Channing Tatum has penned an inspirational letter to his daughter Everly's future-self, urging his first-born to embrace her own sexuality and be herself, not who men want her to be.
The self-proclaimed feminist actor wrote the touching text for Cosmopolitan magazine to honor the launch of his Magic Mike Live show in Las Vegas, which he created as a space where women could celebrate their sexuality in a "fun provocative way."
It's wonderful to see a father speaking about his daughter's future sexuality in a positive light, in stark contrast to the overbearing "touch her and I'll kill you" attitude that has become so normalized in society. Read on below for some of the most enlightening extracts and head on over to Cosmopolitan to enjoy the letter in full.
A Foward-Thinking Perspective
While Channing had been asked to write something about his Magic Mike stage show, the star's mind naturally wondered to what his daughter will be like when she becomes a young woman:
"The more I thought about this ['Magic Mike Live], the more I thought about my daughter reading this article someday. I pictured her in her late teens or early 20s, hoping to explore and discover her sexuality and dreaming about finding true love."
Be Yourself, Not What You Think Men Want You To Be
The 37-year-old went on to acknowledge the relentless presence of "the male gaze" in portrayals of sex, which can damage young women's ability to explore sexuality for their pleasure:
"I tried to imagine the things I’d want her to read that would help her understand men and sex and partnership better, and at that moment, I realized a strange thing. 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."
A Radical Role Model
Channing then went on to praise his wife and soul mate, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, and how she embodies the all the qualities that he wants Everly to inherit:
"One day, Jenna just blurted out that she knew exactly what she wanted in life and she didn’t have to look for it anymore because it was me. She had no idea what I’d say or how I’d react, but that was her truth. I remember feeling this incredible rush — it was the sexiest thing she’d ever done for me. I felt strength, because in that moment, she had accepted every part of me, the good and the bad. And I knew she wasn’t auditioning me or hoping I’d meet some set of expectations. That radical authenticity of hers was what made me fall head over heels in love. Before I experienced it, I wouldn’t have known how to ask for it. Now I know it’s what I was always craving."
You Alone Are Enough
#ChanningTatum recognizes that in order to experience the full pleasures of life you need to fling yourself in head-first, even when that means you might get hurt — especially in matters of the heart — and he wants his daughter to feel the same:
"So I guess if there’s one thing that I think men wish women knew, it’s just that they alone are enough. When more women start to truly feel this power in themselves, the world will become so magical, it makes my head hurt."
The Only Way Is Up
Although gender norms are still very much enforced by society, Tatum is optimistic that things are changing for the better:
"We live in a society that has trained men and women to play certain kinds of roles for a long time, and the beauty of this amazing moment we’re living in is that we’re finally starting to break free from those roles. 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."
What a wonderful dude, and an equally wonderful dad. #TeamChan4Lyf.
Do you think fathers should be more open to the fact their daughters will inevitably grow up to become sexual beings?