If you have been very, very on the internet lately, you may have heard about a recent—shall we call it a scandal? Sure, fine, a “scandal” involving David Beckham and a photo the soccer star put on his Instagram. It all started Tuesday, when Beckham posted a picture in which he’s seen kissing his daughter, seven-year-old Harper, on the lips. That’s it. That’s the scandal.
You see, some random trolls had a lot of parenting tips for him in the comments. That’s not really surprising because, according to the internet, no matter how you are parenting your children, you are doing it WRONG. But this would have been a non-scandal except that Piers Morgan, the neediest troll of all, decided to throw his reliably awful take into the mix and now I guess we’re talking about it.
Suddenly, this story is everywhere, people are choosing sides, and other celebrities are jumping in to defend Beckham and his parenting choices, including Tom Brady and some other athletes people I don’t know because I do not engage with sporps. (Am I saying this right? Sporps? Sporps.)
Now it’s time to ask the real question: Should you care about this, or just move on with your day? Here’s a handy guide to whether or not you should care.
Do we care about Piers Morgan’s point? Was it good?
LOL of course it wasn’t good, this is Piers Morgan’s hot take we’re talking about! It was extremely weird and attention-thirsty though. Piers, who has presumably never known the warmth of another’s touch, discussed the Beckham picture on Good Morning Britain with guest singer-songwriter Peter Andre, the latter of whom agreed it was “just a father showing affection to his kid.”
But Piers thought it was “weird” and that Beckham “uses his child to promote himself.” Then he demonstrated proper kissing technique on Peter Andre, which makes me think the gentleman doth protest too much?
Piers, it’s okay if you want to just admit this was an excuse to put your mouth on Peter Andre’s mouth. It’s 2018, anything goes! Besides, Piers is allowed to rusty trombone the President of the United States, but Beckham can’t show mild affection for his own kid? People in glass houses...
Have other celebrities weighed in?
Depends on how you define “celebrity,” I guess. Tom Brady jumped to Beckham’s defense, commenting on the photo, “Dad and daughter. So sweet!!” So that might tip the scales toward “Care.” And as a questionable bonus, the Daily Mail has a really exciting gallery of every time Tom Brady he’s related to on the lips (including his dad).
The BBC points out other people who may or may not be celebrities but for what is unclear defending Beckham. These include David Cotterill (a sports person), Daniel Gabbidon (another sports person, I think?), and Rebekah Vardy (???).
So other than Tom Brady and, I guess, Piers Morgan, not a ton of celeb action.
Do psychologists have a standpoint on this?
Ugh I can’t believe I looked this up, I don’t even believe in children! The standpoint of clinical psychologist Dr. Samantha Rodman, on her blog Dr. Psych Mom, is that any controversy about kissing your kids is overblown. “I bet that having positive physical experiences with a parent actually sets a child up to be comfortable giving and receiving physical affection, and is stored as a positive subconscious feeling about physical love in relationships,” she writes. So that seems good and worth caring about! Hooray to healthy relationships with physical affection!
In fact, the only psychologist I saw decry the behavior was Dr. Charlotte Reznick, a child and education psychologist who, back in 2010, wrote that kissing your kid on the mouth was “too sexual.” After that, though, several other psychologists responded that there wasn’t anything actually wrong with it and that Reznick was being overly cautious.
So IDK, that doesn’t make me care that much. You do you when it comes to parenting, right?
So should I care?
Given the evidence? No, you should not care about this. For one, David Beckham seems like a wonderful dad. Look at how excited he is about his kid skating:
And two, hypercritical commenters hellbent on making sure all parents feel like shit about themselves are gonna comment. Ignoring them is pretty effective—not having someone's attention, for any reason, seems to be Piers Morgan's Number One Fear.
Maybe we should just let people parent their children however they want and not really let it have any impact on our lives?
It is in that mindset that I am officially filing this story into the “thank u, next” bin.
Wow, that saves up a lot of free time and energy. What are some things I could care about instead?
Great question! Did you know that the earth is in grave trouble? That’s a great thing to care about. Here are a few organizations that you could give your time, money, and/or attention to that would actually be really useful.
The Rainforest Alliance — A nonprofit that works with governments and on the local level to help conserve rainforests around the globe. Give money to them here.
Oceana — Another nonprofit, which helps protect marine habitats from the effects of global warming, pollution, and commercial fishing. Donate to them here.
Or, if you’re genuinely concerned with children, why not donate to Operation Refugee Child, which donates backpacks filled with products that provide comfort, warmth, and safety to children who have become refugees and had to leave everything behind? You can donate to them here.
These are merely examples. You could also join a game of pickup basketball, or go enjoy a good book.
Regardless of what you decide to do, congratulations on making the right choice and not caring about this dumb non-scandal.
For more celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.