Jessica Simpson caught some unexpected backlash on Monday, when she appeared on Katie Couric's new show with a photo of her four-month-old daughter, Maxwell Drew Johnson, wearing a bikini.
The new mom and Weight Watcher's spokeswoman appeared on "Katie" to discuss her recent pregnancy and weight struggles; however, she is now facing criticism from Internet users and a British child welfare charity after sharing the photo of her daughter wearing a homemade crochet bikini over a diaper, reported the Huffington Post.
"Motherhood is a dream," Simpson told Couric on the show. "It really is absolutely amazing. [Maxwell] had her first flight yesterday. Did not sleep! She didn't cry. She just wanted to babble."
As the photograph of Maxwell was shown on the TV show, Simpson exclaimed, "She's posing!" -- at which the audience "awed" and Simpson added, "It's her very first time to put on a bikini."
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Couric defended her choice to have Simpson as her first guest on the show. "We wanted to use [Monday's show] as an opportunity to help people. We saw that Jessica hadn't done any [interviews] and the struggle with her weight was something that I think a lot of women can relate to."
"Jessica was refreshing, honest and charming," added Couric.
But not everyone agreed about showing the baby in a bikini.
"It is very disturbing to see a young baby presented to the world wearing a bikini," said Claude Knights, director of Kidscape, a UK charity organization devoted to preventing children from bullying and sexual abuse, to US Weekly. "Celebrity choices carry great influence, as can be seen by the manner in which their accessories and manners are copied widely."
Tanith Carey, a writer for Britain's Daily Mail, said Simpson showed poor judgment. In an article titled -- "What kind of mother parades her baby on TV in a string bikini?" -- Carey wrote that she initially felt sympathy for Simpson when she watched the episode, but calls the photo "creepy" and "disturbingly adult."
"If she was just kicking her limbs in her nappy, it would be a sweet, innocent image that would have us all cooing. But bras and bikinis were invented to cover and support a woman's breasts. Putting them on a baby is plain wrong," wrote Carey.
"We wouldn't humiliate our wheelchair-bound relatives by dressing them in a silly hat, for example. So why do we feel it is all right to humiliate our babies in this way?" she asked, concluding, "The time has come to redraw the boundaries around our offspring's childhoods before it is too late."
Knights echoed Carey's position. "It is hoped that parents will understand that 'baby bikinis' are totally inappropriate and that they contribute to the sexualization and commercialization of childhood. We should not be compromising the sanctity of our children's early years," he said.
Neither Simpson nor Couric has commented on the remarks about showing the baby in a bikini.