Kate Gosselin needs to learn that sometimes you don’t need to share everything with the world. Over the years, my daughter has clomped around the house in my stilettos, broken into my makeup bag and painted her face like a burlesque clown, and ran around the house half naked. Kids do stuff like this. It’s normal and silly and goofy and cute and nothing is wrong with playing dress up or exploring gender roles or even being half-naked in the privacy of a family home.

On Saturday Kate Gosselin tweeted an update with accompanying photo that she probably should have kept private. Not because there is anything sinister or wrong with what the photograph depicts, but because some things you just don’t need to share with the internet. Posting a photo of your 11-year-old-daughter in your highest heels to the 100,000 strangers who follow you on Twitter may not be the smartest idea, but no one has ever mistaken Kate Gosselin for being the sharpest knife in the kitchen drawer.
Kids try on their mom’s shoes. This happens every hour of every day in every house with kids. I did it, you did it, our kids have done it. There is nothing wrong with that. But posting a picture on the internet, of your 11-year-old’s bare legs, her toenails pedicured and painted, clad in peep-toe satin and glitter heels, it’s just plain creepy. Kate Gosselin doesn’t know every single one of her Twitter followers personally. She doesn’t know who is glancing at the photograph and saying “Cute, my kids did that” or who is uploading the photograph to some terrible child exploitation website. And by posting this picture, she is inadvertently sexualizing her 11-year-old kid.

It can be argued that child sex abusers can find any photograph of a kid “sexy.” That even the most innocent picture of a kid fully dressed and standing there can be exploited by child predators for nefarious purposes. And although I agree there is nothing wrong with a kid trying on her mom’s high heels, looking at the picture of Mady it’s obvious to me that posting it on the internet was a bad idea. It isn’t a picture of a kid being silly and playing dress-up, it looks like a slightly menacing sexualized photograph of a girl standing, her legs apart, teetering helplessly on too-big heels in a darkened room. And Kate Gosselin didn’t need to post it, but I suppose it can also be argued that Kate Gosselin uses any excuse to exploit any of her eight children for attention and publicity, whether good or bad, to feed her gaping maw of a fame hole. So cue the comment frenzy both outraged and sympathetic from her Twitter followers, Kate Gosselin gets to feed her need for attention at the cost of sexualizing her young daughter.

(Photo: Kate Gosselin twitter)