Erin Kelly gives some thoughts about dads, sons, dolls, and masculinity.
For years, society has taught us that a father’s words of advice to his son are priceless. We’ve been taught that those words are golden–that they’re the very definition of masculinity at its core. What happens, however, when a man’s son asks for something he doesn’t expect?
Look no further than Mikki Willis and his son, Azai.
In the video above–while in a car with his two sons–Willis explains that Azai recently celebrated his birthday, and received two gifts that were exactly the same. When they went to the toy store to exchange one of the gifts for something he didn’t have, Azai picked out a mermaid doll. Mikki holds the doll up far enough for viewers to see and says, “I let my boys choose their life!”
A few seconds prior to this, Mikki starts the video the way most dads would: “How do you think a dad feels when his son wants to get this?” while showing the doll to the camera. He pauses in between–which almost makes you think he’s going to say something that’s expected–but alas, he answers his own question with a resounding “Yeah!”, marking his seal of approval.
Mikki ends the video with a few enduring words for both of his young boys: “You have my promise right now, forever, to love you and accept you–no matter what life you choose.”
This is not only a message of masculinity, but it’s also one of genuine authenticity. This dad shot this video in his car, posted it on YouTube on earlier this month and it has spread across social media like wildfire ever since. There’s no glitz or glamor here–and it can be argued that that’s part of the reason why it oozes masculinity. A father who lets his children “choose their life” and still supports whatever choices they make is a mark of a well-rounded man. Not only that, but it shows maturity in that a man doesn’t have to mold his kids in his own image in order to watch them live a dream and
}succeed in life.