David Beckham kisses daughter Harper on the lips after previously defending displays of affection

‘I’m very affectionate with the kids,’ athlete says

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Friday 29 September 2023 20:58 BST
David Beckham honoured

David Beckham displayed parental affection by giving his 12-year-old daughter Harper a kiss on the lips as she applied makeup for Victoria Beckham’s Paris Fashion Week show.

As the father-daughter duo prepared to attend Victoria’s fashion show, the famous football star posted a video in which he gave his daughter a peck on the lips. For years, the Beckhams have polarised fans with the way they choose to display affection with their children.

In the past, David and Victoria have found themselves embroiled in debates about “appropriate” parenting after both of them shared images to Instagram of them kissing their daughter on a family trip.

In 2017, the father of four, who also shares sons Brooklyn, 24, Romeo, 21, and Cruz, 18 with Victoria, defended his parental displays of affection to the public during a Facebook Live, where he insisted that he and his wife were “always very affectionate” with their children.

“Brooklyn, maybe not. Brooklyn’s 18, he might find that a little bit strange. But I’m very affectionate with the kids. It’s how I was brought up and [wife Victoria Beckham], and it’s how we are with our children,” he said at the time. “We want to show our kids love and we protect them, look after them, and support them, and we’re very affectionate with them.”

“Having children is the most special thing in the world,” he added.

Although some fans have called the affectionate kisses “beautiful,” others have taken to writing scathing remarks in both David and Victoria’s comment sections. One critic wrote: “She is a big girl now time for you to stop kissing her on the lips... Bad to kiss your daughter... comeee oooonnnn guys!”

But some fans were more supportive, with one person writing: “Beautiful!! But wait for the ‘don’t kiss your child on the lips’ complete weirdo comments... shut up this is totally normal...”

As recently as 2022, David has reignited the debate on whether or not it was appropriate to kiss one’s child with another photo of him and Harper sharing a kiss. Under an Instagram post of him and his daughter, Beckham wrote: “Daddy & Princess Leia had a lovely walk this morning.” However, in the photo’s comment section, some fans dubbed the kiss “inappropriate”.

“Why do you kiss your daughter on the lips? It’s weird and inappropriate,” one person commented, while another added: “Although this is very sweet, please do not kiss your daughter on the lips.”

A third wrote: “Enough with the kissing on the lips already!!”

Meanwhile, another person said that because Harper was “not a baby anymore,” any “kisses on the lips are unacceptable”. The person suggested that David show affection instead by “kissing on the forehead, cheek, etc”.

Despite what some fans may think, a parent kissing their child on the lips is not considered “inappropriate,” according to parenting experts. Ollwyn Moran, neurological developmental therapist and CEO of Cognikids, previously told The Independent: “Showing love and affection to your child is so important. There are numerous scientific studies that highlight the importance of this.”

Moran added, “Furthermore, what concerns me most is what is in the minds of those people that call out this natural behaviour. Why sexualise it?”

“It’s certainly not inappropriate to kiss your child,” child psychologist Dr Fiona Martin agreed, noting that “anything that promotes emotional connectivity is good”.

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