OPEN LET­TER

Note to dads: don’t ditch style.

GQ (Australia) - - INSIDE GQ -

Con­grat­u­la­tions on mak­ing it to your first Fa­ther’s Day. No longer the one day you’re ex­pected to call Dad (but usu­ally for­get), it’s a cel­e­bra­tion of you, ded­i­cated to you and all about you. Ex­cept, a dis­claimer – a first of many on en­ter­ing fa­ther­hood – just who are you now? Be­cause as in­com­pa­ra­bly won­der­ful as it is to welcome a child into the world, it comes wrapped in a per­sonal iden­tity cri­sis, of­ten ad­dressed to the style-con­fused. Sud­denly the let­ters ‘D’ ‘A’ and ‘D’ frame you, they best de­scribe you and they even dress you. What­ever joke you make, it’s now ‘of the dad va­ri­ety’; what­ever ex­er­cise you do, your ‘dad­bod’ has dou­bled in name, if not its size; what­ever clothes you wear... you get the ‘dad’ drift. But that’s no in­vi­ta­tion to suc­cumb to fa­therly stereo­types. The option to RSVP ‘no thanks’ to the en­croach­ment of dad-ness into your life is al­ways there. It doesn’t mean ne­glect­ing fa­ther­hood, nor does it mean ne­glect­ing your­self. The Tom Ford three-piece, the vin­tage Burberry trench, the Gucci bomber – they can eas­ily co-ex­ist along­side life’s new ac­ces­sory. In­deed, the birth of a child doesn’t have to co­in­cide with the end of your former life. It can (we’re not here to judge), but it doesn’t have to. Just re­alise it’s not com­pul­sory to wear shape­less trackie daks and ‘floor’ T-shirts every day. And a beach day doesn’t have to en­tail a ‘long board­ies, rashie and thongs’ combo. Oh, lordy. No, we’re here to re­as­sure you that think­ing about your­self in this new stage of life is not a crime. Giv­ing your­self a Com­mon Projects-shaped treat every so of­ten is more than ac­cept­able, and well within any dad’s rights. Think of the chil­dren – ev­ery­one wants to look back at photo al­bums and see that their par­ents were cool, right? One last word of advice: bound­aries – know them. Be­fore over­shar­ing in the pub, at work, or on so­cial me­dia, ask your­self: is what you’re about to di­vulge of in­ter­est to a pre-dad you? And if a guide on what to avoid is still re­quired, we’ll keep it brief – don’t dis­cuss prams, lac­ta­tion or the colour of a kid’s shit. If you do, we sug­gest you re-eval­u­ate your no­tions of deco­rum, pri­vacy and, pos­si­bly, hu­man­ity. Happy Fa­ther’s Day, gents. It’s on Septem­ber 4, so re­mem­ber to call the old man. And en­joy it, be­cause you de­serve it.

KIRK AND MICHAEL DOU­GLAS, 1955

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