‘A Baby Who Is Manlier Than Me’ Internet famous open heart surgery baby sparks discussion of manhood.

He’s everywhere. The 3 month old baby with the four-inch scar after undergoing open heart surgery. And, of course, the discussion came down to baby Joey’s manliness and how “the chicks are gonna dig the scar.”


For those of you who somehow missed the story, The Daily Mail explains:

“The craze started when Matt Tassone posted a picture of his handsome three-month-old nephew, Joey Powling Jr, of Dracut, Massachusetts, showing his scar on the site Reddit with the caption, ‘ridiculously good-looking surgery baby.'”

And of course, Chuck Norris meme anyone?

But the photo that we don’t want to get lost in the internet shuffle is this photo, which pretty much sums up our view on #RealFatherhood:

Why do you think this captured the imagination of so many people?


Read more about the Baby Joey sensation at The Daily Mail.

 See more photos of #RealFatherhood on GMP: “This is what real fatherhood looks like.”

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  1. aaahh, just a refreshing picture this is..if any of us had been through what that handsome lil’ fella went through, we’d be complaining and whining and pitying ourselves; it’s just so refreshing to see his beautiful beautiful smile after it all..and the second pic? Nothing breaks me more than seeing a dad so involved in his baby’s life, hanging on to those tubes as though it were his own life at stake…all men have a choice to commit to their children’s lives, to participate, to be present, to make it count, but most men Choose not to be…beautiful pics both 🙂

    • “…all men have a choice to commit to their children’s lives, to participate, to be present, to make it count, but most men Choose not to be…”

      That, right there, is a patently offensive statement. WOW. You know next to nothing about men, the choices men have to make and how they make them. When my son was in the NICU I saw plenty of Dads. They came in over lunch, at night, or early in the morning. After they worked all damn day to keep the family afloat- to provide food, shelter, the insurance that’s paying for their child’s care and some sense of normality for the rest of the brood. I always took the toughest “shifts” so my wife wouldn’t have to. I was there when he was recovering from surgery, in pain because the anesthesia was wearing off to quickly. I was there whenever they stepped him down on medications- when you could see the withdrawal symptoms but I wasn’t even allowed to touch him because he was so unstable. I prayed for hours that God would take the pain from him and put it in me so I could carry his burden. AS DID SO MANY OTHER DADS.

      The moms were there too, but no one is insulting them.

      As for Baby Joey, he’s tough as nails. Just like my son. Just like every other baby who had to go through an ordeal like that. His parents, like my wife and I, are privileged to know our children; the toughest people we’ve ever met.

      • Texpat for starters let me say You Are An Amazing Dad…if you notice I said ‘all men have a choice…but MOST men choose not’ ..I didn’t say they all choose not. You are among the very few who have chosen to be there for your kids, and that makes you an amazing dad, and I truly appreciate and admire that. I’m positively sure that your wife also appreciates it as a mum and as a woman. I talk from experience, my husband walked out on me and his child and has never looked back. I know scores and scores of dads who just don’t care. I was in hospital the other day and witnessed a lady brought in to ER with premature labour (30wks) because her husband (father to her other 2 kids) had run her over with a car after she found out he was cheating..there are men who just don’t give a *care*…and then there are men, like you, who give their all…I didn’t mean it to sound insultive, sorry if I did…I just wish more and more dads would be as committed to their kids,and it’s a choice one makes..Thank You, from me, your kids, your wife and other women out here, for making the right choice…God reward you for your commitment

  2. My pastor from looooooooooooooooooong ago used to always tell us to emulate the strength of babies. Their will is only to survive, no matter what the challenge. Sure, there is pain and fear, but the conscious ability to give up does not yet exist, and that is an asset. Oftentimes as adults, resilience is the only option, so put surrender at the back of your mind, and keep on surviving. Keep breathing. Keep cooing. Keep smiling. The people around you will appreciate your resilience, and when the conflict is over, you will be stronger for it… much stronger for it, just like bebeh Joey.

    What a little cutie!

  3. wellokaythen says:

    Babies are tough customers. You’ll never be as resilient as you were when you were a baby. Cool photo.

  4. There is something sweet, yet sad about the picture. Seeing such a small baby smiling just melts your heart. Then you see the huge scar, clearly he has undergone some major surgery but he looks happy. This pictures makes you take a long hard look at your own life. If a such a young baby can keep smiling throughout the biggest ordeal in his short life; we as adults need to put aside any trivial problems that we have and realize that things aren’t so bad after all 🙂

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