Channing Tatum and wife Jenna Dewan Tatum are basically perfect, and while they lead very public lives and aren’t shy about posting pics of themselves and one another on social media, they keep their daughter, Everly, firmly out of the spotlight. Their love for their daughter is always on full display, but the little girl isn’t. All you have to do is peruse either of their Instagrams and you’ll notice any pics of their nearly-four-year-old never show her face. It’s kind of awesome.
Today though, we’re very much reminded of her presence, as Channing took to Cosmopolitan to write an essay that his daughter would be able to relate to later on.
“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,” he wrote in the magazine. “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.
Channing also reflected on his marriage to Jenna, as he wondered what Everly’s approach to love will be, and it evolved into a love letter to his wife too.
“I knew our connection was really powerful, but I wasn’t sure what our relationship was going to be,” he wrote of Dewan Tatum, whom he met on the set of the 2006 movie Step Up. “Then 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.”
He explained that he felt an “incredible rush,” calling her honesty “the sexiest thing she’d ever done for me.”
Tatum continued: “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.”
And that’s what he wants for his daughter, “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.” Um, yes to ALL of this.
Tatum finished off the essay with a message about breaking gender stereotypes. “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,” he wrote. “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.”
Some men are born with the understanding that we’re all equal, others need to experience having a daughter to truly comprehend it. Whether Channing was born that way, or Jenna and Everly changed his views doesn’t matter. His acknowledgement of these changing times is what every girl wants their daddy to say, especially as the world, HER world, is seemingly moving backwards. Channing’s letter to Everly (and Jenna) is a beautiful thing, an expression of things we can only wish all men could feel.