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Adult coloring books are hot these days, but this one by Kenny Keil is more than a book where you’re fine-point coloring complicated line drawings of majestic hawks. This is …
The internet is aflame with the Cheerio Challenge, a game where dads have been stacking Cheerios on their sleeping babies’ heads. There’s a zero percent change you haven’t seen this, because the story’s been covered by The Huffington Post, The TODAY Show, Buzzfeed, Mashable, and it’s appeared on Facebook‘s trending stories.
As we wait in line to see the Easter Bunny, the reactions to my son are varied: some parents (especially those with new babies) just don’t get it. Parents of older kids chuckle and smile, point while they think we’re not looking, and when I do make eye contact, they smile and give me the knowing-dad-nod. Sometimes they walk by my son and say “cool!” Kids in line tug at their moms’ dresses and wonder why they’re in their Sunday’s best and my son is dressed like Wolverine.
As another little boy walks by and stares, my six year old says in a gravely voice, “happy Easter, bub.”
The new normal is that brands are showing fathers as competent, caring, emotional and intelligent. They’re part of the family unit, no longer relegated to the hungry animal blasting in the door from work, ready to eat, have a beer and tune out. The image of fathers in commercials has matured (we won!), and because of it, commercial dads are cooking, cleaning and raising kids. It’s great.
One of the brands that’s consistently put out great dadvertising — Zillow — is back again. The real estate website has a spot on TV right now called “Gunnar’s Home”, and it tackles a non-traditional household with grace and respect.
“No, I know. It sounds weird to me too,” I assured the mother of my son’s friends. “I did just ask if your kids could come over and I could show them Japanese cartoons and take pictures of them. I get it.”
Let’s rewind back to mid-December: my son and I were Christmas shopping, and Nintendo had a game kiosk set up in the mall. Among the games was one called Yo-Kai Watch. My son and I wouldn’t have paid too much attention to it, except that one of the game’s characters was a butt. Like, literally, a butt. A Nintendo rep asked my son if he wanted a Yo-Kai Watch mask. “THE BUTT I WANT THE BUTT,” my son yelped because he’s seven years old and he’s my son and I love him as much as anything could love anything.
But I digress.
As the father of a young daughter, I am not used to social progress. I’ve come to expect that female politicians will be constantly asked about their appearance. I’ve come to expect that corporations will forget to make toys based on the female lead of their new blockbuster movie. I’ve come to expect that it will take Barbie over 50 years to acknowledge what real women look like. I’ve come to expect that, at every turn, society will find a way to let my daughter down, in big ways and small ways, entirely due to her gender. I am used to being disappointed on my daughter’s behalf.
So, imagine my surprise when I recently encountered some small, hopeful progress for girls in a completely unexpected place – children’s character underwear.
That’s right. There are Star Wars and Marvel underwear for girls right now and it’s kind of a big deal.