Channing Tatum’s daughter may only be 3 years old, but he’s already thinking about her future.
Tatum says he was partly inspired by his love for Dewan-Tatum, an experience he wishes for his child when she grows up. Most all, he writes, Tatum wants Everly to discover her true “authentic self” regardless of society’s expectations.
“I tried to imagine the things I’d want her to read that would help her understand men and sex and partnership better, and at that moment, I realized a strange thing,” he wrote, explaining his decision to write the letter. “I don’t want her looking to the outside world for answers. My highest hope for her is just that she has the fearlessness to always be her authentic self, no matter what she thinks men want her to be.”
Reflecting on his dreams for his daughter, Tatum opened up about his own marriage and how he knew he’d found the right partner. When he first met Dewan-Tatum, on the set of 2006’s “Step Up,” he said he was unsure about their future together, despite feeling a strong connection to the actress.
It took Dewan-Tatum speaking her true feelings aloud to make Tatum realize that not only was she “the one,” but that he wanted the same things.
“Jenna just blurted out that she knew exactly what she wanted in life and she didn’t have to look for it anymore because it was me,” Tatum recalled. “She had no idea what I’d say or how I’d react, but that was her truth.”
“That radical authenticity of hers was what made me fall head over heels in love,” he continued. “Before I experienced it, I wouldn’t have known how to ask for it. Now I know it’s what I was always craving. And that’s what I want for my daughter ― to be expectation-less with her love and not allow preconceived standards to affect her, to ask herself what she wants and feel empowered enough to act on it.”
In his letter, Tatum explains how he considers expectations of gender and sexuality to be roadblocks to finding one’s “authentic self,” whether in a relationship or not. Having tackled these themes in films like “Magic Mike” and his upcoming live show inspired by the movie, Tatum hopes that the world his daughter grows up in won’t be so burdened by what men and women should do.
“We live in a society that has trained men and women to play certain kinds of roles for a long time, and the beauty of this amazing moment we’re living in is that we’re finally starting to break free from those roles,” he wrote. “Women, especially, are realizing that they no longer have to conform to certain standards of social and sexual behavior, and this changes what they need from men and the role of men in general.”
“So I guess if there’s one thing that I think men wish women knew, it’s just that they alone are enough,” the actor continued. “When more women start to truly feel this power in themselves, the world will become so magical, it makes my head hurt.”
Amen to that, Channing.
To read his full letter, head over to Cosmopolitan.