Beauty, Family, Sports / September 12, 2019

NFL Dad Breaks Down Gender Norms By Promoting Hair Love

After my parents got divorced, it was up to my dad to do my hair when he was sending me off to school.

I remember watching him behind me in the mirror, holding the brush so awkwardly and trying to smooth my edges down like my mom did. I love my dad tremendously but he could never get it quite right.

Today, gender roles are bending. Families don’t have the option of having a stay-at-home parent as dual incomes are necessary to cover increasing rent and home prices in urban areas.

Animated dad attempting to do his daughter's hair
Hair Love

The result is a balance of parenting and household duties. Women are working late and taking out the trash. Men are making lunches and getting their kids ready for school.

For most men however, making parts, twisting hair ties and smoothing edges is not part of their fatherhood repertoire.

For former NFL player, Matthew Cherry, it’s the norm. After leaving professional football in 2007, Cherry began a career in film and entertainment and through his animated short, Hair Love, has promoted a culture and positive message around dads doing hair.

The film and supporting book have inspired other dads to take on the challenges of the most foreign part of their daughter’s morning routine. The Today Show sat down with Cherry and dads in Ohio who have strengthened their daddy-daughter bonds through hair.

Anna Fecskes

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