Update: Rosie O'Donnell called "sick" for picture of her daughter as a child soldier

06/27/2007 at 02:30 PM ET

Update: Rosie O’Donnell spoke with CBS’s The ShowBuzz, via an email, about the photo of her daughter, 4-year-old Vivienne, that has turned into an online controversy.  Rosie says the picture was taken out of context and was just her daughter playing with her siblings, saying,

Many, many people responded to it in a variety of ways… wild really. It’s fascinating to me that an image of a child dressed up as a soldier evokes so much attention,yet the real soldiers – their deaths – their wounded bodies doesn’t seem to faze most or make news.

The former cohost of The View says her children like to play pretend and frequently pick costumes from the buycostumes website for their dress-up sessions. Rosie adds,

They don’t watch TV — this is how they play. The boys had fatigues and were playing war, the girls wanted some, they run around the house with water guns shooting each other.

Originally posted on June 26th: Some say Rosie O’Donnell has taken her anti-war beliefs too far. A photo displayed on the very top of Rosie’s website and blog containing her youngest daughter, Vivienne, 4, dressed in army fatigues and wrapped in an ammo belt has resulted in many comments by upset readers and fans of the outspoken funny-woman. 

Click on the extended post for the complete original post and the  picture…What do you think? Did Rosie go to far to prove a point? Is this photo disturbing? Brilliant?

Source: TMZ & Rosie & CBS Showbuzz

According to TMZ, one fan called Rosie "sick" for dressing her daughter as a child soldier.  Several commentators say the image is "disturbing" and gross," one reader even begged Rosie to take the photo down. Rosie, who already expected backlash, even labeling the photo "A picture is worth a thousand posts," reportedly responded by telling commentators,

Art can’t hurt u, Art provokes.

She explained Vivi had been playing solider with her older brothers Blake and Parker when she snapped the pic. It is not staged.

Although many readers have shared their outrage at the photo, just as many, if not more, have shared their absolute amazement with the photo and the political statement that Rosie is trying to make.  Some called it "brilliant," "powerful", and some found the picture both disturbing and enlightening.

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Sophie on

Mainly disturbing because the child looks like she hasn’t slept in days and is on drugs. Her eyes are wondering. She actually looks more like a hunter than a soldier. But anyway, yea, I am more concerned why she looks so tired/sick.

LaTonya on

I dont have any problem with it. Its like a child in an army costume for Halloween, and holding a BB Gun. If you got a problem with it. Then go to the ones that sell the stuff.

Chiara on

I fully agree with the point Rosie is making, but i disagree with her using her daughter to make it. She is a four-year old incapable of having her own opinions on such matters, which means she is being used as a prop. “Being used’ is the operative term here. Very self-serving on Rosie’s part. And normally I really respect her and agree with almost everything she says, but just say it — don’t bring your kids into it. A four-year old did not choose to be in the public eye.

it is a powerful image, though, and I might feel differently about it if it were done by an artist and an unknown child. The fact that Rosie is a celebrity makes it different to me. People will view it and talk about it as Rosie’s child and Rosie’s action, not as a piece of art.

Lauren on

There is nothing more disturbing and sickening than parents who use their children as propaganda for their political beliefs, liberal or conservative. Rosie is entitled to her anti-war opinions. What she is not entitled to do is shove her opinions down everyone’s throats and insinuate that our troops are terrorists only to hide behind the lame claim that she really loves them. After her tantrums on “The View,” I’m convinced there is something not right with her. This photo only confirms that.
Vivi if 4; she has no concept of what war is. When she is able to have her own opinion, she will be free to express it herself. She should not be used as a puppet for someone else’s beliefs, as she is here.

ebeth on

i agree. rosie has exploited so many people and issues simply to gain attention for herself; it’s a shame her children have once again been added to the list.

Laura on

Its one thing if it wer emeant like a halloween costume, but I think the ammo belt takes it to a whole new level of disturbing.

Im more to agree with such comments as to why she is looking so sick and tiresome. Ive saw other pics of this girl, and she looked fairly well, but in this pic she looks sick and not well at all.

Which that is what makes me think she wasnt really all that willing to want to do this photo.

Hannah on

I personally feel the picture is very powerful. Having experienced my baby sister being deployed to Iraq for a bit over a year, I can feel what she is saying with this photo. It would be interesting to see how many people that support the war and President Bush, feel this photo is awful and disgusting. They are supporting just exactly what this photo depicts, every single soldier whose parents can look at a grown 20 year old but still recall the tender child they were. That feeling never goes away, even when your kids are grown. All of those soldiers fighting in foreign lands are still their mom and dad’s “little boys and girls”.

Sophie on

Not to mention Hannah, that many Iraqi children have died.

KayLee on

“There is nothing more disturbing and sickening than parents who use their children as propaganda for their political beliefs, liberal or conservative. Rosie is entitled to her anti-war opinions. What she is not entitled to do is shove her opinions down everyone’s throats and insinuate that our troops are terrorists only to hide behind the lame claim that she really loves them. After her tantrums on “The View,” I’m convinced there is something not right with her. This photo only confirms that.
Vivi if 4; she has no concept of what war is. When she is able to have her own opinion, she will be free to express it herself. She should not be used as a puppet for someone else’s beliefs, as she is here.”

Yup. What Lauren said – 100%

yaosa on

This is not directed at any comment so far on this post but rather more a reaction to comments on the tmz site and rather as ‘food for thought’:

What difference does it make whether it’s her child or someone else’s ? There are so many children soldiers throughout the world and we in the ‘safe’ western world are sheltered from this reality.

I admire her statement and good if it disturbs people! It should really bother and trouble people because we support killing in so many different ways and our children get this through our media, toys and games. People tolerate all this violence we get through the media and support it in so many ways. I’m really curious to know what bothers people so much that she used her child ? Her child represents all children of the world. It could be any of our children if we lived in a different part of the world.

I find the image troubling because it reminds me of all the children soldiers in Africa who are forced into conflicts and taught at an early age to kill without conscience with machinery idustrialized countries produce and sell to these nations so they can obliterate each other. To me, that’s the tragedy and if her picture can remind us all of how comfortable we live by comparison to most and if we feel uncomfortable about it then good for her for waking or stirring something in us that knows something is greatly amiss in this world.

Again, this was more a reaction and food for thought. I respect the other opinions and recognize that Rosie does like to provoke and while her methods could be questionable her message is very effective. Peace Out.

Rachel on

I think yaosa put it perfectly.

If that picture makes just ONE person think about how the children in other countries have to spend their lives and of how very very VERY lucky our children are to be so “innocent” that we consider these sort of pictures disturbing… then Kudos to Rosie.

“Disturbing and yet enlighting” would be a good way to describe it. Disturbing to know that there are children around the world forced to dress like that everyday (and not for photo ops and proving points… but because of war and suffering) and enlighting because it makes you realize just how lucky we are as Americans that this picture can still be sick and twisted… and not reality

finnaryn on

I don’t think that Rosie is shoving her opinions down anyone’s throat here. This photo is not up in Times Square. You don’t see it driving home from work or driving your kids around town. YOU went to HER personal website to view a picture that SHE posted of HER child.

Rosie is an artist and as an artist she is making a statement. And because she is doing it in her own personal part of the Internet, if you don’t like it, don’t view it.

Vanessa on

The kid was playing dress up with her brothers. What’s so wrong about that?
Haven’t we call played dress up at some point or another?
This is 2007. If you watch tv you’re bound to hear about the war going on. Kids do what they see.
I’m a nanny to a 3 year old and he plays “Soilders” all the time. I just don’t see the big deal!

for va jay jays only on

okay people…how about its not rosie’s making a statement…but a child dressing up…if you are a regular viewer…vivi loves to dress up…remember her mothers take her to broadway shows…instead of writing on this blog about what a child is wearing…write to the president about stopping the war…WTF

Jessie on

Vivienne is too young to really know what is going on and have an educated opinion on the matter and thus should not be used as a prop for someone else’s message, regardless of who they are.

Beth on

If you read the comments on Rosie’s blog, you’ll find that Vivi was playing soldier with the boys and Rosie got a good picture.

Not real bullets, not a staged thing — just a kid playing with other kids.

Melea on

I think it’s a very artistic photo but I find any child playing war/guns/hunting disturbing. Why would you teach your child it’s okay to kill?

Rachel on

I don’t think that the picture necessarily has to be trying to “make a point” or that Rosie has to necessarily be trying to send a message for people to find the image disturbing and sickening.

I don’t find the image disturbing because I think Rosie’s trying to make a point… I find it, and any other image of a child adorned in military garb a bit disturbing because as an adult I’m aware of how innocent this child is and yet somewhere else, in some other part of the world a mother and father are seeing their child, probably close in age, dressed in similar garb donning a gun and it’s real. And their wars are real and the death that they face each day is real. And that child knows no innocence.

It’s hard to look at a photo like that and see a cute innocent child playing with her brothers when you’ve seen so many others that were all too real.

And considering Rosie labeled the photo as “A photo is worth a thousand blogs” and then called the photo “Art” and said that “art provokes”… that would kind of seem that she meant it as more than just a snap shot of her daughter. She could have chosen any other photo… but she chose that one. It’s Rosie O’donnell after all, as much as I adore her and agree with her for the most part I must admit she seems to like to stir this type of thing.

Lauren H. on

Umm, I never played dress up with ammo strapped around my neck. Why is she playing with that? Where the heck did she get that? It’s ridiculous.

It is a very good picture though. Very well done and does provoke your thoughts but the ammo is insane! That’s like giving your kids fake grenades! Or a toy glock! WTF?

MommyB on

I heartily agree that this picture is both disturbing and thought~provoking!! OK…the child is playing dress~up…but is it necessary to have a realistic ammo belt and is it necessary to make your child a political statement??? My kids play dress up all the time and they don’t have any idea about what is going on in Iraq!! That should be left to the adults!!

raquel on

Weord picture, but rosie seems weird so no surprise IMO.

Lys on

I went through Rosie’s photostream, and I actually think that Vivi is one of the cutest little girls I’ve ever seen and I think that CBB should post more pics of Rosie and her family!

I don’t have much to say about the pic, because I don’t feel it’s a big deal. And this coming from a conservative:-)

Jemma on

I think people are over-reacting and seeing this as a calculated thing. I think Rose just posted up a photo of her daughter like this as when she looked at it after taking it it made her think and she wants to share that.

My children do things that mke me think in that way every day. Yesterday I sat watching television with my 2 year old and there were two cartoon rabbits on the screen. One of the rabbits had a pink bow in it’s hair nd was holding a handbag. I asked my daughter which rabbit she thought was a girl and she pointed to tht one straight away! So at only 2 she has already been indoctrinated into gender stereotypes. That made me think and I’ve shared the story with a few friends.

Naughty Cal on

Reading some of these comments, it’s amazing that a cigar can never just be a cigar. Kids have played war for ages, that doesn’t mean they or their parents condone or support it in real life. An article by comic book author Gerard Jones has said that adults can be horrified at the literal meaning of violent play, but for the kids, it has its own symbolic meaning that helps them navigate their emotions and develop a sense of power. Kids can often deal with fear and rage this way, so don’t be so quick to suppress this.

I’m not sure exactly what Rosie is saying here, it seems to be more about sending our children off to die for Bush’s oil war. She should turn it around and show how terrorist groups like Hamas are teaching their kids to become suicide bombers and indoctrinating them to kill Americans and Jews. I’ve had enough of Rosie’s moral relativity on this issue.

Hea on

Yaosa said it.

This is a little girl playing soldier for fun. In many countries around the world, this is not a game for children. It’s life. This picture and this post made me sit down and take a minute, reflect on how many children we have around this world and how many of them DIE EVERY DAY BECAUSE OF WAR! War is not OK. It’s never OK. I weep for all the fallen children around this world today. It’s our job as adults to care for them, not kill them.

reader on

if you believe that rosie staged the photo or posted it to make a specific political point or to shover her opinions down people’s throats or to exploit her child for her personal gain or political purposes, then you probably don’t actually read rosie’s blog or see the pictures, art, and videos that she regularly posts. If you believe what you are reading about the photos then you are relying on someone’s biased critique of something they are using for their own purposes. Actually, Rosie’s blog is being exploited by TMZ, Fox,etc to improve ratings, advertising dollars. you’ve been had.

if you are so upset by one child playing soldier, where is your outrage for all the children dying in Iraq on a daily basis?

eElissa on

I think it’s funny that people are put off by a young girl child playing solider. If she were dressed in a princess dress that would be acceptable to most even though it propagates being subserviante to men. If this were a boy would the outrage be so intense? I think not, people think about the sterotypes you are perpertuating with your opinion.

Lilybett on

I don’t think it was staged. Kids play wars and soldiers without knowing anything about it all the time. There’s nothing wrong with that.

The fact that it makes a poignant point and has been used as such isn’t wrong either. That’s Rosie’s perrogative as a parent, much as other mothers may decide to let their kids be models who sell clothes or actors in a variety of shows and movies with lots of different messages.

What I do find it mildly disturbing that her kids have such a realistic ammo belt in their toybox but my brothers have a huge arsenal of “weapons”, some plastic gun replicas, some sticks, some homemade swords, wizards wands, etc. I think it’s actually a good example of equal opportunity play. Would it have been such an outcry if the picture had been of her son?

Autumn on

Something about her reminds me of Tatum O’Neil from Paper Moon, or a very young Jodie Foster, playing a soldier.

What a beautiful little girl, but what a haunting photo…

Chloe on

I was all set to post my very own opinion on this- but, alas I can not say it any better than LAUREN did- Well put, Lauren… I agree with you 100%!

Sara on

I agree with Chiara. That said, Vivi is a beautiful kid!

Robin M. on

It’s not that big a deal. It’s just a costume. What is irritating, though, is it’s just another instance of Rosie trying to stir things up and get attention.

Samantha on

What is Rosie thinking, using her child to make a point? What has happened to her morals and ethics? I used to love her and watched her show years ago. She has gotten to be an angry, bitter, and mean person. She needs help.

Sarah on

I think all the concern about this is just flat out ridiculous. I grew up with two older brothers, like Vivi, I undestand games like this. It’s childhood. When I grew up there were stages, and when you were as young as Vivi is you played outside all day and you pretended to be everything under the sun. Do you know what we would have given to be in a wealthy family and to have props and costumes like that? That would have been awesome. I think the real problem, even for people that have children, is they’re not used to seeing kids have to ability to go all out when they play pretend. And tell the truth how many of your school age children still play pretend? Technology is ruining our world and making us forget the lives of children. If a child isn’t playing video games or watching spongebob we don’t know what to do with it.

All I’m saying is when I was a kid I was a:
Baseball player
vampire hunter
any animal you can imagine
a harry potter character
a knight
and yes a soldier, belly crawling through my backyard with a plastic Rambo gun.

She was playing with her big brothers her mom took a picture of her in their driveway, and like any proud mom posted the pictures on her site. The most natural thing in the world and we feel the need to yell at her. If it was anyone else, would you be just as mad? If it was your sister or your bestfriend and they emailed you a picture of your niece or your goddaughter and it was a picture just like that, would you get upset?Would you say the things to them that you are saying about Rosie?

Kaywilz on

It seems that instead of being outraged at how other children live in this world and trying to do something about it, people are just feeling “lucky” that their kids don’t have to go through that. No, you’re not lucky, your country has worked very hard to make sure that they contribute to conflicts overseas (exploitation) in order to insulate their own population. If anything, this picture should drive home the fact that world powers don’t stay on top forever – this could be you. And if you don’t try to better other parts of the world through small changes – environmental awareness, destructive consumerism awareness, foreign political awareness, etc. – then you’re missing the point! We can all do our part, instead of just feeling lucky! Luck can slip away much faster than a solution.

amy on

I guess I find it disturbing that she has full soldier costumes at her house including ammo for her kids to play with. Like Rosie, I am very much against the war in Iraq. However, I also am against any type of “gun play” in my house and would never have those sorts of things for my kids. That said, I think she has the right to post the picture on her personal blog if she chooses to. I do question though if it was completely unstaged. Maybe she didn’t force the situation but I wonder if she enhanced it to get the most dramatic picture.

Cam on

Okay, Rosie claims she’s anti-war, anti-gun…then why do her children even have play guns and military costumes? Somebody had to purchase those items for them! It seems a bit hypocritical to say you’re anti-war, then turn around and buy your children play guns, ammo and even uniforms! Now she posts a picture of her adorable child playing war? PUHLEEZ!
I don’t for one minute believe that this picture was just posted as another family photo. “A photo is worth a thousand blogs” Give me a break. She had an agenda when she posted it. At least admit it Rosie!

Thomas on

– Dressing up your baby as a Columbian terrorist!? I looks like “anti-war” Rosie could be advocating violent overthrow of the American government using helpless, brain-washed children…

hmm on

Rosie O’Donnell has had a very anti-gun stance in the past. On her self-titled talk show, she confronted Tom Selleck(?) about his support of the NRA. She also gave her support to the Million Mom March, in support of stricter gun laws.

With that in mind, I think it’s unlikely that O’Donnell’s children just happened to be playing soldier with realistic weaponry and fatigues. Many people with similar convictions restrict such items from their children, as they don’t want them to become accustomed to “guns as toys.”

O’Donnell titled the image in a way that made it clear she expected a reaction. It’s not like a photo of a child at play was taken out of context. Whatever one’s reaction on the picture, it was clearly intended to provoke.

Amanda on

I agree Laura, I think the picture is SICK! Mainly because I think Rosie is sick, I think she is losing all common sense and decency. I don’t care who you are, you do not use children to make a political message, period. And I think the line about it not being staged is bull. Who puts ammo on their 4 year old or even lets their 4 year old play with ammo? I don’t care if it’s fake. This is so something I would expect her to do, absolutely sickening.

Mandy on

The photo itself doesn’t disturb me- neither does the fact that the little girl is dressing up as a soldier. What DOES bother me however is the fact that Rosie is so anti-war and anti-gun yet she allows her children to play “war” or play with guns/ammo real or otherwise. Its hypocritical in my opinion. Kinda like going on the million mom march to DC then wanting your bodyguard to get a license to carry a weapon. She’s a hypocrite and nothing more.

keppa on

I feel very similiar to many of the people here…

This is a little girl who was playing with her brothers. And while I dont agree with letting your kids play “pretend violence,” that’s not really the problem here. Vivi obviously couldn’t understand the gravity of the picture, or the gravity of the war itself (at least I hope so doesn’t at this age).

And yes, Rosie did choose this picture for a reason. A really good reason I believe. She wants people to THINK. THINK about this war and realize that some children this age in other countries really do fight. THINK about the gravity of the war. If you’re really pro-war then don’t take it as a slant against you….just something to make you think about it.

I personally have no problem with it, period.

karmellah on

So girls cant play soilder? Heaven forbid that! I played soilder with all the same stuff vivi had. I had a real ammo belt and im not some physco.

Diana on

She can say that it wasn’t staged and she was just playing dress up, but someone had to give it to her. I totally think Rosie gave her that outfit on purpose for political purposes, and whether the little girl knew that or not I think that is wrong. Why do celebrities feel the need to broadcast their political opinions? There opinions are no important than any of ours.

sigh on

I don’t see a problem with the picture. I think people are forgetting that kids do not have the same meanings/frame of reference for violence that adults do. (Especially Rosie’s kids, who do not watch TV or get on the internet.) To them, it’s just playing dress up and I think parents do themselves and their kids a disservice to discourage or ignore it.

And Rosie is absolutely right: Art cannot hurt you. The outrage over this harmless picture is completely misplaced.

Deborah on

As a frequent viewer to Rosies site she posts what she wants, pics of her kids playing and posed photos as well. I don’t see anything wrong with it.. if you read some of the posts on her site there is one that says it all…

Christine writes:

As you know, Vivi’s pic is everywhere now, TMZ, Fox, Perez, etc. The haters are having a field day. ‘’They’’ take YOUR material on YOUR blog…and the haters call you a media *****…wtf…

Rosies comment…

there it is

my daughter in a soldier costume
national news
3500 dead soldiers for real
they dont comment


I have to agree.. the USA does crap all for their dead soldiers. Your news coverages is minimal at best. Here in Canada we make it a priority on the news. We also stand on bridges when they are repatriated and people line the main highway overpasses in Ontario with Canadian flags and make the rest of Canada see how whether we support the mission or not.. we let the families know we support them.

I think she was simply taking a photo but I am glad it is getting so much hoopla!! Maybe now America will talk about the real issue. THE TROOPS and this SENSELESS WAR!

Kerri on

You know what…this is reality…especially for children who are living in Iraq and other countries. In the U.S., at least kids are just “playing” soldier and not actually having to use bullets. It is sad, but true…plus, look at all of the “Join the army” “Do your civil duty” propaganda…I am a 2nd grade teacher and I already have children in my class who want to join the army, learn to use guns and defend their country. They see their fathers, uncles, brothers and others going overseas and this is how they make sense of it. Disturbing? Well, maybe we should be more disturbed that we are funding this war. Not about the innocent kids who are trying to make sense of it.

Dee on

Bravo Reader, excellent points. I am amazed at the venom that is spewed at Rosie on her own site by people that don’t like her but log on to see what she has posted. This isn’t the first time her children’s pictures have been critiqued, Chelsea and Vivi both have/had lip scars and cynics accused Rosie of posing them provocatively with pursed lips.

It is her site and her family.. the cable shows,bloggers and entertainment business should be ashamed for using her children for their own ratings. It is easier though to use her than come up with something that is really disturbing.

N on

Kids are used as political mouthpieces for their parents ALL THE TIME. Children are TAUGHT, by their PARENTS, what right and wrong is, and especially these days, a religious upbringing is so often a political one. Even being raised areligiously though, children parrot what their parents think.

People who think it is even possible to insulate a child from your own opinions don’t seem to realize how automagically kids seem to pick up exactly what you DON’T want them to.

Not to mention, it infuriates me that people rag on Rosie for THIS, yet things like Jesus Camp, and people bringing babies to anti-choice rallies, and showing gruesome literature to children — THAT’S all right. But Rosie makes a point about children, innocents, and war, and all of a sudden, how dare she use her child for that purpose.

Children are used all the time. Children are shaped by other people all the time. The only people who complain are the people who disagree with the ideals Rosie is raising her child with. And how Rosie raises her child is no one’s business unless she’s abusing Vivi. Which she very obviously isn’t. What, no one’s ever caught you in a random moment looking a bit out of it? But in this photo Vivi’s seeming out-of-it-ness is what makes the photo.

It is a beautiful photo. Rosie obviously loves her daughter.

Carrie Jo on

I personally think that if it was a staged photo, it would seem a little weird and hardcore, but hardly abusive. Considering it’s not a staged photo, and that it was simply taken while the kid was playing with her big brothers, it makes a pretty powerful statement to me. I totally get what Rosie was trying to say with this photo. I don’t like everything about Rosie – far from it. But I think people are just looking for stuff to hate her for.

J.M. on

People who don’t like it shouldn’t view it. It’s her daughter she can do as she wishes. She stands up for what she believes in. You can say that she’s a 4 yr old child and can’t make her own decisions or has any idea of what’s going on but I am sure Rosie teachers her children about what’s going on in the world just like many parents should. I’m not agreeing that it should be shoved down a child’s throat but of course Rosie is going to teach her children all the things she personally believes in.

It’s just like religion. Most peoples religious beliefs are based on how they were taught by their parents. So yes, Vivi and the other kids are probably being taught about war, guns, terrorist etc. It’s called reality.

That being said I am in agreement that for someone who is anti war and anti gun would allow her children to play with these things however maybe she’s choosing to allow her kids to explore the idea of what this is all about. I don’t know Rosie personally and although I agree many times with her politcal stance I think that she’s only doing what she has a right to do as an american citizen and that’s stand up for her rights and her beliefs. Many people don’t have the opportunity to voice how they feel about their views on war. Rosie is just doing her part on her OWN blog. I think she was getting to hype on the View and maybe realized that by screaming and yelling her points were not being expressed how she wanted them to come out. Instead people were focusing on the cat fights between her and Elisabeth rather then the content of what was being told.

Anyways, this is Rosie’s blog with her pics and she’s FREE to do as she pleases. If you don’t like her or what she has to say or the pics she post, simply stay off her site!

cindy on

I don’t remember having such realistic props when we played like this as little ones. Someone had to provide those for the children. If you really are against things of this nature, why provide that as toys? I believe I spoke more accuratley in the first sentence…this is a picture taken with PROPS, not toys. Do you think Rosie would allow her children to play war? I wonder.

andrea on

agreed 100% with N.

sigh on

Thanks for the update. For those that still have a problem with the photo, I would be interested to know if you have seen Jesus Camp and the PBS documentary Raising Cain? Both are available through Netflix and are relevant to this issue.

The more I think about Rosie’s picture, the more I realize how brilliant it is.

Cynthia on

Its a picture. Everyday she posts a new picture. Go ahead and glance at all of them, they are always in costumes. People are so ignorant and invasive.

m on

i agree,the poor wee girl always looks so very,very tired and unwell..:(

and let me get this straight,rosie is antiwar,yet allows her children to play games of war,dressed that way..ooookayyyy..

Wendy on

She is against war, but let’s her children play war? That doesn’t make sense to me.

Lauren on

“let me get this straight,rosie is antiwar,yet allows her children to play games of war,dressed that way..”

Yes m, that’s exactly right. Rosie told all parents to take their guns out of their houses after Columbine, publicly accosted Tom Selleck on-air for being a member of the NRA, and regularly called for gun control laws, yet she allows her children to strap fake ammo on themselves, “play war,” and pretend to kill one another with toy guns. Her bodyguard also carried guns to protect her kids, yet apparently other peoples’ children don’t deserve to be protected by having a gun in their home. She’s great about practicing what she preaches, isn’t she?

This “explanation” of hers, which was undoubtedly put out there to cover her behind, has only made her look worse. Everyone knows exactly why she posted that photo; no explanation is necessary. And now she has proven herself to be a complete hypocrite by allowing her kids to model behavior that she so fiercly preaches against. Absolutely pathetic.

And for people who say children are used as “political mouthpieces” for their parents-speak for yourselves. My parents, specifically my father, and I are opposite ends of the political spectrum, in large part because my parents respect who I am so much that they would rather allow me to form my own unbiased opinions than force me into thinking that their opinions are automatically right. Many parents force their children to think like them, and they are all doing their kids a huge disservice. As I said in my first post, this swings both ways. sigh, I was specifically thinking about the movie Jesus Camp as an example of using children to promote conservative propaganda. Both the adults in that film and Rosie are to be faulted for failing to allow impressionable kids to speak for themselves. That is never right.

One final thought: I wonder why Rosie chose to post a photo of Vivi in soldier attire. Why not post a photo of 11-year-old Parker, or 9-year-old Chelsea? I think it’s because Vivi is the youngest, most impressionable, and easiest to manipulate. So not only did she use her kids to further her political agenda, she chose the “weakest link” to do so.

Elizabeth on

If you see alot of the pics that she has, you can tell the majority of the children’s were done “while at play” or while the children were just looking. I don’t think there is anything wrong. As she stated they were all playing, the girls wanted to play the same thing so they let them dress up too. Would you be saying that she was using her son Parker to make a point for gays if she had a picture of him with a tutu on? And he said he wanted to play what the girls were? Make sure you know the whole story before forming an opinion. It would make it a much better place if we all did.

Peg on

I agree with Yaosa but it does bother me to see that precious child in war gear….which is probably what Rosie wants the readers to feel….as a symbol of the suffering children perhaps?

Annoyomus on

Personally, I don’t think its strange that Rosie is anti-war but lets her kids play war. I am anti-war myself, but if I had kids and they wanted to play war, I would let them, as long as they used water guns like Rosie’s kids (as opossed to other, more realistic toy guns). I would also spend plenty of time explaining to them that in real life, guns hurt and kill people, and war is a bad thing.
Basically, it sounds to me like Rosie is just letting her kids be kids. Since, as she said, they don’t want TV (probably because they aren’t allowed to), they need to have SOMETHING to do! 🙂
As for Vivienne: She does look a bit tired, but I don’t think she looks unwell. It looks to me like this is maybe just a bad photo of her. Let’s face it, whether we want to admit it or not, we ALL have photos of ourselves looking less than flattering.

Naughty Cal on

I don’t think it’s hypocritical to be against war/violence in real life, then let your kids play games of this nature. Henry Jenkins, a media studies professor at MIT, spoke on this (in the context of video games, but definitely applicable to pretend war, etc.):

“Classic studies of play behavior among primates suggest that apes make basic distinctions between play fighting and actual combat. In some circumstances, they seem to take pleasure wrestling and tousling with each other. In others, they might rip each other apart in mortal combat. Game designer and play theorist Eric Zimmerman describes the ways we understand play as distinctive from reality as entering the “magic circle.” The same action — say, sweeping a floor — may take on different meanings in play (as in playing house) than in reality (housework). Play allows kids to express feelings and impulses that have to be carefully held in check in their real-world interactions. Media reformers argue that playing violent video games can cause a lack of empathy for real-world victims. Yet, a child who responds to a video game the same way he or she responds to a real-world tragedy could be showing symptoms of being severely emotionally disturbed. Here’s where the media effects research, which often uses punching rubber dolls as a marker of real-world aggression, becomes problematic. The kid who is punching a toy designed for this purpose is still within the “magic circle” of play and understands her actions on those terms. Such research shows us only that violent play leads to more violent play.”

When I have kids, I will let them know that war is a terrible ordeal that causes suffering for all involved (though sometimes necessary to defend the lives and freedoms we hold so important), but if their pretend games include it, I’ll let them have this sense of fantasy, and I will make sure they understand what it is really about.

Melea on

eElissa, I would be just concerned if this was a photo of a boy. I just flat out don’t agree with children pretending to kill someone/something else.

N on

Thanks andrea! It was my first comment on this site. 🙂


A four year child is just a baby! There’s letting your child think and speak and decide for themselves, and then there’s a child’s endless desire to please and sponge-like capacity for absorbing everything around them, including the reactions and opinions of the results around them. A four year old is not going to form their “own opinion” about the war or the ethics of war and to think they can even honestly so is simply naive.

You as a grown woman having different political opinions than your father has absolutely no relation to Rosie taking a poignant and thought-enducing photo of her daughter at play. Rosie isn’t forcing anything on Vivi- she simply took a picture!! Why has this picture forced you and so many people on the defensive? What are you and others defending???

Mother is God in the eyes of a child, and children who think so aren’t forced to, they’re simply raised by attentive people who love them, and return that love and trust in spades. “Easiest to manipulate”… the girl decided she wanted to play, for goodness’ sake- Rosie simply happened to be there in the camera!

PinkRoses on

I’ve never had anything against Rosie, and I know she is not shy about trying to prove her point or voice her opinion. But, this photo is disturbing. She’s crossed the line, IMHO. There is something very “haunting” about that picture of Vivi and I would think Rosie would be one of the last people on earth to use her child(ren) for her agendas. Guess I was wrong.

sarah on

To those who say that a photo of a little girl playing with her siblings was taken out of context, why did Rosie title the photo “A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Posts” when she published it on her blog? Clearly, she did expect a reaction.

Naughty Cal, I agree with many of your points about children and violent play. It’s very normal for kids to act out these kind of scenarios, no matter what they are being raised to believe about weapons and violence. I know many kids who aren’t allowed toy guns and fashion their out of sticks, pieces of other toys, or even their lunchtime sandwiches. However, while kids will be kids, it does seem hypocritical for a virulently anti-gun, anti-violence parent to supply her kids with realistic models of weapons and miniature military fatigues.

I think the photo makes an interesting statement, but question whether Rosie’s children just happen to have these kinds of toys. I would have more respect for her if she (a)explained why, with her stance on violence, she lets her children play with such items, or (b) admits that it was staged.

sigh on

That picture is worth a thousand of ROSIE’S posts, sarah. As in, Rosie could write a thousand posts about war in general and children devastated by war and children acting out “war” (a game to them) and how society treats war… but all of them can be summed up with this one picture of Vivi. If you bothered to even think about artistic value of the picture, you too, would have come up with many different interpretations and therefore, reasons why it is poignant.

Some of you really should see Raising Cain – specifically the part discussing kids playing/thinking about “war”.

Cat Lady on

I understand her attempted message but irregardless of my views on her, the war, etc. I just don’t understand how she can say ‘the kids dress up all the time and play war’. If you’re against war why would you buy them costumes to play at war?

Guns and weapons make me extremely uncomfortable. Even toy ones and therefore my 4 year old doesn’t have any. He loves dressing up but there are never weapons or ammo involved.

tsull on

Well if you really look at the pic. Rosie makes her daughter look like she is fighting Jihad in the west bank, or she is ready to go blow herself up. I a child came to my house dressed up like that on halloween I would be disturbed.

Gabbie13 on

It is not the picture that distrubs me….I do not have a problem with children playing realistic roles. And for many of our children a soldier is a realistic role if thier mommy, daddy, uncle, aunt, big brother or sister is a soldier.

However, what I do have a problem with is the fact that Rosie is the first to comment and jump down other’s throughts if they promote the war, guns, NRA, etc. Yet she can turn around and post her child with ammo. If it was a picture of Elizabeth Hasselbacks daughter with ammo around her neck I am sure Rosie would have something negative to say!

Just My Opion

Melissa on

Melea unfortunately I think your POV is probably the minority, most people don’t give a second thought to boys playing with toy guns, missles, etc. I truly think the reaction to this photo is a combination of different things one being that vivi is a girl. I think the fact that her mom happens to be Rosie is another. If this was a photo in some random blog and you replaced the picture of a girl with that of a boy there would be little outrage. Just my POV.

Erica on

I’m with some of the others here. The problem with this photo is that Rosie claims to be anti war and anti guns. Yet she allows her children to play soldier with realistic weapons. What a hypocrite. I have no problem at all with kids playing soldier. I’m a former US army soldier myself. I also have a four year old step daughter but I chose not to exploit my child to make a statement.

regina on


regina on

she is just a obnoxious stupid human being

regina on

who was it that aruged with tom sellek over his rights as a gun owner on her show rosie and rosie blasted him she didn’t believe guns had any good coming out of them and how dare him own one. and then have her daughter have the whole soldier outfit on guns and fake ammo yes kids play dress up but to take pictures she knows that millions of people see is disgusting to make a point to whoever at that moment she wanted to do it to why dosen’t she take a picture of herself and post it she is using her kids as showthings and it makes me sick to people who she upsets that are deranged she is putting those kids at risk and as a parent of a child not in the public eye keeping your children safe and not putting them out there in situations they did not ask for is wrong playing dress up is no crime but endagiring your kids in the world the way it is today is .