Ken Doll with a pink background below the words Macho Macho Man, and a set of love hearts

Positive Masculinity, 17 Gorgeous Quotes From Celebrity Dads

Every feminist has that one friend – you know the one… “I’m not a feminist, I just believe in equality for everyone” Sigh! Even some of my very clever guy friends are immune to even the most basic explanations of things like Toxic Masculinity. I’m frustrated, to say the least!
So let’s have a change of track, shall we? Instead of explaining toxic masculinity for the squillinth time, we’re going to lead by example. We’re going to role model the kind of masculinity this world is crying out for! The good men. Nay, the whole men! Whole, thinking, feeling, responsible, adult men. In short, we’re going to have a celebration of, wait for it… Positive Masculinity. Ta daaaa!

Positive Masculinity

Now, hang on. This isn’t about praising dads for changing a nappy. That’s, well… that’s literally their job. This is about the role models who reject the job of ‘mom’s assistant’. The ones who embrace the wild emotional rollercoaster of fatherhood. The gushy, scary, heart-meltingly overwhelming stuff. Look, these amazing dads are everywhere. But film, TV, and the media keep telling us that a dad’s role is to win the bread, teach their sons to be tough and frighten the crap out of any love interests for their daughters. This list of celebrity dad quotes is a love letter from this feminist mama, to the dads doing masculinity in the most positive and loving way, saying “Yes! Thank you! More! Please!”

*spoiler alert* there will be gushing emotions, vulnerability, sickly sweet metaphors and weeping men. Bring. It. On.

Denzel Washington, smiling with a quote on positive masculinity that says "The strongest, toughest men all have compassion. They're not heartless and cold. You have to be man enough to have compassion, to care about people and about your children"
Denzel wants to know… are you tough enough to be kind?

Denzel’s Old School Positive Masculinity

  1. The strongest, toughest men all have compassion. They’re not heartless and cold. You have to be man enough to have compassion, to care about people and about your children”  Denzel Washington

Tell it like it is, Denzel. The Hollywood actor, producer & director knows that being heartless and cold has got nothing to do with being manly. It takes strength to be compassionate. It takes strength to care. Just like all the greatest daddies out there.

John Legend, Feminist Daddy Extraordinaire

2. “I feel like, my mentality is just to be open and ready to help with whatever I can, and to be as loving to my wife and our daughter as much as possible. Paternity leave is good. I think it’s good for me to be home with Chrissy and helping her with whatever she needs, and I want to get to know our little baby!” John Legend

Now here’s one of those great examples of a man who knew he was a feminist before having a daughter. Musician & producer John Legend puts his money where his mouth is too – speaking out in interviews, joining the documentary that helped bring about the fall of R Kelly and absolutely sharing parental responsibility with the legendary (sorry, but she kinda is – have you seen her on Twitter?) Chrissey Tiegan. If you want to know what strong positive masculinity is, look no further than John Legend.

Ashton Kutcher wearing a casual suit, with a quote on  “As soon as this child was born, I immediately wanted to call my parents and just apologize because I never knew how much they loved me.”
Ashton Kutcher – fearless human rights activist, and squishy daddy full of love.

Ashton Kutcher, Feeling The Masculine Feels

 3. “As soon as this child was born, I immediately wanted to call my parents and just apologize because I never knew how much they loved me.”  Ashton Kutcher

Movie star and human rights activist Ashton Kutcher is feeling all the feels and is oh so happy to tell everyone about it. Being a Dad is a wild and overwhelming emotional ride, and that’s fine. In fact it’s normal. Cheers Ashton.

Channing Tatum, Masculinity and Being Scared

4. “Being a new dad is pretty terrifying” Channing Tatum

Movie star and owner of famously rock hard abs, Channing Tatum, is not afraid to tell us he’s afraid! Because you know what – everyone’s freaked out at the idea of becoming a new parent. Babies are tremendously break-ee and you’d be right to be a bit scared. You could almost say it’s a natural human response to such a huge challenge. Channing Tatum, afraid of being a new dad, and none the less muscular or manly for it.

Matt Damon, Positive Masculinity (if you’re still into him)

5. “The only way I can describe it … at the end of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” you know how his heart grows, like, five times its size? Everything is full; It’s just full all the time.” Matt Damon

Not sure how much of a role model of positive masculinity Mat Damon is after his disappointing reaction to the #metoo movement. But since he apologised profusely and did seem to learn from it, we won’t cancel him… completely. 

Chris Pratt, Nothing Compares To Daddy-hood

6. “I’ve done all kinds of cool things as an actor: I’ve jumped out of helicopters and done some daring stunts and played baseball in a professional stadium, but none of it means anything compared to being somebody’s daddy,” Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt might seem to live an exciting life as a hollywood film star, but the thing that touches his heart the most is becoming a dad.  

Magic Johnson, Love No Matter What

7. “It’s all about you not trying to decide what your daughter or son should be or what you want them to become. It’s all about loving them no matter who they are or what they decide to do” Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson, basketball superhero, had the key to being a great Dad. It’s not about being an authority or having control over anyone. The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

Dax Shepard, The Strength Is In The Weakness

8. When I look at her, it’s like when I was in 7th grade and fell in love for the first time, where it’s debilitating,” Dax Shepard

Debilitating emotions for TV & Film star, daddy Dax Shepard – but he sounds pretty happy to be feeling all those feels. And why not?! Becoming a parent can be one of the most gloriously joyous things to happen to a person. Turns out, men are people too, so unsurprisingly they have a deep emotional response to putting on that Daddy hat. Go ahead Dax, tell us how your baby girl makes you feel weak at the knees! 

Chance The Rapper, A Different Way To Protect Our Daughters

Chance the Rapper, wearing a baseball hat with a 3 on it, smiling, with a quote saying "I have a daughter who's going to be raised in this world, and my music and my art are powerful tools in getting that to be formed the way I want it to." positive masculinity
Chance The Rapper – protecting his daughter by creating a world where sh’e not in so much danger. Strong, brave and positively masculine

9. “I have a daughter who’s going to be raised in this world, and my music and my art are powerful tools in getting that to be formed the way I want it to.” Chance The Rapper

In an industry that may not have the greatest track record in talking about women, Chance The Rapper uses his strength and mega stardom to make a positive influence on the world. Daddies want to protect their little ones, and Chance The Rapper is literally showing us a positive and proactive way to do it. Instead of protecting little girls – get out there and become a part of creating a world where little girls aren’t in so much danger! Go on Chance The Rapper, become the change you’d like to see!

Mahershala’s Ali’s Positive Masculinity

10. “I think it changes your relationship with time. I just don’t have time to waste. You gotta be really deliberate with how you choose to spend your day because those are the moments you’re away from your child.” Mahershala Ali

‘New Girl’ star Mahershala Ali has got his priorities straight. Yes, he’s got to work, we all do. But also he knows what he’s missing out on when he’s away from his family. Stereotypical gender roles can mean mamas might miss out on that incredible career after having kids. Here’s to great Daddies talking about how that gender imbalance that pushes me to be the breadwinners, doesn’t work for them either.

Dave Grohl, Rock Star Masculinity

11. “When you have kids, you see life through different eyes. You feel love more deeply and are maybe a little more compassionate.” Dave Grohl

Never afraid to express his emotions, Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Groh, talks about the life changing effect of becoming a dad. Here’s to badass rock stars celebrating things like love and compassion, feeling them deep, way way down!

David Beckham, A Different Way To Be Strong

12. “I was selfish before, but when you have kids, they become your main priority” David Beckham

Football star and fashion icon David Beckham is brave enough to admit how he’s become a better man since becoming a daddy. Nothing bad about admitting you were wrong before. Actually, it takes quite a bit of strength! 

Prince William, An Emotion Positive Royal

13. I feel a real protective instinct. More so now that I’m a father, which is why I get emotional about it. Prince William

It’s normal enough for that protective instinct to be associated with daddies (although don’t forget about all those amazing mama bears out there too!). What we love about this quote is how Prince William shares how he gets emotional about the whole thing. Yes! Of course he does, he’s a human being. Like most men. So of course he’s going to have an emotional reaction to becoming a daddy.  It’s normal. It happens to most men, so it must be a man thing, right?

The Rock, Heart Melting Muscle Dad

Dwayne The Rock Johnson, wearing casual clothes and sunglasses, with a quote on positive masculinity that says “I realised being a father is the greatest job I have ever had and the greatest job I will ever have. I always wanted to be a great dad.”
The Rock – a manly doing manly things… like wanting to be a great dad

14. “I realised being a father is the greatest job I have ever had and the greatest job I will ever have. I always wanted to be a great dad.” Dwayne the Rock Johnson

What’s this? One of the toughest, baddest, muscle-iest guys in Hollywood, dispelling the myth that babies and parenthood is a woman’s thang? You know it is!  Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson always knew being a daddy was going to be better than any of his wild Hollywood adventures. Don’t believe me? Oh la la, check him out on socials – he’s a heart melting muscle bound bastion of positive masculinity, and it looks good on him.

Matthew McConaughey, Positive Masculinity Doesn’t Shy Away From Babies

15. “The father of a newborn… It’s the one thing I’ve always wanted to be. I knew when I was 8 years old. The one thing I knew I wanted to be was a father”  Matthew McConaughey

Film & TV star Matthew McConaughey joins The Rock in claiming fatherhood for himself. The media loves to overuse the trope of the hapless dad, stumbling resentfully into fatherhood. But, for once, I want to say… not all men! Reproducing is literally one of our basic instincts and in this case it literally takes two to ‘tango’. Making babies. Raising babies. Loving babies… as manly as chopping wood and don’t let anyone tell you different!

Barack Obama, Let’s Talk About Courage

Barack Obama, grey suit, pointing. Role modelling positive masculinity with a quote "Any fool can have a child. That doesn't make you a father. It's the courage to raise a child that makes you a father."
Barack Obama reminding us you don’t have to punch a shark in the face to be brave!

“16. Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.” Barack Obama

Ahh, Obama, the Alpha Daddy. Powerful, rich, strong… but wait, why’s he talking about courage? That’s right, because becoming a parent is a really flippin’ scary thing to do (just ask Channing Tatum), so you’ve got to be brave. Try this… Google search ‘brave man’ images – and brace yourself for a barrage of muscular superheroes, wrestling lions, and sharks, and alligators for some reason, and, well you get the idea, right. There’s a stereotype for what it means to be courageous and it always seems to involve superhuman feats… and muscles. What Obama reminds us though, is that showing up day after day for your kids, even when you’re exhausted, even when your at your wits end and all you want to do is cry, is actually one of the most courageous things you can do. Go ahead, own your bravery, Daddies!

Terry Crews, Tender Alpha Daddy

Terry Crews with his top off, looking sideways, with a quote saying “Being a man is about more than keeping your core strong. It’s about keeping your core values stronger”
Terry loves cores strength… core values that is! What a cuddly teddy bear!

17. “Being a man is about more than keeping your core strong. It’s about keeping your core values stronger” Terry Crews.

And speaking of Alpha males, let’s wrap up with a real life superhero, sigh! Former NFL star, mountain of muscle, TV star Terry Crews is the epitome of positive masculinity. He, he literally wrote a book about masculinity back in 2014.

Time after time he shows us there are so many ways for men and fathers to be strong and brave. And it’s hardly ever about his body-building physique. He was fearless in coming out as a sexual assault victim as part of the #metoo movement. He is unswerving in his support of feminism. And his life mission seems to be to smash toxic masculine habits into smithereens. If you’re ever in doubt about what positive masculinity looks like – just think… ‘what would Terry Crews do?’

So there you have it. 17 of the most muscular, powerful, richest celebrity men, showing up as positive role models of masculinity. They’re strong, brave, intense and sure of themselves. Maybe just not in that tired old James Bond, problematic action hero kind of way. Maybe more like that amazing baby-daddy who’s a superhero to his family kind of way. And like I said, this feminist mama can’t stop saying Yes. Thank you. More please.

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