The Internet always seems to have the need to criticise the way other people parent their children.
So when Heather Whitten uploaded a photo of her husband holding their sick son in the shower, no one held back.
Whitten posted an image of her husband, Thomas, holding their young son, Fox, while he had salmonella poisoning in November 2014. The photo, which Whitten has posted to Facebook more than once, showed Thomas and Fox both naked in the shower.
Naturally, everyone had a conniption and reported the photo to Facebook, where it was later taken down.
In another post that was also deleted, Whitten explained that the image is not sexual and was, in fact, meant to capture a moving and ‘powerful moment for us as parents’.
Thomas had spent hours in the shower with [Fox], trying to keep his fever down and letting the vomit and diarrhea rinse off of them both as it came.
As I sat in the shower with the two of them I was just overwhelmed with the scene in front of me. This man. This husband and partner and father. He was so patient and so loving and so strong with our tiny son in his lap.
Is this father/son/shower photo right or wrong morally? https://t.co/Kftttgo7Uf . I say it's right when you know son has serious fever
— Meekered (@Meekered) May 20, 2016
Whitten, a sometimes birth photographer in Arizona, captures people in their most vulnerable moments and has said she strives to photograph her family that way as well.
Despite the story behind the image though, many people have critisised that it’s not acceptable for a father to shower nude with his son, or to even appear nude in front of him at all.
Twitter user Diana Grannis tweeted: “@facebook U [were] correct in removing father/son nude photo in the shower. Ignorant parents posting nude photo in lieu of going to ER earlier.”
And this isn’t the first time a photo like this has been met with critisism. Last year, Danish comedian Torben Chris was criticized for posting a photo of himself and his daughter in the tub together. He responded by noting it’s a parent’s job to ensure that their kids are bathed.
Luckily, both Chris and Whitten have been met with support since both photos went viral, with more and more people agreeing family nudity is just an issue of practicality.
Maybe if we see more photos like Whitten’s, these types of images will become less controversial and more accepted.