'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 Tatum is one half of Hollywood’s sweetest couple, embracing parenthood along with his wife, Jenna Dewan.
From Ryan Reynolds to Chris Helmsworth, we’ve heard our fair share of heart-melting celebrity fatherhood quotes, but Channing’s recent words to three-year old daughter Everly are by far the most powerful.
In the June issue of Cosmopolitan US, the actor wrote an empowering open letter to his daughter, detailing what he wants her to know about love and life.
‘The more I thought about this, 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,’ Tatum wrote.
‘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.’
Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum met on the set of Step Up, with the actress recently opening up about how they got together. Channing touched on it in his letter too, explaining ‘I thought about when I first met Jenna. I knew our connection was really powerful, but I wasn’t sure what our relationship was going to be. 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. 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. And that’s what I want for my 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.’
‘We all know that every one of us is different and has a unique road map to our heart,’ explained Channing, giving his daughter and us all a lesson in love. ‘We learn how to navigate it by leaping into love with both feet and giving our full selves without expecting anything in return. 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.’
As if the letter couldn’t get any better, Channing then went on to tackle gender roles, writing: ‘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 continued: ‘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.’
‘I want women to feel what it’s like to exist in a world where men really listen to them, where they treat them like goddesses, and where they can feel comfortable and proud to express the full force of their sexual energy together. I want them to experience a place where they are much more than enough.’