Everyone wants to bend it like Beckham. Not everyone wants to parent like Beckham.
On Sunday, the Daily Mail posted a picture of David Beckham walking in West Hollywood, Calif., with daughter Harper after the two had lunch with one of Beckham's sons, Brooklyn. The pig-tailed Harper matched her pink dress with a pink pacifier, or as the British call it, a dummy.
Across the pond, Harper made it to the Daily Mail's front page:
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) August 10, 2015
The article challenges the parenting decisions of David and wife, Victoria, Posh Spice. It says the mother and father, "risked stunting their daughter's speech and were putting her teeth at risk of danger by letting her continue to use [a pacifier]," according to parenting experts.
The article does give the Beckhams some concessions: "Some parents use them to stop a child from crying and are only recommended for small babies," but it mostly questions the decision of Britain's first couple outside of Buckingham Palace.
"I can't believe she is still using a dummy. If she has a dummy in their mouth at this age, at four, it really can damage her teeth and it is very likely to hinder speech development," parenting expert Clare Byam-Cook told the Daily Mail.
Well, David responded to the tabloid critiques Monday on Instagram, saying only he knows the reason for the pacifier use.
Why do people feel they have the right to criticize a parent about their own children without having any facts ?? Everybody who has children knows that when they aren't feeling well or have a fever you do what comforts them best and most of the time it's a pacifier so those who criticize think twice about what you say about other people's children because actually you have no right to criticize me as a parent ...
Note that Beckham is not afraid to post author Jemma Buckley's name out in big letters (and the American terminology of "pacifier"). She has been Beckham'ed.
David Beckham put Manchester United, Real Madrid, the English National Football Team, Los Angeles Galaxy and pretty much the MLS on his back at different times in his career. This week, it was time to put his family and on his back and stick up for young Harper. Maybe Harper had a fever or other reason for the pacifier ... dummy ... necessity at 4.
Everyone in the Beckham family is beautiful, so the concern over Harper's teeth is unwarranted:
David Beckham's family. The real family goal. pic.twitter.com/LB3QYveis3
— jay-jared (@iamjaredng) August 9, 2015
As for Harper's maturity, pacifier or no pacifier, she is already making moves. It looks like the U.S. Women's National Team will have stuff stiff competition in 20 years or so:
The moral of the story: Beckham will bend rules however he wants.