In my most depraved nightmares I couldn’t make this stuff up.
Give it a few minutes. Do some other activity … preferably away from the computer screen. Let the shock subside.
Then, consider this photo.
It’s alarming on so many levels. Not the least of which was the time and forethought required to actually stitch these ensembles together. When sewing the son’s mock penis, neither parent heard the voice saying “Not a Good Idea”. I’m going to roll with gender stereotypes here and say it had to have been the mother who made the suits. (You just can’t outsource a fitted pre-adolescent nudie suit without raising flags.)
Even creepier is my hunch that the costumes received more than one use. I have a hard time believing they were hand-crafted for the benefit of one photograph. They’re the cult equivalent of training wheels.
I mean, apart from the shock value, what’s really going on here? Let’s grant, for the moment, that said folks aren’t incestuous monsters with a plushy fetish. I’m getting a sort of hippie/naturist vibe from the parents. It looks like mom & pop had some progressivist notion about destigmatizing nudity. But their efforts to “enlighten” result in this half-measure that’s arguably worse than nudity itself.
The crime here is the failure to recognize the protective value of taboo. Taboo is a social prohibition against primal transgressions like incest and pedophilia. We have taboos against nakedness, and for good reason. Think you’re going to reinvent the wheel and teach your kids how to trancend it all? Good luck with that.
Or, to put it bluntly: it’s not okay to touch your daddy’s genitals.