Maternal innocence is torn apart by strangers' ill will

Victoria Beckham recently posted an image on Instagram celebrating her daughter Harper's fifth birthday.

Friday, 22nd July 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:11 pm
Ruby Elmes, aged 4, enjoys an ice cream on Southsea beach

It was a cute picture of Victoria giving her little girl a kiss, yet it sparked much controversy.

If you had scrolled through the comments underneath the image, then you’d have seen not a host of happy birthday messages, nor praise for such a sweet picture, but a lot of derogatory twaddle instead.

Apparently, it is seen by many people as ethically wrong for a mother to kiss their child on the lips.

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How odd. I can only assume, by this rationale, that it is deemed to be even worse should a father do it.

This is disappointingly indicative of our times and reminiscent of the John Lewis advert at Christmas, when some members of the public complained because the elderly gentleman was seen looking back at the little girl through a telescope.

The symbolism involved was missed entirely, for cries instead of ‘paedophile!’ and ‘grooming!’

Yes, we need to be watchful and cautious.

But for goodness sake, what happened to also being sensible?

This seems to say more about the people commenting than those in the photographs.

Because for someone to deem Victoria Beckham inappropriate for kissing her five-year-old on the lips speaks volumes about the mind of the observer, not the mind of Mrs Beckham.

There was another image earlier this year of a father holding his sick little boy on his lap in the shower.

When I saw that, all I thought of was when my girls were little and they had fevers and we would try to make them more comfortable with a cooling bath.

I remember climbing in myself, taking one for the parental team, whilst my husband passed our baby to me and I cuddled her in the water.

Had anyone assumed I was a pervert for doing so, then I’d have questioned the sad state of their own mind, and not my own.

Now, sadly, a picture of blatant maternal innocence has been torn apart by the ill will of strangers.


Ididn’t write about the Nice tragedy when it happened. For some reason, it seemed more fitting to the families and each person touched by the inhuman devastation of July 14 to simply not give an ounce more of media attention to the scum that lay behind it.

Instead we would refuse to propagate the evil with newspaper pages, social media images and television reports.

I recall reading that Bin Laden rejoiced in all the coverage of 9/11, feeling as though extremism was taking over the world.

This is a true conundrum, for how can the media not report these sickening incidents when they occur?

Yet what a response it would be were we to refuse to print one single word in their name.


As I write this we are experiencing good weather.

I am possibly the only person in the UK who is less than happy about this.

The reason for my disgruntlement?

We are going to deepest Cornwall soon, far away from the chaos and ping of texts and e-mails.

But I fear we have peaked too soon.

Given that there is only one week of summer per year in the UK, I suspect that this is it and our sojourn will be an instant return to autumn.

Perhaps I really am imagining it, but am I the only person who is convinced that proper hot summers actually existed when they were young?

My own children believe this is simply the stuff of legend.