Hello. If you’ve been on popular social media platform Twitter.com today, you might have seen something about “adult babies”. This is kind of hard to explain, but it involves social media, a much-loved former footballer, and, yes, grown adults who dress as babies.
We should probably start here: Neville Southall is a heroic Welsh goalkeeper who made a record number of appearances for both Everton and Wales.
A popular figure during the ’80s and ’90s, Big Nev has latterly taken to tweeting about social and political issues from a left-wing/liberal perspective, building his follower list to a hefty 144,000.
As part of his aims to spread awareness about various issues, he regularly hands over control of his account to different charities — past participants have been LGBT groups, sex worker groups, and a drugs helpline.
Which brings us to Wednesday, when it was announced that a woman who runs an adult nursery — that’s a nursery for adults who pretend they are babies for therapeutic reasons — would take over the account Aug. 21.
Grace Rogers, who runs Mummy Grace’s adult nursery and is also a psychotherapist, describes her business as “a welcoming space where Adult Babies ... and those seeking to consider events of their early years are free to explore their younger sides.”
Southall has promoted unusual marginalised interests and causes before. But, apparently in response to a number of tweets criticising the decision, at 1:13pm he tweeted this spirited defence of the move.
And then, dramatically, at 1:25pm, it was called off.
It turns out that some people replied to Southall’s and Rogers’ tweets announcing the takeover to say that ABDL (shorthand for the adult baby community, meaning “adult baby diaper lover”) is in fact a fetish and has a sexual element, something Rogers strongly denies.
Others complained that the act of dressing up like a baby was “triggering” to survivors of sexual abuse as children.
Rogers herself conducted an impromptu Q&A on Twitter anyway, arguing there is nothing perverse about the ABDL community.
Southall has yet to say why he cancelled the takeover — except to clarify that it was his decision alone...
And he now says he won’t do any more account takeovers.
Naturally, this whole saga has gripped the procrastinating masses on Twitter.
And that is why people were talking about a footballing hero and adult babies on Twitter today.
A short time ago Southall deleted the tweet — preserved above — saying he won’t do any more takeovers. So maybe there’s hope he will do them again.
Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Patrick Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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