Julianne Hough of “Dancing With The Stars” created quite a controversy over a photo she posted on Instagram. A lot of people think it is inappropriate. I’m not one of them. The photo was of her brother, Derek Hough. His back is to the camera as he stands beside his grandfather’s open casket funeral. It was draped in an American flag. I see nothing wrong with the photo – her brother is paying his respects and showing his love and honor to his grandfather. It’s a moving gesture that should be captured this way. This was taken in 2016.
A lot of people evidently agree with me. The photo received over 67,000 likes. However, most of the comments were negative. They criticized Julianne for using what they termed as “poor judgement” in posting a picture they considered to be morbid. It was no such thing. You don’t see the deceased. Only the respect he is given.
“Why would you post such a personal family moment on social media,” Instagram user geriferrara wrote. “Poor choice.”
“What’s wrong with you @juleshough This is morbid. Why you ever think this is proper?” another user asked.
“Why do we have to post everything on social media?? When I’m at a funeral of someone I love I’m too overcome with Grief to do something like this just so others can see it??” user cynthiaboyd92 added.
Julianne’s grandfather was Idaho radio host Robert Virgil Hough. I’m sure looking down on the gathering, he was touched by the respect and I have no doubt he would have approved of the photo because of the intent. These people are taking an innocent family moment and making something out of nothing. I don’t consider the photo over the line… it was part of Julianne’s tribute to her grandfather. I think it’s endearing.
Even lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann agrees with me. She said that she doesn’t think it went too far for the entertainer either. However, she did say that Julianne should respect how it might affect others. “Social media has got us in an oversharing stage. It really does,” Swann told Yahoo Celebrity. “In my opinion, when we post, we really have to be concerned about those who are going to view it and how they might feel about what we have posted. Etiquette is about putting people at ease,” she stated. “You should not post things that are going to make people uncomfortable. Not only intimate parts of your life but areas such as this — death. You don’t know what kinds of memories a post like this could trigger for someone else. It could be upsetting.”
With all due respect, you are affected by something like this however you choose to be. If Julianne feels this conveys her love for her grandfather, I think it is appropriate. If it eases her sadness and loss, it is the right thing to do. We all express love and grief in different ways and I think this was a touching tribute.