This is a bit unnerving … A Christmas family photo taken by Louisiana photographer Hannah Hawkes has made quite a splash on the inter webs — not for its artistic value or impeccable editing — but because it’s straight up offensive!
The photo captures a family of five with tape across the mother and two daughters’ mouths and their hands bound with a string of Christmas lights while the young son gives the “thumbs up” symbol and the father holds up a chalk board that reads, “Peace on earth.”
Some may find the photo to be a harmless joke, in fact, many said just that when Hawkes posted it to her Facebook fan page, but others were not so amused.
Several people responded angrily, accusing the photographer and the family of promoting patriarchy, misogyny, female oppression and even child abuse.
The controversial pose may just be an inside joke in their family that the girls are too chatty and the guys are always outnumbered or some humor specific to their own household, but without any context the photo does send a degrading message.
Gender equality and domestic abuse are both very serious hot-button topics at the moment, with women's rights being jeopardized in the U.S. and abroad.
The photo can be perceived as a slap in the face to all those who fight daily to make sure women aren't being treated like second-class citizens.
Nonetheless, after a few days of receiving lots of hate and backlash for taking the photo, Hawkes spoke out on Facebook to defend her art and the family.
It would be foolish to think that as someone who provides a service to others, you can please everyone ... but it's very likely that Hawkes knew exactly the kind of attention and exposure her photo would get when she posted it.
Although the pose may not have initially been her idea, she certainly used it to her advantage.
Whether you approve of the pose or not, you now have heard of "Hannah Hawkes Photography" if that's not strategic branding, what is?
Banner Photo Credit: Facebook/Hannah Hawkes Photography