Jessica Simpson jumped back into the spotlight this week, displaying her 40-pound post-baby weight loss on television, and also revealing a new photo of her baby daughter wearing a bikini.
The 32-year-old entertainer appeared on Katie Couric's new talk show "Katie" on Monday to show off her slimmer figure, and flashed the picture of 4-month-old daughter Maxwell wearing a lacy yellow bikini. Following the national broadcast, critics began to debate whether or not the infant's attire was too suggestive.
"It is very disturbing to see a young baby presented to the world wearing a bikini," Claude Knights, the director of Kidscape, a British child welfare agency, told the UK's Daily Mail, which ran a photo of the infant in the outfit. "Celebrity choices carry great influence, as can be seen by the manner in which their accessories and behaviors are copied widely. It is to be hoped that parents will understand that 'baby bikinis' are totally inappropriate, and that they contribute to the sexualization and commercialization of childhood. We should not be compromising the sanctity of our children's early years."
In a photo caption on BuzzFeed under the headline, "Why is Jessica Simpson's Baby In A Bikini?" writer Whitney Jefferson wrote, "Dear baby Maxwell: this may be your first embarrassing moment that you'll end up hating your mother for, but it won't be the last."
Others thought the criticism was overdramatic if not completely ridiculous.
"Most babies go around naked or just in a diaper," wrote BuzzFeed reader Cheyenne Valentine. "So what's wrong with a bikini? She's covered isn't she? So leave her alone and shut up. She is adorable no matter what she wears."
"Babies in the 1950-1960s frequently wore bikinis," Daily Mail reader raven1762 pointed out. "It was never an issue back then. The media sexualizes everything now, people see it as inappropriate. if people want to be outraged, follow up on the 6-7 year olds that were modeling lingerie in a catalog that we saw about a year ago. It is not like the picture was sent to Playboy. It's just a new mom playing dress-up with her baby girl."
Simpson gave birth to her daughter in May. She then sold her daughter's first baby photos to People magazine for a reported $800,000, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and signed a Weight Watchers endorsement deal reportedly worth $3-4 million dollars to track her weight loss following giving birth.
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