A girl’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being is rooted in her self-worth, and Dads’ affection is one of the top influences on a girl's self-esteem. It is BEYOND time to invite dads into the conversation about girls and how we can raise the standards of how we treat ourselves, each other, and the world.
We are inviting fathers to be that dad who helps us show girls that they can be exactly who they are, instead of who they think they are supposed to be. We girls are living in an epidemic of self doubt, and 7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough. We have to do better.
Dads have the power to help us make it better.
If you are a girl who wants to get the word out, post on social using #beTHATDAD to let us know how important Dads and Father figures are to a girl's self esteem and share our campaign page with every Dad you know: www.iamthatgirl.com/sponsor!
You can also send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured. Maybe your dad protected you, taught you, listened to you, and maybe your dad was far from perfect. But no matter what, those experiences helped build you into the absolutely AH-MA-ZING, light-filled individual who you are now.
Throughout our fundraising campaign, we are throwing all of our focus on what an enormous impact Dads/Father figures have on girls and rallying all fathers to #beTHATDAD who invests in girls and helps IATG empower a whole generation of daughters to LOVE, EXPRESS, and BE exactly who they are - by sponsoring 1,000 girls to be a part of our Local Chapter program.
Together, we can change this world - because that’s what Dads and daughters do best. They make things for the better.
I love to look back on family photos and see all our silliness come out for that great action shot. One of my favorite photos involves my father and me. I'm about three years old, a head of curls, and wearing super fashionable red and white striped onesie pajamas. I'm sitting on my father's lap, a huge smile on my face, and a big smile on his face. And what makes the picture that much more exquisite? I have white, teardrop-shaped clip-on earrings. Every time I look at this photo I giggle. It's not just a happy child. It's me, sitting on my father's lap, enjoying daddy time in style.
When I was little, I got excited when my father would come home from work. Every time I heard the front door open, footsteps walking through the living room, I would race into his arms, beaming, ready for this moment. It was traditional that I would race from the kitchen, through the living room, and jump up onto my daddy's knees, him already in position. I would fall into his arms, so happy, and would ask if we could do it again, as I began racing back to my starting line in the kitchen.
I'll never forget the way I felt as a child around my father and now, as an adult, having a father I talk to often, even when in different towns. Not every daughter gets the same experience I have been lucky enough to have. Not every child growing up has moments with pure happiness lit up on their face when their daddy comes home. I had this. I grew up with a relationship with my father. And I don't want to take it for granted.
Thank you dad, for being there for me.
For talking things out with me. For caring and loving me. For letting me be silly. For being my father.
- Sophie Winik, IATG Contributor
I sent my dad an email that started with the phrase “I am a feminist”.
My dad has always believed in me. He still does. He sets no limits or boundaries on the possibilities of my life. There have been times in my career where I have been slighted for being a woman. I remember when I was younger I wanted to be an athletic trainer for the NFL. My dad loved that lofty goal. He never once mentioned anything about being a female or that it could be more difficult to break that ‘glass ceiling.’ He was just ready to see me reach for the stars.
When I started work on a new program for women and had a launch event, he drove my mom over two hours to my house (he wanted to come but it was a girls only event) and immediately turned around and drove that same distance home, because he had to work the next day. He answered phone calls and prayed for me. He supported me in every way he could. He also believed in the program, which is dedicated to female athletes, because he was a father of two girls who played sports their whole lives.
The thing about being a feminist is while I am always inspired by strong women, I am equally as inspired by the men who stand proudly next to those women. I’m inspired by the ones who just treat females as equal. My dad didn’t raise me to become a feminist, and yet he did, because he raised me to never think less of myself because of my gender or allow others to treat me as less because of it.
The older I get the more I appreciate the fact that he raised me with two truths: 1) you better believe in yourself and 2) you better pray about it. He knew that there would always be failures in life. He knew that he couldn’t pick me up and fix every bump, bruise, and disappointment that came my way. So his truths never relied on running back to dad or anyone else to save me (though I do call him a lot for prayer). His truths taught me to rely on myself and stay true to my beliefs. The way he raised me also brought to life another truth, to make sure you surround yourself with the right people, male or female.
My dad has stood beside me through life’s ups and downs.
He has pushed me to do things on my own, he has encouraged me to reach out for help, and he has raised me to have an independent spirit. I know no matter what goes on in my life that I have the tools he has given me, and I have him there to support me. I am thankful for the man, who along with my mom molded me into who I am today. Happy Father’s Day Paul Blend!
- Rebekah Hibbert, IATG Contributor
I walked towards the microphone as my dad walked toward the piano, ready to accompany me on a song we were performing. We’ve done this routine hundreds of times, as I’ve had the joy of crafting my musical passions with my dad by my side for most of my life. As we got close to the stage, he leaned in and, “Rach...I have no idea what I’m about to play.” Anyone else about to perform in front of hundreds of people may have panicked, but I let out a giggle and grabbed the mic. I didn’t panic. I knew we’d get there.
For years I have sung everything from pop hits to soul-full ballads while my dad has accompanied me on piano. I truly learned to sing while tucked safely underneath the blanket of music he provided. He played strongly in the background for songs where I channeled my tweenage version of Christina Aguilera’s vocal runs; he followed along as I belted out my best Celine Dion impressions whether I hit those high notes or not. He taught me to trust in the power of creativity, and to allow my song to be sourced at a place deeper than just my voice. He listened to where my voice went as I learned how to listen to myself, too.
So no, I didn’t panic. I knew we’d get there.
There are a lot of lessons my dad taught me, but one that inspires me the most is his unwavering trust + passion for the creative process -- and not just the creative process of music, but also the creative process of life. He has endlessly chosen to be brave as he followed his callings; he has picked faith + trust instead of fear; he knows himself and has stood unashamed, even when it might not be status quo. And in the moments when life requires a performance of sorts, and he hasn’t quite rehearsed it, he chooses to trust in his own ability to creatively handle any situation.
I have embedded these skills into my heart -- whether consciously or unconsciously -- and I have leaned on them countless times.
There are millions of ways to show up and #beTHATDAD -- I’m grateful this is how mine does.
So I don’t get anxious when things aren’t rehearsed perfectly in my life. I don’t freak out when the unexpected happens, and I don’t worry so much about a perfect ending that it keeps me from enjoying the song. I don’t panic. I know I’ll get there.
- Rachel Lincoln, IATG Local Chapter Manager