NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Soccer superstar and father of four David Beckham is facing criticism for a photo he posted showing him kissing his daughter on the lips.
He posted the picture with his 5-year-old daughter Harper on Instagram, with the caption, “kiss for daddy,” during a family trip to Africa. Nearly two million people have commented on it.
Some responses were negative.
“Disgusting u pervert,” one commenter said.
“Disgusting! What sick man kisses a little girl? This poor girl, enduring that, will never be able to have a relationship with a man, will just see the exploitation,” another added.
But many others rushed to Beckham’s defense.
“I love this! So beautiful to see the love between dad and his daughter,” one person said.
“Beautiful photo. Every child should be shown this affection from their parents,” another said.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer asked people on the streets of New York City what they thought.
“What’s the big deal?” one woman asked.
“I think it’s a cute moment between a father and a daughter,” another added.
“It’s just not a good thing to do, especially at her age,” one man said.
“I think if they’re comfortable with it and their kid is comfortable with it, it’s fine,” another said.
“As long as it’s the parent doing it, there aren’t no problem with it. It’s their choice,” another added. “If they’re kissing somebody else’s kid on the lips, that’s weird.”
Similarly, last year his wife Victoria Beckham posted a picture kissing Harper on the lips, sparking debate in the comment section.
Then last December, actress Hillary Duff took a lot of online grief for posting a picture of her kissing her son on the lips at Disneyland.
There were so many different opinions, CBS2 asked a psychologist about it.
“Yes, absolutely it’s OK,” Dr. Harris Stratyner said.
The doctor added that displays of affection are different for everyone.
“You’ve got to think about culture. You know there are cultures in our world where it’s very appropriate,” he said. “That’s obviously something that’s in their family, where that’s their cultural belief that it’s OK to do that.”
Statyner said he’d be more concerned about the people commenting with such a strong negative reaction to the photos.
He did, however, suggest changing to a peck on the cheek after the age of five.