kids

Channing Tatum's naked photo of Jenna Dewan is just the latest in a precarious new trend.

Late last year, parents were divided into two camps: the sharenters and the non-sharenters.

Now, a new twist on the phenomenon has emerged.

Its name? Snoozies.

That is, people taking photos of their sleeping loved ones – eyes closed, mouths wide open and cheeks flushed – and sharing them with the world.

WAKE UP ALREADY #bored #hewillnotbehappyiposted #sleepingbeauty #baliawaits #thebalibible

A photo posted by Erin Molan (@erin_molan) on

Our preoccupation with welcoming followers into our most private spaces, our beds, is an admittedly adorable one.

It’s also an exceedingly popular one; images of peaceful kids, partners and spouses switching off from the world appear everywhere. From Kourtney Kardashian to Bec Judd and Roxy Jacenko, Instagram is lined with Snoozies.

Catching flies in the skies ✈️ ????

A photo posted by Richie Strahan (@richie_strahan) on

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Yet as cute as they are, Snoozies also raise an equally curious debate – one that concerns itself with consent, with privacy and what may unravel down the track.

Channing Tatum’s snap of wife Jenna Dewan is the latest Snoozie to cause a stir. The grainy, black-and-white image of the 36-year-old actress sprawled across the bed nude has been labelled both “awesome” and “disrespectful” by opposing camps.

“You’re an idiot for posting a photo of your naked wife on social media. You have no respect, you are an idiot Channing. I feel sorry for your child,” reads one comment.

“This is art! This is nothing more then [sic] what you would see in pictures of her at the beach! Get over it people! Like permission wasn’t given anyway,” reads another.

It’s a valid point – Dewan has been tagged in the image, and it’s difficult to imagine her husband of seven years would post her naked image without permission. Still, the action of posting such a shot is a precarious one –  an image of a snoozing woman covered only by tangled sheets comes with a troubling afterthought that her lover has taken the image with the intention of sharing it without her knowledge.

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The likelihood that Tatum has betrayed his wife’s trust is, of course, highly unlikely. But in a world where online content is permanent, there is certainly room for discussion around the ethics of snoozies, particularly ones of our young children, who are unable to meaningfully give consent.

I’m so happy to see you too Bob.

A photo posted by SOPHIE CACHIA (@theyoungmummy) on

One Australian celebrity mum who regularly shares photos of her two-year-old son Bobby sleeping is Sophie Cachia, also known by her blog ‘The Young Mummy’.

Speaking to Mamamia late last year, the media personality said “there’s no point dwelling on the negatives” when it comes to sharing photos of her child.

“He can’t decide what he’s having for dinner, he can’t decide what he wears, he can’t decide what we’re doing today, unfortunately for him, I’m his mother at the moment and he’s two and I make those decisions,” she said.

LISTEN: Mia Freedman’s son discussing the longterm impact of “sharenting”. (Post continues…)

Of course, many might agree with Sophie that this is an overdrawn issue – one that politicises the most innocent of intentions.

But others, including developmental and social psychologist Dr Heidi Gazelle from the University of Melbourne, point to the potential dangers of sharing images of children without their consent.

“Parents just have to be careful and selective with what they share,” Dr Gazelle, who admits she shares photos of her own children online occasionally, told me.

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“You need to consider that, in the future when that child is an adult, could they be a professional or even have a public profile and find these images embarrassing?”

My ???? @huntercurtis14 ❤️

A photo posted by Roxy Jacenko (@roxyjacenko) on

While mums and dads might not think twice about sharing their sleeping child’s image, Dr Gazelle says obtaining consent from children is very important.

“What I suggest is to really think about the content in ethical terms,” she said, adding: “I encourage parents to show the photo to their child, and if they are above five years old, ask ‘Do you mind if I post this photo?’

Oh melt. Just went in to check on Billie and found Cherry like this. The paw ????

A photo posted by Rebecca Judd (@becjudd) on

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“Secondly, you’ve really got to think about if there’s any way this content could embarrass the child in the future, or if it portrays the child negatively. In that case, even if the child gives their consent, it would still be unwise to post it.”

The great Snoozies dilemma is further complexified by this comparison:

I know that if I took a photo of my partner sleeping, he would be peeved about the (likely unflattering) photo’s mere existence. He would be further infuriated if I were to post that image to social media, for everyone from his mother to work colleagues to delight in.

Too sweet for words ???? #Violetta

A photo posted by Rachael Finch (@rachael_finch) on

Many of us don’t post photos of our sleeping partners for this very reason – we know it would annoy them, and it’s not something we’d want to be done to ourselves.

That said – the words of Mamamia‘s editorial director Rebecca Jacobs, a proud Snoozies sharer, have challenged me further.

“Sometimes after a tough day, seeing them sleeping reminds me of why I do this – they look so sweet and happy and peaceful.”

So, where do you stand? Do you share Snoozies? Or do you think they’re unethical? Let me know in the comments below.

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