Welcome to The Daddy Issue, our very fatherly tip of the cap to the father figures in our lives as well as all the fatherly stuff they can’t help but do — from pretending they’re not asleep on the couch, to the dad jokes that make even Tony Soprano smile. We’ll talk to famous dads and their equally famous progeny and also deconstruct fatherly influence in each and every one of its forms. In doing so, we hope to come out the other side with a better understanding of our own — and everyone else’s — daddy issues. Read all of the stories here.
For the better part of the last decade, my buddy Ross and I have gotten into the same argument every summer about who has a hotter dad. Both of our fathers have decent muscles and play guitar, but because his old man is taller and maintained a full head of hair into his 60s, he always wins. But I like to think the real winner is anyone who overhears us and inevitably wonders why we want our dads to be considered DILFs so badly.
The debate is always instigated by the tradition of our peers posting the most attractive pictures of their dads — usually in the prime of their youth — in honor of Father’s Day. While people don’t refer to their dads as DILFs directly in their social media posts, the photo selection always comes with the subtext of “this guy can get it.”
So many people are guilty of this move on Mother’s Day, anniversaries, birthdays and Throwback Thursdays that it almost feels rude not to share a celebratory sexy vintage picture of your parents on such occasions. What a weird genetic flex. Sure, those photos from the 1960s and 1970s are basically made for Instagram, but you posting that shirtless picture of your dad feels a lot like the Freudian inverse of Donald Trump calling Ivanka hot.
Either way, I’m not proud of the role I, too, have played in this trend because it perpetuates the idea that every father should to be considered attractive on the third Sunday in June, which simply isn’t accurate. With all due respect, just because it’s Father’s Day doesn’t mean your dad is a DILF. At best, he’s a “dad I’d like to teach me to change a tire,” or some other fatherly life lesson. But I’m not gonna flirt with him over it, no matter what you post.
There needs to be a criteria for DILFdom that requires more than just being a guy who had a kid and took an okay picture three decades ago. And that criteria starts with being objectively hot — and if it’s your dad, you’re not objective. Speaking of you, this is all pretty self-involved, actually. By exploiting your mediocre-looking parents in their hottest moments, you’re making their day about yourself, and how sexy you are by association. Sorry, but it’s true.
So if you must post this Father’s Day, go with a realistic picture of your dad that celebrates the six he really is. After all, he doesn’t need the likes to have a good Father’s Day. He just wants you to stop scrolling through goddamn Instagram at the dinner table.