Pet Peeves: Photos of Very Young Children With Food Smeared All Over Themselves and the Area Around Them

Clix Pix

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Why is that some parents and grandparents think that it is just oh-so-CUTE! to take and then share one or more photos of a child with food smeared all over his or her face and everywhere in his or her immediate vicinity?

Frankly, this sort of photo wants me want to hurl -- first off, right into the toilet -- whatever contents happen to be in my stomach at the time of viewing such an image -- but then in addition later, also carrying this on in a different way, that is, hurling comments/questions directed at the offenders. The kid isn't to blame -- he or she is still learning about the mysteries of eating and exploring all kinds of neat new foods. The parents and the grandparents, though? Don't they realize that while they may think such photos of the little one are just soooo adorable, others may not? It certainly is also not complimentary to the child. Imagine how that kid might feel if fifteen years from now he or she runs across a photo that Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa shared on Instagram or Facebook or some other internet place of of him or her with food smeared all over his/her face as well as splattered everywhere around the immediate vicinity? (This whole invasion into a child's privacy without his or her consent due to their extreme youth at the time also applies to photos of little kids naked in the bathtub, too!)

OK, so I'm not a parent and I am probably sensitive to this sort of thing in a way that parents or grandparents are not....nonetheless, I do feel it is a valid concern. Why don't parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and any other doting relatives think about what they're posting before they post such images up on the internet for all the world to see?
 
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ericgtr12

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Why is that some parents and grandparents think that it is just oh-so-CUTE! to take and then share one or more photos of a child with food smeared all over his or her face and everywhere in his or her immediate vicinity?

Frankly, this sort of photo wants me want to hurl -- first off, right into the toilet -- whatever contents happen to be in my stomach at the time of viewing such an image -- but then in addition later, also carrying this on in a different way, that is, hurling comments/questions directed at the offenders. The kid isn't to blame -- he or she is still learning about the mysteries of eating and exploring all kinds of neat new foods. The parents and the grandparents, though? Don't they realize that while they may think such photos of the little one are just soooo adorable, others may not? It certainly is also not complimentary to the child. Imagine how that kid might feel if fifteen years from now he or she runs across a photo that Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa shared on Instagram or Facebook or some other internet place of of him or her with food smeared all over his/her face as well as splattered everywhere around the immediate vicinity? (This whole invasion into a child's privacy without his or her consent due to their extreme youth at the time also applies to photos of little kids naked in the bathtub, too!)

OK, so I'm not a parent and I am probably sensitive to this sort of thing in a way that parents or grandparents are not....nonetheless, I do feel it is a valid concern. Why don't parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and any other doting relatives think about what they're posting before they post such images up on the internet for all the world to see?
It's a great question, I guess a parent or grandparent might find it cute enough to snap a shot with their phone or something but I couldn't imagine it's something you would want to show off but even seeing those sort of photos on social media is not pleasant to look at.

It's like that show America's Funniest Videos which used to be funny but now it's mainly a bunch of screaming and crying kids for some reason, annoying enough that you have to FF through a good chunk of the show. It's hard to imagine the appeal on any level.
 

Clix Pix

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What prompted my post this evening was that someone on a photo forum posted a couple of images of his grandchild exploring the mysteries of what I guess was a rather messy meal -- I caught a glimpse of the first image and hastily skipped over the second one before I would start barfing all over my computer. Seriously, what is the MATTER with people??!!!

It's NOT cute. Not at all. it also violates the child's sense of dignity (even before he or she realizes he or she has one) and in later years the kid may run across the image(s) and be quite embarrassed.... Don't people think about this sort of thing?

I finally did say something on the other forum as this really was bugging the heck out of me. There is one woman who posts a lot of photos of her grandchildren, but she is always careful not to show them in an unflattering and embarrassing light. The guy who posted the images this evening of his grandchild has displayed other unflattering ones in the past but not quite this bad, and tonight I decided that this was a situation which needs to be addressed....now. I tried to be tactful in how I wrote my post but unfortunately tactfulness has never been one of my strong suits. The guy may be insulted, I may get a reprimand from a moderator, but maybe somehow the point will be made and will sink in nonetheless......
 

rdrr

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Why is that some parents and grandparents think that it is just oh-so-CUTE! to take and then share one or more photos of a child with food smeared all over his or her face and everywhere in his or her immediate vicinity?

Frankly, this sort of photo wants me want to hurl -- first off, right into the toilet -- whatever contents happen to be in my stomach at the time of viewing such an image -- but then in addition later, also carrying this on in a different way, that is, hurling comments/questions directed at the offenders. The kid isn't to blame -- he or she is still learning about the mysteries of eating and exploring all kinds of neat new foods. The parents and the grandparents, though? Don't they realize that while they may think such photos of the little one are just soooo adorable, others may not? It certainly is also not complimentary to the child. Imagine how that kid might feel if fifteen years from now he or she runs across a photo that Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa shared on Instagram or Facebook or some other internet place of of him or her with food smeared all over his/her face as well as splattered everywhere around the immediate vicinity? (This whole invasion into a child's privacy without his or her consent due to their extreme youth at the time also applies to photos of little kids naked in the bathtub, too!)

OK, so I'm not a parent and I am probably sensitive to this sort of thing in a way that parents or grandparents are not....nonetheless, I do feel it is a valid concern. Why don't parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and any other doting relatives think about what they're posting before they post such images up on the internet for all the world to see?

Right there is your answer... You are not a parent/grandparent. I too (a looong time ago) was once appalled at how cute/talented/intelligent every parent thinks their kid is. Other things that grossed me out was watching mothers pick up off the floor a pacifier that drop out of the germ factory's mouth and put it in theirs to "clean" it off.

I am not saying you are wrong, but let's just say your point of view changes on the other side of the line. I have had every bodily fluid from my kids on me, I have had their "spit up" in my mouth, and I have had their urine in my eyes. You get over it real quick and you still think your devil's spawn are the cutest, most talented, mensa members on the planet.
 

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Right there is your answer... You are not a parent/grandparent. I too (a looong time ago) was once appalled at how cute/talented/intelligent every parent thinks their kid is. Other things that grossed me out was watching mothers pick up off the floor a pacifier that drop out of the germ factory's mouth and put it in theirs to "clean" it off.

I am not saying you are wrong, but let's just say your point of view changes on the other side of the line. I have had every bodily fluid from my kids on me, I have had their "spit up" in my mouth, and I have had their urine in my eyes. You get over it real quick and you still think your devil's spawn are the cutest, most talented, mensa members on the planet.

Yes, but that is not the only point that @Clix Pix is making.

Of course, parents think their offspring marvellous; that comes with the territory.

However, not everyone can be expected to share such an opinion, and nor should they be expected to do so, especially if they are female (for there is a societal expectation that women will melt into a puddle of sentimentality when shown a picture of a small child in an impossibly "cute" context).

And some people just would prefer not to have to look at images of other people's children.

Moreover, posting such images in a public forum, may firstly, involve issues of privacy (in the future) for the child in question (nobody can argue that informed consent played a role in this), while secondly, it is a sort of blurring of the respective boundaries of the public and the private spheres, much encouraged by social media, but one where a note of caution may need to be sounded.

To my mind, there are some things that should remain private, no matter how "cute" they may appear to the parents or guardians of such children.

Thus, while the act of taking such a picture in the first place is one thing, - and best reserved to private, personal family albums - offering it up in the public space for public consumption - through misplaced pride, a genuine desire to share these images, or a desire for attention, or the promotion of said offspring's activities, is quite another, and is something that I believe should be embarked upon only after considerable forethought.
 
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rdrr

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Yes, but that is not the only point that @Clix Pix is making.

Of course, parents think their offspring marvellous; that comes with the territory.

However, not everyone can be expected to share such an opinion, and nor should they be expected to do so, especially if they are female (for there is a societal expectation that women will melt when shown a picture of a small child in an impossibly "cute" context).

And some people just would prefer not to have to look at images of other people's children.

Moreover, posting such images in a public forum, may firstly, involve issues of privacy (in the future) for the child in question (nobody can argue that informed consent played a role in this), while secondly, it is a sort of blurring of the respective public and the private spheres, much encouraged by social media, but one where a note of caution may need to be sounded..

To my mind, there are some things that should remain private, no matter how "cute" they may appear to the parents or guardians of such children.

Thus, while the act of taking such a picture in the first place is one thing, - and best reserved to private, personal family albums - offering it up in the public space for public consumption - through misplaced pride, a genuine desire to share these images, or a a desire for attention, or promotion of said offspring's activities, is quite another, and is something that I believe should be embarked upon only after considerable forethought.

I am assuming that most of these pictures are from social media platforms. Isn't there a unwritten agreement that joining these platforms you will be inundated with people who insist on sharing every moment of their lives?

Granted the sentiment of the original poster is right, and I don't find looking at pictures of other people's kids enjoyable. I myself have kept pictures of my kids off of platforms like FB, but this has been going on for decades. I myself while cleaning out my basement, found a "Grandma's Brag Book" picture book, buried in a long forgotten box. In it was a baby picture of me naked in the tub, circa 1966. Which I think now would be absolutely wrong to post online.
 

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This is an old iconic image, often seen in Italian restaurants... maybe the one that started the trend?
1607035868291.jpeg
 

Scepticalscribe

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I am assuming that most of these pictures are from social media platforms. Isn't there a unwritten agreement that joining these platforms you will be inundated with people who insist on sharing every moment of their lives?

Granted the sentiment of the original poster is right, and I don't find looking at pictures of other people's kids enjoyable. I myself have kept pictures of my kids off of platforms like FB, but this has been going on for decades. I myself while cleaning out my basement, found a "Grandma's Brag Book" picture book, buried in a long forgotten box. In it was a baby picture of me naked in the tub, circa 1966. Which I think now would be absolutely wrong to post online.

The unwritten "agreement" (I'd see it more as an understanding that the platforms in question would like to think that you have agreed to, as you and your data are the product, and access to your data is what drives profit) may exist, but it is one from which I dissent.

Besides, you have the right to set boundaries on what you choose to share with others, - in both personal (or professional) relationships, and above all, on impersonal social media platforms, and the platform should not presume otherwise, even though - with the free platforms, access to the data of the members is the product, and this is something about which one should be wary and should exercise due caution.

And, you have the right not to be inundated with the (sometimes tedious) trivia of other people's lives.
 

Clix Pix

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Right there is your answer... You are not a parent/grandparent. I too (a looong time ago) was once appalled at how cute/talented/intelligent every parent thinks their kid is. Other things that grossed me out was watching mothers pick up off the floor a pacifier that drop out of the germ factory's mouth and put it in theirs to "clean" it off.

I am not saying you are wrong, but let's just say your point of view changes on the other side of the line. I have had every bodily fluid from my kids on me, I have had their "spit up" in my mouth, and I have had their urine in my eyes. You get over it real quick and you still think your devil's spawn are the cutest, most talented, mensa members on the planet.

While indeed I am not a parent or grandparent, and therefore have not experienced some of the things that parents and grandparents do, or even siblings (I was an only child, too), that still does not wholly explain why someone who IS a parent or grandparent thinks it is charming and delightful and perfectly OK to post a photo of the child in a distinctly unflattering light, even if it is a learning experience such as the act of exploring and tasting new foods..... Of course it's messy, it's experimental, and it's part of a child's development and growing as he or she learns about the world around him or her. That doesn't mean that doting Mommy or Daddy or Grandma or Grandpa has to share photos of the kid making that mess! Just because they think it's "cute" doesn't mean that other people will, and in fact often others, especially those who don't even know the kid or care anything about the kid, will not appreciate such sights popping up in their face unexpectedly. SuperMatt's idea of using a "spoiler" warning so that an image doesn't suddenly smack the viewer in the face is a good one. Just as we have NSFW (Not Safe for Work) warnings in many online photo forums, maybe we should have similar ones for this sort of "snapshot of beloved/precious son/daughter/grandchild/exploring the mysteries of food" image......

In the absence of such warnings, yes, throwing these images into a thread which by the way had nothing to do with children or child-rearing, totally catching viewers unaware, to me demonstrates some sort of astonishing unawareness of boundaries and a disconcerting lack of common sense on the part of the (doting grandpa) member who did so. It seems to me that if someone posts a photo that is likely to make someone else want to hurl their cookies, perhaps they need to rethink that motivated them to share the image in the first place. Why are they posting a particular image, basically a family snapshot best reserved for family and close friends, in a forum primarily filled with strangers? Sure, send the photo(s) of the kid smearing his face and everything around him to the far-flung family members, either in email or shared on FB or Instagram or other social media forum..... Those people have a relationship with the child, they know the family, they have a much different perspective than someone who is a stranger, and yes, a social media forum is more where this kind of thing is to be expected anyway.

The images which provoked me to start this thread here were not posted on FB or Instagram; they were posted on a forum which is devoted to photography. Most participants there take photography quite seriously. The members of that forum range from professionals in the field to serious amateurs to someone beginning to explore photography with their first camera. Photos which are posted there are usually well-thought-out, carefully considered and composed images in the making and thoughtfully handled in the post-processing and in the sharing.....they're not snapshots. They're not photos of the family all posed in front of some landmark sign while on vacation, or photos of the kids doing every little new thing they discover. In other words, it's not a Mommy-and-toddler or Grandparent-and-toddler forum, where presumably such images might be more comfortably received..... It's also not a section within, say, FB or Instagram, where family members and close friends may have their own little group. The forum in which these images were posted is one in which the majority of members don't know the child, have never met the child, his parents or grandparents, and there is no expectation of ever doing so. It is an international forum consisting of people coming from all different backgrounds, lifestyles and environments. It's not FaceBook, it's not Instagram.

This isn't to say that the site frowns upon photos of children or a participant's mention of what his or her family might be doing, say, for a particular event or holiday. There are members who post photos of their children or grandchildren from time to time and they are discriminating, careful and selective about the number and type of images that they post. Most people seem to have a fairly good sense of boundaries, especially when it comes to posting photos of children on the internet, especially in a photography-based forum....
 
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