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Church Pastor Poses in Bathtub With Granddaughter

by Adriana Velez on January 18, 2013 at 12:59 PM

bishop trotter bathtubSo... a grampa took a bubble bath with his four-year-old granddaughter. And her mother took a photo. And the photo was posted via Instagram. And oh by the way, the grampa happens to be a senior pastor at a mega-church in Chicago. And now everyone is freaking out over the photo.

Bishop Larry Trotter says his family was visiting him. He was taking a bubble bath when his four-year-old granddaughter asked if she could join him. Why not? Trotter claims he and the granddaughter were both wearing swimming trunks and that the girl's mother was present through the five minutes the girl was in the tub. But the photo has brought a furious storm of criticism to Trotter and his family. And I can see why!

I kind of sympathize with Trotter up to a point. I'm sure at the time, in his mind, this was all perfectly innocent. I don't buy that bit about both of them wearing swimming trunks -- that smells like baloney. But I doubt he was having creepy, pedophile thoughts about his granddaughter.

Still, I wouldn't be okay with this if I were the girl's mother. I think it's okay for parents bathe with their babies. I've done it. But I stopped once my son was toddler age -- well, more because it was just too splashy by then than because I thought it was inappropriate. But I think for everyone there's sort of an age where this starts to feel weird. Remember how freaked out people were when they found out Gwyneth Paltrow bathes with her school-age kids

Then there's the generational difference. It's one thing to be body-positive and free around your own kids. But add another generation and... I don't know, I have no justification except that again, it just feels weird to me. Grandparents bathing a baby, changing its diaper, helping toddlers get dressed, all seem fine. The idea of bathing with grandparents, though, just makes me cringe a little.

And then there's the gender issue. I think it's fine for kids to find out that our bodies all look different. But you have to watch your kids closely for when they start showing their own sense of modesty. Some kids never have any -- other kids want privacy at an early age. I think this photo would be less disturbing if the girl were with her grandmother (as long as the grandmother's chest was fully submerged), or if it were with Trotter and a grandson. But there's just too many taboos thrown together here: Gender, generation, age. I mean, pick one or two out of three and it's not quite so bad. Don't you think?

Of course, in another culture in another country people would be wondering what all the fuss is about. 

Obviously it was a bad idea to 1. take the photo and 2. post it on Instagram. (Trotter said someone else posted it on his account.) I hope Trotter's career survives this scandal! I think people need to give him a break. But a few lines were definitely crossed here.

Do you think it's inappropriate for kids to take baths with their grandparents?

 

Image via Instagram

Filed Under: girls, in the news, toddler development

Comments

243
  • worki...
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    workingmama86

    January 18, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    I would not be okay with that. Not at all. No way. 


  • handy...
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    handy0318

    January 18, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    It's only taboo in our culture.  There are a lot of places in the world where families bathing together and swimming in the nude are the norm.  There was obviously nothing sexual about the picture... Hopefully a good man's career won't be ruined by such a non-issue.


  • britn...
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    britneykaren

    January 18, 2013 at 1:20 PM
    I think this is a fine line for me, yea I could do bathing suits, but not nude. Either way, what that family is comfortable with shouldn't be a public issue, it also shouldn't have been posted on the internet, that was dumb
  • Nelli...
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    NellieAthome

    January 18, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    People will see smut where they want to - and generally they see smut where none exists because they have dirty minds to begin with and are so uptight that to them  all nudity = sex.....

    People around the world laugh at Americans, and rightly so,  for their stupid attitudes towards the human body


  • Zach...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Zach Rosenberg

    January 18, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    The only problem here is probably the "overshare." As another commenter said, there are plenty of places in the world where our taboos aren't a problem. But what we're wrestling with as a culture right now is resisting the urge to put every single little thing out there on the internet for everyone to consume (and then debate).


  • Tendr...
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    TendrelovinMaMa

    January 18, 2013 at 1:48 PM
    I agree with many other commentators on here. I feel the title of this post is misleading, because as the author stated, they were wearing there bathing suites...so if thats the case I dont see anything wrong with it. (I also agree we have a very prudish view towards the human body, small minded in my opinion) Its just like swimming in a small pool or hot tube.
  • the4m...
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    the4mutts

    January 18, 2013 at 1:50 PM
    My brother & i both bathed with our grandmother. He was about 4 the last time. We even bathed with eachother till we were, well, idk how old, but i remember it, so i had to be about 7yrs old. I bathed with my step sister when i was 12, and my bff from 14-17!! We washed eachothers hair and gossiped, and yes, compared bodies in her large spa tub.
    This doesnt look creepy at all, and obviously the bath was supervised off & on. Just because he is a man, doesnt make him a creep.
    This man has been villified for no reason! What a shame. Smh.
  • Sirena
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Sirena

    January 18, 2013 at 1:50 PM
    My mom bathes with my daughter(15 months) all the time. She babysits for me while I work, and when LO needs a bath, it's easier to just get in with her(HUGE soaker tub). I see nothing wrong with that. HOWEVER, at 4, it's pushing the line. I personally wouldn't do it.
  • JoMeara
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    JoMeara

    January 18, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Its called common sense people, you either have it or you don't, clearly this woman did not. First off, STOP oversharing every single freakin moment with your camera & web access, for the most part no one cares, and for those that do, send it in a private email. Pictures can only share a visual, without a conversation about the what, where, why, they can be interepted in so many ways, why take the risk? Second, why o why do people EVER think it is appropriate to share naked, bathing, baby or children pics?  Cute, only if your kid. But to the 500 followers of your twitter, or fb account, inappropriate. Clueless people, raising kids in the digital age and setting them up for failure. Good luck keeping your kids from all the dangers that can lurk online when parents haven't got a clue.


  • curly...
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    curlygirl31

    January 18, 2013 at 2:19 PM
    This is not a scandal. Some people have perverted minds thats why . Im sure he loves his grand daughter. Hes a man of god.
1-10 of 243 comments

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