Dear Savvy Auntie,


My sister posted a photo of her two and three year old daughters on Facebook. In the photo, their behinds were not covered up and the caption read something like "snuggling in bed, I couldn't resist!"

They have cute tushes of course, but not for all out there to see. Being Auntie and not Mommy, do I have a right to discuss this with my sister? In the past, I have mentioned that she posts without editing, but this one just crossed that 'pedophile perfect' line for me. What do I do?


Bummed Out Auntie

Dear Bummed Out Auntie,

Your sister didn’t “get the memo." The cut off age for public displays of cute tushes is two and a half years old! After that, the concept of privacy should be introduced.


The angle of the photo [redacted] is focused on the tush, not the “snuggle” in the description, which invites the question of your sister’s intention or frame of mind. Was she being seductive by proxy? Also, fathers are typically the ones who are sensitive to their daughters as sex objects. Has he weighed in?


So, yes, I think you should discuss your feelings with your sister. Remember to frame the talk and not express just your attitude or threats of the repercussions of the photo being posted. Open the talk with an acknowledgement that it might end up that you ‘agree to disagree’ and that you would like to understand her position as well as tell her yours. You are right - they are her children!


We are living in a culture that is explicit in exhibiting sexually provocative images and words in song and print. It starts very young with leopard and black onesies for infants and TV shows like “Tiaras and Toddlers.” Nudity and scintillation are now commonplace.


Public exposure on social media is a fertile venue. You might be labeled old-fashioned, but then I am too! As a professional with a graduate degree in infant and toddler development and administration and thirty-five years of working with families, I agree with your concern.


You can have some affect on your nieces by behaving with dignity and privacy in their company. It won’t be long before they protest having revealing photos of themselves being taken…thanks to you!


Best of luck,

Natalie Robinson Garfield


Content Rating