• Wed, Jan 8 - 4:00 pm ET

Dad Posts Picture Brushing Daughter’s Hair And It Goes Viral Because We Still Can’t Believe Men Parent

Dad blogger Doyin Richards posted a picture of himself and his two daughters, as he was helping one of them get ready for school. He shared it to his Facebook and Twitter pages. It went viral. Here it is:

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There are few reasons he believes this photo went viral, which he addresses in a follow-up post he wrote for The Good Men Project called, I Have A Dream: That People Will View A Picture Like This And Not Think It’s A Big Deal.  The first is that he is a father, doing his daughter’s hair. He points out that this is work that is often regarded as a mom’s job, as evidence by some hateful comments left on his post, no doubt mostly by men’s rights douchebags who really believe that loving your children and expressing this love by caring for them makes you what they often refer to as “Beta.” Give me a break.

There was also a fair amount of racist vitriol slung at him, from all angles. Some accused him of “renting” kids that didn’t look like him. Others implored him to get back to his job as a “drug dealer.” Others reprimanded him for marrying outside his race, saying things like, “This would be so much better if those kids were BLACK!”

This is the kind of story that makes you hate the Internet. Because it reaches so many people, who are able to then anonymously sling hate in every direction, you are really reminded how much close-mindedness still exists out there. Here’ s what this picture is, for those who are too ignorant to see the obvious:

A loving father, caring for his children.

A man who married someone he loves and created beautiful children with that person. Period. The end.

Richards felt the need to respond to these attacks in his post for the Good Men Project. Here is some of what he had to say:

Until we can get to the point where men and women can complete the same parenting tasks and the reactions are the same, we will have problems. If you want to create a statue for me for taking care of my daughters, create one for the moms who are doing the same damn thing everyday for their kids without receiving a “Thank you” or an “Ooooh” or “Ahhhh.”

These behaviors should be expected of moms and dads. No exceptions.

And:

If the first thing you want to do is to criticize the skin color of my kids for not being as dark as mine, you have some serious issues.

Yes, I married a woman who is half-white and half-Japanese. Yes, the skin of my babies happens to be a few shades lighter than mine. Yes, my mom (a black woman born and raised in the deep south of Mississippi) loves my wife and kids because she’s smart enough to know that love is colorblind. All of my black friends and family members feel the same way.

You mad?

Don’t let the masses of ignorant people who exist on this planet get you down, Doyin. There are many, many of us who recognize a good father when we see one.

(photo: The Good Men Project)

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  • keelhaulrose

    It’s depressing he has to go through everything that he did.
    Even if they weren’t his kids, who gives a fuck? He’s being a good father, and that is what is important.
    My husband is an awesome dad. Sometimes I find it funny to go into a room and see my 6 foot 5, bulky, redneck, mechanic husband daintily pouring tea with my five year old, but it’s awesome, and I’m lucky too have him and my kids are lucky to have a father like him.
    He also gets looks because he doesn’t ‘look’ like our kids. My Native American husband made a redhead and a blondie. It shouldn’t freaking matter, as long as the kids have parents who love them.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      We get this shiz in my family too. My own MIL and BIL have accused me of having an affair because one of my kids doesn’t look like the other two. Which is funny, because the same issue happened with my own parents, only I was the odd one out, with black hair while my sisters had blonde.

    • Kay_Sue

      My sister is in the opposite position. She’s the milk man’s child because two of us are brunettes and she’s the blonde. ;)

    • keelhaulrose

      My daughter is in the habit of saying she got her red hair “from the mailman”.
      It breaks my heart a little when we get the look of “are… are you serious?” instead of the laugh at being called out for being an idiot.

    • Janok Place

      Man, my inlaws too. My mom is very obviously carrying a lot of Native American in her genetics and she is very dark. My dad and I each have hazel/green eyes. DH has blue eyes. DD has hazel eyes but they are more to the brown side. Obviously the mail mans kid, duh.

      It’s so offensive I don’t even know how to respond. Ironically, he’s dad of the year in my books. She’s his pride and joy, he’d do anything for her, play any game she asked and has always been an extremely doting and loving parent. Since day one. I know it pains him that his family would doubt her legitimacy, he wants the world to see this beautiful human we’ve created for what she is… His daughter.

      Inlaws suck. I’ve actually said that twice today, wow.

    • whiteroses

      My son looks exactly like me. I mean, it’s scary. The only difference is his genitalia.

      One of my SILs made insinuations that I had an affair. My husband (dear God I love that man) told her that if she ever said that again, she may as well wave as he walked out the door, because they’d never see each other again.

    • JLH1986

      Genetics messes with a lot of people. They simply can’t grasp that two blonde haired people can create a brown haired kid. Or that poor family a couple years back who are white but had a black kid? Both parents had close relatives who were black, hence black baby, everyone said mom was a hoe etc. etc. Ugh. People

  • Kay_Sue

    The whole post made me want to vomit when I read it. On his behalf, not because of what he wrote.

    It’s crazy to think that it’s the year 2014, and there’s still so much ground to be covered in the areas of “letting people love who they love” and “men can be great, wonderful, nurturing parents” too.

  • ChickenKira

    It is just disturbing how many people took issue (and RIDICULOUS issue) to this.

  • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

    I find this guy really inspiring. I was raised by my dad and he took all kinds of shit for it from his friends and random strangers alike. People would call him “Mr. Mom,” and constantly question him. One woman (a woman he briefly dated) asked him how I was going to “become a real girl” without a “woman’s touch.” Funny, I think my husband and kids would say I’m a “real girl.” LOL

    • Kay_Sue

      “Real girl”? Who were you, Pinnocchio? SMH. Glad it was briefly dated…

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Right? It’s funny how the relationship ended, actually. One day, she was watching me and got mad at him and basically sent me halfway across the city in a cab. Alone. At 5-years-old. He was done, after that.

  • Cee

    I remember my dad receiving a crash course on braiding over the phone when i was in kindergarten because I HAD to have them cause all my friends had him…poor guy, he tried, lol

  • Music Mamma

    This could be my husband. For his first Father’s Day, I got him a card with a man vacuuming while wearing a baby. It was apt. I hope this opens up a reasonable dialogue (ha!) about gender roles and expectations for both mothers and fathers.

  • Mystik Spiral

    My brother has a daughter. She’s an only child, and likely to stay that way. Although my niece is in day care and both parents work, I’d probably say he’s the “main” caregiver in that family. He does most of the cooking, a lot of the cleaning, he plays with my niece a LOT… He will dress up in a tutu to play dress up with her. He’s taken her and my SIL to get pedis and gotten his toes done as well, paint and all. I have no fear of my niece not turning out perfectly well-adjusted.

    Fuck the MRA haters, they’re mostly just jealous they can’t find a person who wants to willingly spend time and have children with them.

    • brebay

      Just curious, what’s MRA?

    • pixie

      I’m going to give it a guess and say Mother’s Rights Association

    • brebay

      Ah, okay. When I looked it up I only got Magnetic Resonance Angiogram, pretty sure that wasn’t it.

    • Mystik Spiral

      Men’s Rights Advocates. If you ever need an example of a douchebag dudbro (TM) just google MRA and visit one of their sites sometime…

    • brebay

      Oh, yeah, I’ve seen ponytail-dudebro on talk shows before explaining how unfair it was to expect a dad to pay child support for his first kid when he can’t afford it because he had two more kids with second wife.

    • pixie

      Ah, I was wrong. That was my second guess.

  • brebay

    It disturbs me that a father gets so much credit for fixing his kids’ hair. When was the last time you peed yourself over a mom doing this? It’s the same reason people act like single dads are folk heroes and single mothers are welfare queens who can’t keep their legs shut and sell their food stamps for drugs.

    • Mystik Spiral

      I think the point may have done a fly-by well above your head.

    • brebay

      I can read an article and choose to focus on a point other than the one the author made, thanks.

    • Mystik Spiral

      But who was explicitly giving him credit? The article is about all the hate he received just for doing what parents do every single day, just because he’s a dad.

    • brebay

      He also, according to him, got thousands of “Awww what a great daddy” comments. And Yahoo’s front page featuring the picture (right now) has the headline “Awesome Dad Styles Daughter’s Hair, Internet Breaks.”

    • Kelly

      Then you agree with him. He said it shouldn’t be a big deal, it should just be expected behavior from parents.

    • brebay

      Never said I didn’t agree with him! I was talking about the response to the picture, not to his post.

    • Kay_Sue

      I can see your point. I do like his response to the attention, though.

    • brebay

      Yes, I do to. I think he’s floored that it got so much attention, and so am I. I’m not speaking against him at all.

    • elle

      Oh I so agree with this. My husband stays at home and the amount of praise he gets over super simple stuff makes me roll my eyes so hard. Just so you don’t think I’m a jerk he hates it too…

    • Toaster

      I usually carry the baby in the carrier when we’re out because the straps are adjusted for me, but when my husband is wearing the carrier he gets ‘awww’s and ‘so sweet!’s and all kinds of comments because a man! With a baby! How unusual!

    • Rebecca R

      Sometimes I ‘awww’ when I see a man with a baby, but it’s only because I think that the juxtaposition of a big dude holding a tiny baby is adorable, not simply because the man is being a father. I did it when I saw this post as well, because that dude’s arms are beyond ripped and yet he’s being so gentle with his daughter’s hair.

    • EmilyG

      There is an interview with the dad on cnn.com in which he states, that he doesn’t want praise for taking care of his own children and that if he were a woman no one would be giving him a second glance.

  • pixie

    I read his post when B posted it to Facebook via STFUParents. I have felt the same way as him for a while. It should not be such a shock for fathers to be a main caregiver. It should not be seen as such a emasculating thing to care for your own children. I also like that he pointed out in his post that society doesn’t bat an eye towards a mother caring for children so it shouldn’t for fathers. It always bothers me when I see in commercials fathers being portrayed as incompetent at caring for children and moms are the only ones who can (for example, NyQuil).

    It’s also very disturbing the amount of racism, especially from men who are the same race as him. It’s sad that others are so bigoted and prejudiced not only to those of other races but also those who are of the same race. The issue won’t go away if people don’t stop being racist assholes to each other, different race or same.

  • Rachel Sea

    People have issues. Every parent should have those skills.

  • Mel

    He contradicts himself a little bit to me. I’m glad he claims not to want a parade for simply being a parent. Yet, he went to the trouble to take this picture and post it online, seemingly to tout himself as a phenomenon. I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, since we’re supposed to be sooooooo grateful when a man does what he’s supposed to do, but it just seems contradictory to me.

    • Sara

      In his original post he says he sent it to his wife as a joke because she jokingly said something about the baby not letting him do his other daughter’s hair. Or something to that effect

    • Mel

      That’s true. But then it was posted by either himself or his wife to the internet. By doing that he/she is presenting it to the world. I sincerely hope that it was simply to start a meaningful convo about parenting. I’m just a cynic who thinks that people who post selfies of any kind are egocentric in that action. If it was just meant to be between the two of them, it would have remained private in either a text or email or shown when she got home for work for a private laugh.

    • brebay

      I think she said she put it on her FB because she thought (rightly so) that it was a cute family picture. And once it’s on there, anyone can take it and it snowballed from there. I don’t know if that’s true, that’s what I read.

    • Mel

      I would believe that. But since I’m not on FB, I don’t know what the “rules” are. If your page is private, or your settings are private or whatever, doesn’t that mean that people can’t “steal” it and post it all over the place?

    • brebay

      anyone who can see the picture can download it or “share” it with anyone else. Probably a friend just though it was cute and passed it along, but, yeah, you can click on any picture you can see in FB and boom, you own it.

    • Mel

      That’s terrifying. Extra glad not to be on FB now! Thanks for the info :)

    • Kay_Sue

      Not exactly. You can set your settings to “no share” for photos. I did for my kids because some family members like to steal them and pretend like they have a relationship with them. So they all go in the same “no share” album.

      I was thinking in his blog post he said he had shared on Facebook/Twitter/his own blog??

    • brebay

      Oh, that’s good to know. Is it just under privacy settings or do you have to do it for each picture?

    • Kay_Sue

      I do it through the settings for the albums those photos are in. You can also set it so that all of your photos are no share through the privacy menu in account settings, if I remember correctly. My sister does that because her sorority prevents sharing any pictures, just on the off chance that someone shares something that makes them look bad.

      I was definitely happy to find it when I ran across that feature. :)

    • Sara

      Well, he’s a dad blogger and he basically said, this picture really really cute maybe other people will think it’s cute. And then the Internet happened.
      Also I’m not trying to be ride with this question. You really think all selfies are egocentric?

    • Mel

      I assume you meant rude and not ride (not trying to snark just want to not answer something you didn’t actually ask), and if so, I really do. I know it’s crotchety, but yes I think all selfies are silly and egocentric. It’s entirely possible, though, that there are some that I haven’t seen, and am wrong about….

    • Sara

      Haha yes I meant rude! And thank you for answering. I honestly think some can be egocentric, but I like the silly ones.
      And I didn’t want you to think I was implying the whole “how dare you disagree with my opinion, you fool!”

    • Mel

      Nah, didn’t take it that way at all, but thanks for being concerned about it! I’m just a 32 yr old coot who thinks that all of this social media nonsense is out of control and leads to rampant narcissism. I’m not on FB or Instagram or Twitter or the like. Admittedly, I’m not that interesting, and I don’t have any friends that I want to be informed about, so that’s on me. I enjoy the convos here, so I made a username so you fine people can be subjected to my biased and completely unimportant thoughts. You’re welcome :)

    • Sara

      I am an 18 year old with no children on a parenting blog soo zero judgements lol I have a twitter and a discus but refuse to make another Facebook after some bullying incidents so I get it!

    • Mel

      I’m childfree on a mommy site too! We should hang out :) Sorry you had such a bad FB experience. I had a FB a couple of years ago b/c everyone else was doing it. It was so boring and pointless, I only lasted a few months then deleted it. Again, I’m a coot with no friends. Oh well, my therapist and nieces/nephews seem to like me, so I’ll take it!

    • Mel

      And that is not a rude question at all.

    • elle

      He posted it to his FB/Twitter account called daddy doin work. I don’t really think it’s necessary contradictory or hypocritical-mom bloggers post pics of themselves with their kids all the time. You can just never tell what will go viral. It’s not really his fault that people either go gaga over/freak out over stay at home dad’s.

    • Mel

      That’s a fair point. I’m just saying how it makes me feel. I’m not surprised or upset to be disagreed with :)

    • Mystik Spiral

      And how many mothers do just that? A cursory glance at STFU Parents will tell you… it’s a LOT. I don’t know what his intentions were for sure, but I think these types of photos SHOULD be more mainstream, so everyone can get over acting like it’s not normal for fathers to take care of their kids.

    • Mel

      I agree, and those moms are total d-bags! I just don’t think anyone deserves a parade or a theme song for doing their jobs as parents. I think all of those pics and posts, regardless of gender, are lame and narcissistic.

    • Mel

      I need to follow up to that comment… In forums, such as this, where the whole point is to discuss parenting, it’s not narcissistic or lame. It’s informative and entertaining. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother coming here :) My argument is against those like the STFU Parents folks. Hope that is more clear!

    • Mystik Spiral

      Thanks, and I agree!

      My only point was that unless we DO see more of these pictures of dads doing “mom work”, will we as a society ever get past defining what a parent’s role should be based strictly on gender? Kind of like we need to wade through some muck before reaching the rainbow. Haha.

    • brebay

      Hmm, that’s a really good point, and like any awkward middle stage, this is going to be rough and ugly….

  • Sara

    I honestly want to know, where exactly does one rent children? My high graduation is coming up and I’d like to confuse some assholes who started a few rumors about me.

    • elle

      Hahaha I thought the same thing! Also I have a 2 year old I’d happily rent out-it’s about time he starts generating his own income ;) do you live in Utah?

    • Sara

      Aw man, no! That would be awesome though! I would need three specific ethnic children to cover the many children I was rumored to have

    • elle

      What? That’s out of control!

    • Sara

      Apparently missing school and weight gain was all the confirmation some people needed lol! But now I am the proud mother of three (fictional) little boys! Arturo (Puerto-Rican) Shane (Asian), and little Charlie (Afro-Cuban). What gets me is how specific these rumors were about my kids’ ethnicity

    • elle

      They were extremely specific, like weirdly specific I really want to laugh, but also not because I’m not sure how you felt about the whole thing…..

    • Sara

      I wrote an essay on my “struggle” with motherhood and made fun of the entire rumor while explaining why I was really out so it’s cool if you laugh! I just wanted to know who my baby daddies are because we have like 3 Asian guys in my area.

    • elle

      Lol that’s amazing!

    • Sara

      I feel like I need to find three kids to just randomly put in my graduation invitation photos now. It feels like a good idea :)

  • jef jab

    This is beautiful… Let people say what they say… thats life. Stop wishing the world would be a better place… it is what it is and it aint gone change. https://soundcloud.com/jefjab/i-sell-dope-prod-by-jef-jab

  • Mel

    I have been informed of further details about how the pic went viral. So, if it pleases the Court I would like to amend and clarify my position. I think that if he only meant for this to be a joke with his wife (which was funny, after all) he would have just shown it, emailed it, or texted it to her in only. By posting it on the web, he chose to make himself an example. Granted, he seems to be a very good example. So, I’m going to direct my comments to the broader subject which is that I firmly and thoroughly HATE the fact that so many men/people in general still use the word “help” when they discuss participation in childcare and home maintenance. It’s sad and backwards that it’s assumed to be the woman/mom’s default job and that men should get a parade and round of applause for doing the bare minimum. I think that’s a more interesting conversation that the specific circumstances of this one pic.

  • pitchicx

    My husband gets this crap all the time from his family! He’s Mexican and anytime he posts pictures of helping with our son or cooking dinner, etc. they are all over him saying he’s not a real man and I should do more. Ummm I’m 39 weeks pregnant and our son loves his daddy. My husband is thrilled that our son is excited to see him and wants to do things with him. We also hear it because my husband is very dark and I’m a ghost. Our son doesn’t look Hispanic at all.

  • Peace

    So sorry to hear about the negative comments coming from any direction! It is the job of adults ( and particularly parents) to care for children! That is one of the things that makes humans “civilized”!! It’s not that complicated….!

  • CrazyLogic

    I just think the picture is plain adorable.

  • C.J.

    My husband has always brushed our girl’s hair. He can do a pony and a bun but gets tangled in hair if he tries to braid. He had to learn how to make a bun when I had my stroke and still couldn’t use one hand. He is only one of two dad’s on my kids dance team that can make a bun. It was kind of cute watching my sister teach him how to make a bun, he looked so awkward. He still looks awkward but he can get it done if need be.

  • Jayess

    I carefully read all the comments to see if I was going to be the only one saying this, or if I could just upvote someone else. Because all *I* saw in that picture was “holy canole, look at those ARMS.”

    • darras

      Certainly not the only one!

  • simoneutecht

    With our daughter I worked nights and my husband days so he did all the morning stuff including combing her hair, mostly ponytails. This was a good time for them to bond and chat about stuff and they are still really close to this day, she just turned 15, 3 days ago. He is white and I am black and we have both gotten the stink eye because although both of our kids look exactly like me they gave his coloring. All I can say is haters gonna hate and if my family is topic enough for you to be so involved I feel sorry for you that your life sucks.

  • Princess Anne

    big FOOOOOKING DEAL… TRY IT WITH 4 KIDS BUD.. THEN TELL US YOURE A DAD.. I KNOW A MAN WHO DID THIS…. YEARS AGO… SO THIS IS.. REALLY JUST MAKING ME LAUGH.. AND SAY… WHOOPIE CAUSE HES BLACK.. AND COMBED A HEAD.. HES A DAD…. BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA… YAH OK

    • sanifax36

      You an idiot!!!

  • Susie

    I lost my dad very suddenly when I was sixteen. This photo reminds me of all the little moments I had with ! brushing my hair, tucking me in, ect. Makes me both sad for myself and happy that these little ladies will experience the same joy that a good father brings his little girls. Daddies are awesome:-).

  • Tuttie Sayles

    I love the fact he’s doing what needs to be done to take care
    of his children. Some father’s won’t do anything. If you need help
    doing your child hair I can certainly do that.I specialize in braiding and combing
    hair in carson ca.glamour spot hair salon.Tuttie 310-494-8010

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