In case you hadn't heard, there's some big game thingy this weekend with a ball and some dudes running around. Jk, it's the Super Bowl! To answer the NFL's question: Yes, I am ready for some football. I won't be tuning in just for Beyoncé — although that's a pretty epic bonus. No, I'm about to get my rabid sports fan all riled up. On Super Bowl Sunday you can find me screaming at the TV, trying to figure out how to inhale chicken-wing dip and chug an IPA simultaneously, and gloating at my friends whenever a conversion, turnover, or touchdown takes place. (Go, Broncos!)
But there's another side to football players that many of us don't see, and it's off the field — their family-guy side. Which is why this daddy-daughter video from Pantene is such a surprising treat. To celebrate its "Strong Is Beautiful" campaign — through which the brand helps women and girls "shine by helping to build their confidence" — Pantene has teamed up with some all-star football greats to showcase how spending quality time can have a positive, lasting effect on female self-esteem.
In the videos — which feature Benjamin Watson of the New Orleans Saints, DeAngelo Williams of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys — the dads are given some styling tools and a hairdo to create (with their daughters' expert advice, of course). Williams and his daughter Rhiya, in particular, have one of the most hilarious and heartwarming videos. Rhiya's facial expressions alone are worth the watch (she clearly has some serious doubts as to her dad's skills with a brush), and Williams' bewilderment at why hair ties aren't easier to use is a struggle we can all relate to. But it's when Rhiya tells Williams, "You're doing a good job, daddy" that the message both hits home and my eyes start the waterworks. So. Much. Cute.
Outside of the emotional and entertainment value of the spot, it supports what science has been telling us for years about the importance of a strong father figure actively involved in a girl's life. As Dr. Linda Nielsen explains in "College Daughters’ Relationships with Their Fathers: A 15-Year Study," Wake Forest University, 2006, "the father has the greater impact on the daughters’ ability to trust, enjoy, and relate well to the males in her life." Not to mention that "well-fathered daughters are usually more self-confident, more self-reliant, and more successful in school and in their careers than poorly fathered daughters." Which is why dedicated, productive bonding time for fathers and daughters is so important in shaping who the girls will become as adults.
We don't usually see fathers factor into the self-esteem equation when we talk about building confidence in girls. So Pantene gets all the claps for putting this issue front and center and encouraging men to take a more active role in their daughters' lives. And this timely, light-hearted campaign is, I think, a great way to spread that message.
To check out more of these aww-inducing videos, go to Pantene's YouTube page for your viewing pleasure. So before you start ironing your Peyton Manning jersey (what, you don't do that?), watch these and be prepared to feel all of the feels.