Every dad has high hopes for his daughter, and Channing Tatum is no exception. He has shared his most heartfelt wishes for three-year-old daughter Everly in an open letter and we’re pretty sure that every father would agree.
If there’s one thing we can ALL say about parenthood, it’s that it sure does change your perspective on life. Looking at the world through the eyes of our children, we find ourselves monitoring the things we say and do, in order to be a good influence in our child’s life, and maybe even changing the way we think about the personal stuff like relationships and sex. We start to think about what our legacy will be for our children.
When Hollywood star Channing Tatum was invited to write for Cosmopolitan in honour of the launch of his live stage show, Magic Mike Live in Las Vegas, he realised he had experienced this shift in perspective, too.
“The more I thought about this,” he writes, “the more I thought about my daughter reading this article someday.”
“I don’t want her looking to the outside world for answers”
The invitation got him trying to imagine the things he’d want a grown-up Everly to read that would help her understand men and sex and partnership better.
“I realized a strange thing,” writes Tatum. “I don’t want her looking to the outside world for answers. My highest hope for her is just that she has the fearlessness to always be her authentic self, no matter what she thinks men want her to be.”
Writing about the early days of his relationship with wife, Jenna Dewan Tatum, the besotted husband and dad says it was Jenna’s “radical authenticity” that made him fall head over heels in love.
“And that’s what I want for my daughter,” he admits. “To be expectation-less with her love and not allow preconceived standards to affect her, to ask herself what she wants and feel empowered enough to act on it.”
On women and empowerment
Tatum also reveals a fairly healthy feminist streak when writing about society’s changing gender roles.
“If there’s one thing that I think men wish women knew, it’s just that they alone are enough,” he writes. “We live in a society that has trained men and women to play certain kinds of roles for a long time… Women, especially, are realizing that they no longer have to conform to certain standards of social and sexual behavior, and this changes what they need from men and the role of men in general.”
That’s deep stuff for a dad of a three year old. But this is exactly the kind of shift in thinking that happens when you become a parent. We wish for a world in which our children, both male and female, feel safe, empowered and in control of their lives. Where they can go out and strive for the things they want in life, and have the strength to be their true selves while they do it.
It’s lovely to hear a dad so passionate about his daughter’s own strength and raising her to be as authentic as she can be. What a lucky little girl little Evie is. We reckon Channing is total dad goals!
You can read Channing Tatum’s full letter over at Cosmopolitan.
What do you think? Did you feel the same shift in your perspectives when you became a parent?