My daughter and I were invited to be a part of a campaign by Dove Men+Care celebrating fatherhood in honor of Father's Day. For my daughter, this was a fun experience that most don't have. She especially enjoyed sitting in the makeup chair, even though she didn't receive any makeup. For me, Dove Men+Care has been amazingly supportive to dads in general, but specifically to my NYC Dads Group, Dad 2.0 Summit, and the At-Home-Dad Network. These entities have been quite supportive of me in my transition into at-home fatherhood and fatherhood advocacy. But, people can't really prepare you for what happens when a picture of you and your child appears in a major ad campaign. People, or trolls, say some really insensitive and disgusting things. They don't take into account the bravery and real strength it takes to do a a project like this, nor do they consider that a young child is also a part of it. They just want to complain or be mean spirited and use the anonymity of the internet to do so. Well, I want to thank these trolls for educating me. These wise sages have made these things clear.
1) Apparently I look like George Foreman. And a baked bean.
2) But somehow I don't have as much muscle as my daughter.
3) Lots of people's comments seem to indicate they only see my daughter in the picture. I guess it's like that gold/blue dress internet thing. It's too bad they don't see me, given that the ad is celebrating the connection between a father and a daughter.
4) Apparently I'm bald. This means I don't need shampoo.
5) My daughter doesn't look like me.
6) Someone thought we weren't genuine because we were actors. Nope. But we are models now!
7) People really don't like ads on Instagram.
8) But somehow, close to 100,000+ people liked our picture.
9) Those numbers mean one final thing. Most people saw our picture and my quoted advice as something very positive.
Although putting myself out there in the interwebs for something good like fatherhood can be scary, all in all it was worth it. To have someone with my face represent a company like Dove in a campaign about fatherhood is not only progress, but hopefully inspirational. And as a man who grew up without his father for most of his childhood, this could prove invaluable. So, bring it trolls. This male model, George Foreman impersonator is ready!