People are debating what 'appropriate' fatherly love looks like, and frankly, it's just sad

A photo of Joe Biden hugging and kissing his only living son, Hunter, is circulating after Newsmax TV host John Cardillo shared it on Twitter with the caption, "Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you?"

The question is clearly meant to be a dig at Biden, whose well-documented life in politics includes many examples of both his deep love for his family and his physical expressions of affection. While his opponents have cherry-picked photos to try to paint him as "creepy," those who know him well—and who are in some of those viral images—defend Biden's expressions of affection as those of a close friend and grandfatherly figure. (And in fact, at least one photo of Biden holding and kissing a child's face was of him and his grandson at his son Beau's funeral, taken as a still shot from this video.)

Everyone has their own level of comfort with physical space and everyone's line of what's appropriate when it comes to physical affection are different, but some accusations of inappropriateness are just...sad. And this photo with this caption is one of those cases.


What people see when they look at this photo says a lot more about them than it does about the father and son in it. And the reactions on Twitter made that point crystal clear.

A therapist weighed in, saying "if anyone looks at this photo and sees anything other than father + son love, I'd recommend therapy until the person knows [the difference between] healthy + unhealthy touching."

Some people pointed out that this kind of affection from a father to a son is something the world needs more of, not less.

Others just matter-of-factly said, "Umm, yes." Like, what is he seeing that he things isn't appropriate?

Not that it wouldn't be appropriate if this weren't the case, but knowing the tragedy this father and son have been through adds greater context to this photo. Biden lost his wife and Hunter lost his mother in a car accident when Hunter was little. And Biden lost a son and Hunter lost his only brother in 2015 when Beau Biden died of brain cancer.

This is a father-son affection that includes a bond that only those who have shared severe loss can know.

Many people shared how the photo made them miss their own fathers and wish they could have one more hug or kiss from their dad.




In addition to pointing out the hypocrisy of Trump supporters trying to paint Biden as inappropriate when there is no shortage of photos of Trump in eyebrow-raising photos with his kids—including one with Ivanka and Eric as kids standing next to Jeffrey Epstein—some people shared how a lack of fatherly affection might explain how people see Trump.

Several people suggested that Cardillo sees the photo the way he does because he himself has daddy issues.

And in one response, Cardillo almost appeared to confirm it, only denying a small, unrelated part of a tweet suggesting he'd been mistreated by his own father.

The fact that anyone would look a photo of a loving father embracing his son and kissing him on his cheek and think "Ew," is truly sad.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where men showing affection is viewed negatively by some people, whether due to toxic ideas of masculinity or homophobia or both. We also live in an era of poisonous partisanship that pushes people to view those on the other side of the political spectrum as evil. Combine that with the QAnon conspiracy theorists obsession with pedophilia, and we've ended up with one of the nicest and most decent men in politics being smeared with posts like this.

Clearly, some people need more parental love in their lives.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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Those of us raising teenagers now didn't grow up with social media. Heck, the vast majority of us didn't even grow up with the internet. But we know how ubiquitous social media, with all of its psychological pitfalls, has become in our own lives, so it's not a big stretch to imagine the incredible impact it can have on our kids during their most self-conscious phase.

Sharing our lives on social media often means sharing the highlights. That's not bad in and of itself, but when all people are seeing is everyone else's highlight reels, it's easy to fall into unhealthy comparisons. As parents, we need to remind our teens not to do that—but we also need to remind them that other people will do that, which is why kindness, empathy, and inclusiveness are so important.

Writer and mother of three teen daughters, Whitney Fleming, shared a beautiful post on Facebook explaining what we need to teach our teenagers about empathy in the age of social media, and how we ourselves can serve as an example.

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