad. I honestly wouldn’t want my naked body on Facebook at any age, and this photo reminds me of that fact. It’s a precious picture for family — but that’s it.

2. Naked Baby Butts

STFU Parents

Once parents make the transition from “delivery room” to “nursery room,” they think their baby’s tushy is just adorable. So adorable, in fact, that it must be photographed at all times, including “mid-wipe,” and posted online for all to see. Who cares about the kid’s face? Friends and family wanna see a towel, two feet, and a bright red ass.

3. Bath Time

STFU Parents

Thanks for trying, G., but it appears your comment (made partly in jest, it would seem), is completely useless. This baby’s vagina has already been introduced to the world with the type of picture most of us only see in dusty baby books.

STFU Parents

Aww, isn’t it sweet when a mom snaps a pic of two cute butts and then abuses her power and goes against their wishes to not post the image online? Adorable!!! Lol.

4. Naked In Nature

STFU Parents

For some of us, being naked is THE BEST. And for about 98% of toddlers, it’s even better than the best. It’s the only option. That said, this Vermont-raised future hippie probably doesn’t need his wang exposed on the internet as he walks to the family barn. Thanks, David.

5. Potty Training

STFU Parents

Kids are often naked when potty training, either because their parents think it will help with the process or because it’s how they’re comfortable. Makes sense to me, until mom and dad want to snap a prideful picture of their baby using the potty for the first time.

If you must inform your friends that your child used the potty, here’s a tip: They don’t need to see it to believe it.

STFU Parents“They grow up so fast…” Indeed, they do. One minute this little stinker is using the toilet naked, and the next he’s seeking therapy after discovering the image online. Time flies!

6. Too Old To Be Naked Online

STFU Parents

OK, it’s one thing if you post a picture of your baby being weighed in the delivery room or taking his first bath, but once your child has been potty trained, can speak in sentences, and do basic arithmetic, he should not be naked online until he’s at LEAST a sophomore in high school who’s trying to impress his friends. Additionally, posting a picture of a child and calling it “payback” is straight-up crazy, not to mention inapt.

7. General WTF

Last but not least, I have a WTF folder dedicated to submissions that cause me to literally scratch my head with confusion and/or wince.

STFU Parents

“Never a dull moment.” After receiving dozens of weird images like this over the years, I can relate. I would make some kind of “cadence of STFU, Parents submissions” joke here, but frankly I’m just glad Maggie’s daughter made it out from behind the couch.

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