If he hasn’t already won you over with his dangerously good looks, dance moves and charm, he will now. Me and (undoubtedly), a billion other women are swooning over Channing Tatum, and here’s why: His open letter to his daughter. The letter expresses his highest hopes for his daughter’s future self in her transition to womanhood, and it. Is. Everything.
C.T.’s letter addresses exploring sexuality, relationships and finding true love and is especially applicable to those of us who are navigating life in our twenty-somethings. Reading the letter unravelled the amount of pressure I have personally been feeling unknowingly.
When I initially read the letter, I was skeptical and misconstrued the article for sending a message I worried could be interpreted as women being more desirable when they have no standards and tolerate bad qualities in their S.O.s as Channing Tatum recounts the moment he fell in love with his now wife, Jenna Dewan.
“…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.”
Despite knowing what C.T. meant by this, I criticized his choice of words. It occurred to me that I were being defensive for the very reason Channing Tatum encourages authenticity. I couldn’t trust that women reading this would understand its intent. I worried that we wouldn’t be able to discern good from bad or how to trust our own judgement to make the right decisions, and I certainly didn’t want this letter to mislead a generation of women into thinking we didn’t need to be pre-cautious.
This is why I love the letter.
It’s brought to my attention how often I am told as a woman to be careful, to not be too trusting, to be mindful of the future… and I realize no wonder it’s become so easy to second-guess yourself (says me to myself)! Though none of this is telling me how to feel, it’s engrained in me to believe that my decisions could be horribly wrong and met with horrifying consequences. This way of paving my future and the decisions I make has stifled my ability to leap whole heartedly into anything without being fearful of making the wrong choice.
Contrary to how many women were raised or taught by society and adult figures, C.T’s letter credits women in such a way where we’re empowered to feel that our best decisions will come from ourselves. It’s a nice change to be told you can have confidence in your decisions. That the better you get to know yourself, the more likely you are to know what’s right for you. The most important thing is to direct our attention to who we are, not what is expected of us, or anything else that distances ourselves from our true selves… especially not fear. He continues with:
“And that’s what I want for my daughter… to ask herself what she wants and feel empowered enough to act on it.”
I hope that all women alike are encouraged to do the same. I also secretly hope Channing Tatum will come across this.