The Tattooed Baby

Ick or Ethics?

Shamekia Morris, a fashion designer from West Palm Beach, started putting temporary tattoos on her son Treylin when he was six months old. Now she shares photos of her decorated baby with thousands of fans on social media.

She is, as you would guess, covered with tattoos herself. To her critics, she replies that it’s her lifestyle and her baby, and she’ll do with both as she pleases.

You know. Choice!

It may be icky, but this is definitely unethical. She’s using her baby as promotion, an involuntary human canvas, and a means to the end of getting web traffic, all without his consent or understanding. Her exploitation of her child is dehumanizing and disrespectful, as well as selfish.

The question such a parent should ask herself is, “How will my child feel about so many strangers seeing these photos when he’s old enough to understand?” The answer is that there is no way to tell, which means that the only ethical course is to err on the side of caution, minimizing the likelihood of harm.

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Source: Oddity Central

17 thoughts on “The Tattooed Baby

  1. Not as bad as Jill Greenberg’s “Cry Baby” art photography (borderline child porn, IMO), but not good… especially if it inspires some Yahoos to illicitly get real tats on their kids (maybe do prison tats, themselves).

  2. I thought for a moment that those were real tattoos and felt the back of my head start to crack. Temporary tattoos are…. better, I guess, but it still doesn’t feel right… And I’m wondering if that’s just an ick factor.

    Help me out. Can someone can tell me what the difference is between this baby picture and your average baby picture, of which most parents have one or two (thousand) online? Is it just a values thing and fake tattoos are worse than ugly jumpers, bad haircuts, or the time we all got into mom’s makeup drawer? If we want to say that posting baby pictures on social media isn’t ethical: period, end of sentence, well… That’s a discussion, and one I might be in favor of, but if that’s not the case, what’s the distinction?

  3. I do not take issue with exploitation, but with the permanent disfigurement of this child’s body. Two of my four children and six of my ten grandchildren have tattoos, which they chose when at least 16 years of age. The illustrated man is not a cultural norm in this or other Western nations and should be the individual’s choice at an acceptable age of consent, not the parents.

    • I do not take issue with exploitation, but with the permanent disfigurement of this child’s body.

      Well then, by golly, you should learn to read before offering your hot take.

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