Thursday 28 August 2014

Honestly! Does This Look Pornographic To You?

Photo is property of Wyatt Neumann
One of my readers sent me a distressing article this morning where professional photographer and father, Wyatt Neumann, has posted photos of a road trip he and his two-year-old daughter undertook.  These photos have caused an uproar, calling for his Instagram account and Facebook page to be shut down (which they were) from anonymous internet users.  These images have been labelled as "sick", "perverse" and "pornographic".  What is worse, this father has been labelled "a sick f***", that the 'nude' photos of his daughter are "gross and disturbing", that he is a "f***ing piece of s***"... you get the point.  The reason I use the word 'distressing' is not to comment on the photos themselves, but rather the fact that deindividuated on-line users feel that they have the right to judge this man so violently and aggressively, calling him a paedophile and suggesting that he is sexualising young children (his daughter in this case).  

What exactly is sexual about a naked child?  Quite simply, to the vast majority of us, nothing!  

Granted, there are people out there who suffer from paedophilia and who are turned on by images of children and who act on sexual drives and urges, directing them towards youngsters, but does that mean that a father cannot document a road trip with his daughter?  I have chosen not to put pictures of my daughter up on Facebook where she can be identified, yet so many of my friends do; does this make them irresponsible parents?  A young women in a bikini is sexy, a child in a bikini on the other hand is not.  A two-year-old running through a sprinkler with his winkie 'flying around' for all to see is not sexual in any way.  European beaches are filled with little naked bodies...again, hopefully, you get my point.  What worries me is that by merely documenting the lives of our children in the public domain through social media, we as parents, can be setting ourselves up to be labelled as paedophiles.  How many times have we been to an 18th birthday party, or any milestone birthday party for that matter, where pictures of that individual's photographic timeline has been displayed on a projector screen for all to see, where at least one of those photos shows that individual naked as a kid, either running around in a garden in the buff or wearing a Father Christmas beard made from bubbles in the bath?  Who has ever looked at those embarrassing pictures and thought - "these parents are paedophiles for projecting these images on a screen"?
Photo is property of Wyatt Neumann

Photo is property of Wyatt Neumann

These pictures are neither pornographic nor sexually charged.  There is a sense of darkness being created here off the back of these rather innocent pictures taken by a (seemingly) doting father.  The way we see the world is unique to our own perspective; there is no way that I would have looked at those pictures and labelled them as pornographic.  Perception and intention in this case is paramount.  What is the perception of those viewing the photos and what is the intention of the photographer - surely this is what we should be asking ourselves before labelling this man as sick?  Projecting one's own moral authority onto another, calling these pictures what they are not, suggests that those who are so strongly opposing the images are seeing this as sexual exploitation and not in the way that it was intended.  A little introspection might suggest that those who are so outwardly spoken about this are acting out of sublimation, a defence mechanism where an individual channels unwanted feelings into a socially acceptable norm; in this case openly attacking the father via social media to hide the fact that they themselves find these pictures sexual.  This does not suggest that there is an element of sexual attraction, but merely the inability to distinguish between a naked child as either sexual or not and a naked adult which usually carries a sexual element in some or other way.

Is it irresponsible of this father to post these images in the public domain?  Possibly.  Personally, I would suggest yes, but does it make him a sick f***? No.  In my view, my daughter has the right to choose whether or not she wants to be splashed all over social media, that is why I do not post identifiable pictures of her.  It is her freedom and her right to choose one day when she is old enough to make those decisions, but by doing so, parents are not generally irresponsible and most definitely not f***ing pieces of s***.  If those who made such aggressive comments where genuinely concerned, they would surely comment on the fact that this is irresponsible and there are people out there who would see this as sexual, posing as a warning sign to the artist, and not attack him as a father and label him a paedophile and child abuser.

The Huffington Post has reported on Wyatt's reaction - the article "People called these photos of an artist's daughter "pornographic".  And this was his response" can be read here or watch the interview where he talks about the whole ordeal on YouTube by clicking here.

Irresponsible?  YES
Sexual?  Definitely not


  1. doesnt make him a padeophile but it is completely innapropriate and why post them on facebook? years down the line does this kid want people to have seen her naked on a bed or which her underwear down taking a piss?

    1. Many thanks for the read and the comment; I couldn't agree more, hence my expression of it being irresponsible.

  2. and i know i dont want to look at that, why do people feel the need to post them to the world jeez keep a photo album in private!


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