An Australian father has refused to back down after sharing a photo of himself kissing his five-year-old daughter on the lips.
Tyrone Matoka, 39, from Cronulla in Sydney’s south, urged others to stop sexualising fathers as he posted the image on social media on Monday.
‘There is no greater love than that of a parent for their child,’ he wrote alongside the photo of his daughter craning her neck to embrace him.
‘Do me a favour – if this photo of me kissing my five-year-old daughter on the lips offends you, please unfriend me.
‘If any sort of loving affection shown between a parent and their child offends you, please unfriend me.
The New Zealand-born father also took the opportunity to speak out against other perceived parenting taboos – including breast feeding in public.
‘If seeing a mother in public breast feeding her baby also offends you, please unfriend me,’ he said.
‘But just before you unfriend me, please take this with you and hide it inside your behind,’ Mr Matoka added alongside a middle-finger emoji.
‘STOP sexualising fathers showing love and affection to their kids.’
He also referred to soccer legend David Beckham at the bottom of his post, who has courted controversy after posting a series of Instagram posts showing him kissing his seven-year-old daughter Harper.
Beckham’s followers told him it was ‘completely wrong’ to kiss his daughter on the lips last month after one of the posts, while another described it as ‘just weird’.
The Sydney father told Daily Mail Australia his post was prompted by seeing criticism of Beckham’s show of affection in the media – but added he also wanted to show he was a positive role model to his child.
Mr Matoka said he was a victim of domestic violence growing up at the hands of his father.
‘I myself had a very rough childhood. My father spent most of it incarcerated so I never had a male father figure,’ he said.
‘I want to be that role model to my children. There were a lot of negative things in my past but once I had my kids I channeled my experiences into giving them the childhood I never had.’
Refusing to back down from the post, he said he hoped posting it could break the negative taboo on parents kissing their children on the lips.
‘The big thing for me is if you want to show affection for your kids and they are OK with that they will go through life knowing the difference between being loved and not being loved,’ the father added.
His post has since gone viral with more than 1,200 reactions, as commenters rushed to support the father’s poetic post.
‘That’s real love. People who have dirty minds or no love will say otherwise – I do the same to my kids. Just keep being the great Dad that you are,’ one person wrote.
‘I’ve seen grown women still kiss their fathers on the lips – it’s only weird if you make it,’ another added.
Mr Matoka runs the Kiwi Daddys online support group, which has more than 100,000 members globally and encourages fathers to speak out about their fears and insecurities.
The father also acted as an ambassador that year for Cabramatta Local Area Command’s White Ribbon Walk – which raises awareness about domestic violence.
Then LAC Chief Inspector Darren Newman told Daily Mail Australia the father conveyed powerfully how he had used his painful past to guide his own parenting.
‘He really assisted us in getting the message out to the community,’ he said.
‘He was talking about the impact on children in relation to his experiences and building his experiences going into adulthood.