Innocent

That’s it. I’m taking a stand. My kids aren’t sexy and you’re not going to intimidate me into pretending they are, perverts and mass media.
We are so afraid now. On my Pinterest, one of my most commented-on pins is whether or not this little girl is “too sexy” and “dressed inappropriately.”  Or whether or not she’s just cute as a button, enjoying the unique privilege of small children to show off their pot bellies.
baby bikibi
Scandalous.
 She isn’t sexy. Not to you, not to me. We just know that there are people out there who think she is. And that is abhorrent to us. We instinctively want to make that fact disappear. So we cover our children, censor our art, remove family photos from the album.
But here’s the thing. I can guarantee you that, in the six years of my little girl’s life…in 6 years of grocery shopping and park playing and walk taking….someone has wanted her sexually. Someone I’ve been in the same room with has imagined all those horrible, horrible things we fear.
And guess what? No matter what I do, I can’t stop that. I CAN stop them from becoming actions. But I cannot prevent or prosecute thought-crime.
But every time we say that Cassatt’s beautiful work shouldn’t be displayed because it might tempt a pedophile…we’re fueling it. Every time Wal-Mart won’t print a picture of a three year old bottom in a wading pool, (happened to me, true story) we’re increasing it.  Every time we scrutinize the expression of a child modeling a new fashion campaign to see if their vacant pout is reminiscent of post-coital haze, we’re agreeing that children should be looked at as sexual. In our desperate attempts to clean this part of the world, we’re the ones making it dirty.
Thylane Blondeau. Who CARES? She’s French. Nobody wears a shirt over there.
Horror! What kind of mother would allow her child to be painted naked?

Now I’m not saying stripper heels and tramp stamps are the way to go. Children shouldn’t be taught to emulate the sexual behavior of grown ups. But bare tushy-buns on film, shirtless 6 year old girls at the beach, and even running through a sprinkler in the buff…these make us smile. Like we smile at a puppy going crazy on a chew toy. Because they don’t know they should feel self conscious about it. They are innocent. We need to let them be that way.

And the perverts who would corrupt it? Well, fuck ’em. That is their miserable cross to bear, inside themselves. And it has nothing to do with me or my kids.

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