Just two months ago, Jamie Lynn Spears showed the first photos of her infant daughter, Ivey Joan Watson.
Now, her husband is showing off pics of her eldest daughter, Maddie Aldridge, and the photo is proving to be controversial among fans.
Why? Because Maddie is wielding a shotgun and poised to go hunting at only 10 years old.
Jamie Lynn Spears’ husband, Jamie Watson, shared a photo of the couple’s young daughter, Maddie Aldridge.
Maddie is 10 years old, and famously miraculously recovered from drowning just a year and a half ago.
In the photo, Maddie is standing outdoors and sporting a shotgun with some protective gear over her ears.
“Getting her ready for dove season,” Jamie captioned the photo.
Take a look:
Followers who found the image alarming were quick to blast both Jamies — Jamie Lynn Spears and Jamie Watson — for taking her hunting.
“Jesus no wonder America it’s drowning faster than the titanic,” wrote one commenter in despair.
“Put down the gun, pick up a pair of binoculars, & take a hike together,” suggested one follower. “For me, teaching kids to kill when there is absolutely no need seems very, very wrong.”
“Stupid, stupid,” another wrote succinctly.
Another took aim at a defense of the practice, writing: “Honor the outdoors by killing innocent animals? Disgusting [point of view].”
“A 10 year old with a shotgun,” one commenter lamented. “If that’s not redneck I don’t know what is.”
Maddie’s aunt Britney may be the absolute queen of pop, but she and her sister are from Louisiana. They’ve been called some unflattering things.
“You´re so irresponsible,” another fan wrote. “Guns are not a toy.”
“it’s ironic they post about their amazing dog (who is totally dependent on them) all the time,” someone wrote. “When they then go and kill animals that are living their own lives minding their own business.”
This person seems to be okay with hunting when adults are doing it, but hates the idea of kids wielding deadly weapons, writing: “Teaching kids to kill things is weird leave that till they’re older, man.”
“Bad parents,” another simply wrote.
As with any controversy, there were also defenders.
“Welcome to the South people. If you dont like it, head out!” writes one defender, who does not speak for all Southerners.
“That little girl has more talent and could completely take care of herself and she just turned 10,” that commenter continues.
Finally, that commenter laments: “Ugh I cannot stand judgement from people who know nothing about what they are looking at! Get it Maddie!”
“I have followed you and @jamielynnspears for years and I so respect your admirable life that you live,” another writes.
They continue: “Seeing celebrities allow their children to live normal lives that kids should live and also honor the love of outdoors regardless of disapproval from some people is amazing and gives me hope in future kids!”
That commenter may be missing the point — the people who take issue with this don’t consider gun-toting animal-killing as part of children’s normal lives.
“I pray she stays like that all of her life,” the commenter concludes. “And passes it on to her kids!”
“You are a wonderful father to Maddie,” another defender writes to Jamie Watson. “Teaching her right.”
This person laments that so many children enjoy engaging storytelling and interacting with their peers using electronics instead of hunting.
“So many kids are hung up on video games and their IPads they never see the outdoors,” the defender continues. “So kudos to you!”
It’s interesting, since a (widely debunked) criticism of video games is that they somehow turn children violent, to see someone praising hunting, which involves actual, real-world violence, as an alternative.
Hunting is always going to be controversial — but it’s unclear if Jamie Watson was trying to stir up controversy or was just proud of Maddie’s outdoorsy, athletic spirit.