Calm down, it’s just a kiss


Some days it’s harder than others to decide what is real and what isn’t when reading news online. The fake news sometimes sneaks under the radar as real, and real news (although that term should be used loosely) can catch me off guard in amazement.

Last week, my husband (who is actually more guilty of indulging in celebrity news than I am) asked me if I had seen the controversy about Hilary Duff posting a picture of her kissing her young son.

I was confused. I hadn’t seen it, but I didn’t understand what the controversy could be about. Why is it even a thing that a celebrity creates controversy by kissing her own child?

So, thinking this must have been something more, I went and searched it up. When I found the numerous articles that had been written, I was still just as baffled. The picture is super sweet. The two were enjoying a day at Disneyland, each are pictured wearing Mickey Mouse hats, and in her caption, Duff writes about how the two love visiting the “happiest place on earth.”

And then there’s the controversy – a kiss on the lips between a little boy and his mom.

If this is a real thing – and something that people get upset about – then I better be throwing in my parenting license, along with nearly every loving, caring, kind parent I know (which is the majority of parents in my circle).

Just yesterday, I leaned over the couch and told my six-year-old son I needed something. Without hesitation, he grabbed me by the cheeks and gave me a sweet kiss right on the lips.

The day before, I was sitting and editing photos for a client, and came across a beautiful shot of a mom and her daughter kissing that I couldn’t resist but share on social media. Maybe it was a little in spite of the Hilary Duff controversy, but I shared it, and there was not one negative comment attached. I suppose being a celebrity, it’s almost expected that onlookers will create controversy out of nothing. But it does make me question our world a little when people are more offended by a mother kissing her young son, than celebrity sex tapes, or other scandals.

According to the news articles, comments on Duff’s initial post of her kissing photo stated that kissing a child on the lips would confuse the child. But I’m still unsure of what these people were trying to get at, and I’m not sure what this child could be confused into thinking, other than that his mom loves him.

Clearly, it’s the people making the negative comments that are the ones doing a disservice to society. I’m pretty confident that a parent showing affection and love to their own children is the basis for human survival and development. A lack of affection is sure to result in a lot more confusion than a kiss on the lips.

Thankfully, society did prevail though, and there were a whole bunch of comments supporting Duff’s photo. But, the fact that people had to stand up to support something so sweet, normal and natural, does still baffle me.

I am glad that Duff did make a follow-up post, encouraging those who made the negative comments to “go ahead and click a quick unfollow with your warped minds and judgement.”


About Author

Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.