Facebook has come under fire quite a bit recently for removing photos from users’ accounts that don’t actually break any of the site’s rules. Photos of women breastfeeding have been taken down frequently, and not long ago, this image of a father comforting his son was banned from Facebook twice. Heather Whitten, the photographer, has spoken out about the “controversial” picture, and how proud she is of it.
A couple years ago, Heather’s son Fox got very sick, to the point where he was vomiting and having diarrhea, and nothing made him feel better. It was not until later that they found out it was salmonella.
He was not even 1 year old, and yet he was suffering. That’s when Heather’s husband Thomas decided to sit with Fox in the shower, to help soothe his tummy and to clean him up. It was a sweet gesture, and Heather wanted to capture the moment. “I snapped a couple of pictures,” she said. “It was just beautiful. It was not surprising or anything out of the ordinary; it’s how he has always been with the kids.”
Heather likes the image because it shows that “it is okay to get naked with your son and nurture him…the important thing is really taking care of your kiddos.” When Heather posted it to Facebook, however, it wasn’t well-received by everyone. She even had some reservations herself. “I wanted to take it down just because I thought it would get blown out of proportion,” she said. “I thought the point was getting missed.” Facebook banned the photo twice, before finally reinstating it.
The overall response to the photo has been positive, though. The photo has gone viral, thanks to the many people who see the positive in it- the photo portrays a loving father who will do anything to help his son feel better.
It’s a tender moment, and that comes through in the picture. More than anything, its message is that it’s good for men to show this kind of sensitivity.