While I was standing on the subway platform this morning in New York, I caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye on the news stand.
A picture of Ryan Reynolds. On the cover of People Magazine.
I wasn't surprised, since his movie opens this weekend and he's been the king of all media lately. But the headline made me take a double take..."Sexist Dad Alive." Not "Sexiest Man Alive," but "Sexiest Dad Alive!"
I started to beam.
Not because I'm a big Ryan Reynolds fan, although admittedly I have liked many of his movies.
And not because I think Ryan Reynolds is sexy, although he is indeed quite the man these days.
It was the headline..."Sexiest Dad Alive." I'd never seen "sexy" and "dad" in the same phrase.
You have to realize that I was raising my (now) adult kids during a time when being an active dad wasn't so attractive, or accepted, or discussed. It certainly wasn't sexy. I was often the only father at the children's events, and certainly the only father shepherding children to doctor and dentist appointments. I carried the burden of parenting with pride, but often alone.
And as a marketer, I've also witnessed year after year of dad being portrayed as the bumbly, fumbly fool who can't be trusted with the kids. Certainly not alone. And certainly not changing diapers.
I changed many a diaper, let me tell you! Ryan Reynolds says he changes diapers, and he takes it very seriously. I guess that makes him sexy. Sexy indeed.
We have come a long way, especially in the last couple of years. Dads of all flavors are taking an active role in child care, and they are talking about it. They are sharing their experiences and supporting each other. They're even joining support groups like the one I belong to...City Dads Group. Many are changing their careers to be around for their children, and many are even staying home. #SAHD.
But sexy? Indeed a whole new level of acceptance and admiration.
I never thought I'd see the day.
What's your experience? JIM.