Jessica Simpson, new mommy, appeared Monday on Katie Couric’s new show, Katie. With her she brought a picture of her four-month-old daughter, Maxwell Drew Johnson, wearing a yellow-knit bikini.
Although the picture seems innocent enough, many are outraged by what the photo promotes. Claude Knights, director of a child welfare agency called Kidscape, spoke out on the matter saying “It is very disturbing to see a young baby presented into the world wearing a bikini. Celebrity choices carry great influence, as can be seen by the manner in which their accessories and behaviors are copied widely.”
Simpson showed the photograph of Maxwell on the show saying “She’s posing! It’s her very first time to put on a bikini.” Audience members didn’t seem to be phased at all by the supposed inappropriate picture. They merely “awed” upon seeing the photo.
Tanith Carey, a writer for Britain’s Daily Mail, also spoke out on the issue saying “We wouldn’t humiliate our wheelchair-bound relatives by dressing them in a silly hat, for example. So why do we feel its all right to humiliate babies in this way?” Not sure comparing a handicapped person wearing a hat to a baby dressed in swimwear is relevant, but good effort.
Others believe the controversy is being taken much too far. After all, babies walk around in diapers all the time. A bikini is just another way to further cover up.
Katie Couric defended her decision to have Jessica Simpson as her first guest on the show. Couric states “We wanted to use [Monday’s show] as an opportunity to help people. We saw that Jessica hadn’t done any [interviews] and the struggle with her weight was something that I think a lot of women can relate to.”
Jessica has recently been criticized for her weight both before and after the pregnancy. She was scrutinized for the amount of baby weight she put on during pregnancy, and now after, for not immediately shedding the pounds just four months after giving birth to baby Maxwell.
Jessica seems to be smitten with motherhood and everything that comes with it. On the show, she told Couric, “Motherhood is a dream. It really is absolutely amazing. [Maxwell] had her first flight yesterday. Did not sleep! She didn’t cry. She just wanted to babble.”
Both Simpson and Couric had no comment regarding the baby photo.