The retail clothing chain Old Navy recently found itself in hot water over its 2016 Father’s Day campaign.
The store produced a T-shirt for the holiday that reads “It’s Father’s Day,” but the words “It’s Her Day” appear in bold white letters with the word “really” placed directly above the “her.”
The shirt angered many on social media and Old Navy appears to have pulled the ad in response to all the backlash. Sadly, this is hardly the first time a major company’s marketing campaign has degraded fathers.
Just last year, the toilet paper brand Angel Soft released a YouTube video titled “Happy Father’s Day, Mom,” that featured tear-filled stories about how wonderful mothers are.
Of course, no one is doubting the greatness of moms, but wouldn’t that ad have been better suited for Mother’s Day?
The online retail giant Amazon came under fire last year for its parent-focused program, Amazon Mom. The online membership program was referred to Amazon Family the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Austria, France, and Japan.
Fortunately, Amazon, Old Navy and Angel Soft are outliers. Throughout popular culture, dads are being portrayed as more involved and emotionally engaged than ever before.
That’s how fathers should be depicted, because it mirrors reality. Research from the Pew Research Center shows fathers are taking more active roles in caring for their children and more dads see parenting as central to their identity.
As dads are becoming progressively more involved, researchers are learning more about the value those interactions have when it comes to children’s development. Fatherhood research, after being brushed aside for decades, is a rapidly growing and evolving field that is uncovering insights into the unique manner in which dads interact with their kids and how that contributes to their upbringing.
This Father’s Day weekend, families across the country will take time to celebrate those crucial contributions that dads make throughout the year. This day is a joyous one for most fathers, but the holiday can conjure much different emotions for dads who have recently gone through a divorce.
Although fathers are gradually gaining more rights, gender stereotypes still pervade the family court system, which unfairly tend to negate dads to secondary parent status.
It’s so important to keep in mind that divorced dads are still dads and it is crucial for them to remain heavily involved in their kids’ lives.
That’s easier said than done if you’re a dad forced to spend Father’s Day apart from his children. However, regardless of whatever circumstance you find yourself in this year, keep in mind that the love and commitment you show your kids every day throughout the year does make an enormous difference.
“(Father’s Day) is just a day,” said author and speaker Laura Petherbridge. “It’s a day on the calendar that was probably created by somebody from Hallmark. Don’t let that determine your worth or your identity. You’re still a great dad even if you don’t spend Father’s Day with your kids. … Don’t let that be your identity that you’re a bad dad.
Related: Father’s Day Tips For Divorced Dads
“Just step up to the plate on those other days. If you have to do it on Monday rather than on Sunday, just make sure you’re child knows you love them and you desire to spend time with them. That will speak volumes more than if you were able to spend time with them on Father’s Day or not.”