A heated Instagram debate is taking place over a photo of David Beckham on holiday with his five-year-old daughter Harper.
Disapproving fans have taken it upon themselves to comment on the snap in question, which shows Harper and her dad sharing a kiss on the lips with the accompanying caption: “Kiss for Daddy”.
"To be honest kissing your daughter on the lips is a little weird...” one user wrote, with another adding, “I try not to judge but I can’t help but think it’s pretty weird that he kisses her on the lips considering her age.”
Others have leapt to the defence of the father-of-four, saying the sweet snap displays an innocent love the world is lacking in these difficult times.
“With all the awful things that are going on in the world... and people are calling THIS wrong?!,” an approving follower wrote.
“Keep kissing your kids! Why should something so pure and affectionate be made to feel wrong?,” another shared.
Affection runs in the family
In July 2016, Victoria came under the same scrutiny when she celebrated her daughter’s fifth birthday with a photo of the two sharing a smooch while taking a dip in the pool.
"Eww sorry I'm old-fashioned, it looks like they're making out," read one extreme comment. But while some labelled the post “so lesbian” and “inappropriate”, many more stood up for the former Spice Girl, saying their close bond was “beautiful”.
What do experts say?
Much like David’s fans, it seems child psychologists also have conflicting opinions on the matter of whether or not kissing our kids is okay.
When asked her thoughts, Dr Charlotte Reznick, Clinical Professor of Psychology, told The Sun that the mouth should be considered an “erogenous zone”, and that a “kiss on the lips can be stimulating”.
In response to this, clinical psychologist Sally-Anne McCormack disagreed: “There’s absolutely no way that kissing a young child on the lips is confusing for them in any way”.
“That’s like saying breastfeeding is confusing.”
The final say
While every parent will no doubt have their own stance on whether kisses on the lips are appropriate or not, we simply couldn’t have put it better ourselves when Mother & Baby editor Erin Mayo told us: “This whole issue has been around in the past, where people have sexualised an innocent, sweet moment between a parent and a child.
“I think most parents will admit that they still give their four- or five-year-old a kiss on the lips – I know I do. It’s a kiss - there is nothing sexual about it!
“It’s a shame that something so innocent and natural has been made out to be something tawdry.”