Channing Tatum’s Letter to His Daughter is Everything

Channing Tatum & Jenna Dewan with Daughter

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.

An Add-On to Articles on Toxic Friends

Toxic Friends

With all the recent articles on toxic friendships (8 Signs of a Toxic Friendship, 23 Warning Signs of a Toxic Friend, etc.) , I began to realize how they failed to acknowledge that cutting your ties probably meant you were doing the other person a favour too. True, it becomes easier as an adult to detect which relationships are unhealthy for us – but what about acknowledging that we too could benefit from the loss by learning about our own enabling behaviours.

Growing up, I realized that many, if not most of my friendships were toxic relationships. I used to think that these people just gravitated towards me – impossibly beautiful and self-destructive girls whom I felt were very unlike myself. I didn’t share the same circle of  friends, I didn’t go out to the same parties, I didn’t share similar experiences –  it became increasingly puzzling to me as I began to question what was it about myself that drew these people in?

For hours I would listen to my friends talk about their moral dilemmas, I would help them carry out lies, incessantly talk over how they could fix their situation. All I wanted was for them to feel that no matter the circumstance, they would never be judged by their friend.  Oftentimes they would refer to me as their own personal “therapist”.

For selfish reasons I liked being someone who could be counted on. But as time drew on, I started to feel reluctant to follow through with plans and if  I did, I would leave feeling worse-off after hanging  out. I too would become attached to their problems as if they were my own and would feel disappointed, sad and fearful to see my friends lapse into their toxic patterns, wondering whether that could be me too. Though I would be present for my friends, I wouldn’t say I were being “supportive” of them. If anything, I allowed for them to indulge in their self-destruction – I became an enabler, leaving neither of us being helpful to one or the other.

Though one person might be more harmful than the other, most failed relationships are a two-way street. When you go through the pains of parting from a toxic friend, it’s time for both parties to reflect on what they could do to help friendships flourish. Sometimes, the best thing you could do to be a true friend, is step back, accept that you’ve done all you could to offer your support.