03/03/2013 21:35 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Parents 'Blacked Up' Baby With Chocolate Spread To Look Like Mario Balotelli

There are some seriously strange parents out there. We've all taken far too many photos of our babies with cute smiles and outfits. But what would possess someone to 'black up' a baby in a feeble attempt to look like former Manchester City football player Mario Balotelli?

Chocolate was smeared over the poor child's face and a yellow washing-up sponge stuck on his head to copy the striker's Mohawk hair. His babygro was daubed with the footballer's slogan 'Why Always Me?'.

Then, the photo was shared on Twitter. Nice!.

Reactions were predictably appalled: "You thought you'd seen it all. Dear me" and "Jesus wept, who does this to their child!?!?!?!?"

Parenting expert Sue Atkins, author of Parenting Made Easy: How To Raise Happy Children, told the Sunday Mirror: "Just looking at this picture makes me very uncomfortable, especially the fact the child is blacked up. I don't like it at all."

It is believed the photo was uploaded by a Manchester United fan on Instagram.

Italian left Manchester City to play for AC Milan after helping the club to win its first title in 44 years.

Last month a 10-year-old Leeds United fan blacked up to pose with his hero El Hadji Diouf. The boy's father was forced to take to his son's Twitter account to defend him from accusations of racism.

What do you make of this?