A controversial magazine cover hit the stands in Thailand this week that features popular Thai actor James (Jirayu Tangsrisuk) and child prodigy Nong Wanmai. I know I have a Western mind and some Thais will complain to me that this isn’t my culture, but to my eye, this is highly inappropriate. You just don’t do that kind of thing. Certainly when it is not even your own child. And anyway, is this seriously accepted in Thai culture? I always thought that Thai people were big on the so-called “sniff kiss”. But this is a kiss on the lips to a young girl.
Judging by this Facebook page, many Thais thought this picture was “really cute”. Others said that they wished it was them kissing James. However, I am glad to see that there were just as many Thais that were shocked like me. Now, I’m not putting the blame straight on the shoulders of James. I am sure there were no bad intentions. Indeed, if you watch this short Instagram video, you will hear people egging her on to kiss James. No, I put the blame solely on the photo editor who set this situation up and the headline writer who wrote something that was inappropriate to the situation and age of the child.
What do you think? Innocent or something more sinister?