Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
When does au gratin become rotten?
Disclaimer: “Au gratin” in my family is a euphemism for nakedness. Don’t ask me why or how; it just is.
When does your child’s nakedness become inappropriate to others?
You take plenty of photos of your infant naked. As your kid gets older, at what point do you stop taking bath time or other photos? At what point do you tell your kid to cover up his or her naked self around the home?
Our former neighbor had three daughters — ages 3, 5 and 8 — and thought nothing of slapping down a water slide on their front lawn during the summer with the kids running around naked. That struck me as inappropriate. At least do it in your back yard.
This question is in my brain because of Bob Cringely, a technology writer-TV host-documentarian-blogger-etc. He has shared a couple of his Christmas card photos on his blog… featuring his family almost-naked with the assistance of strategically placed props.
His 2008 card was pretty tame, with everyone standing on a boat. His wife wore a life vest, and the boat’s railing easily obscured his kids from the waist down.
His 2009 card is a bit more “out there.” Take a look (bottom of page). It seems he has trouble getting FedEx-Kinkos to print it.
I’m neither impressed nor repulsed by the cards. A few years ago our Christmas card showed my daughter nursing while holding a cookie, under the title “Milk and cookies.”
I suppose I’m presenting dueling issues. One is the age limit for innocence — when do we cover/hide body parts for propriety’s sake? The other is Cringely’s more narrow issue of family nakedness for the sake of art.
What’s your take on either issue?