James Van Der Beek says being a 'girl dad' has given him 'surprise liberation from limited belief systems' as daughter paints his nails pink

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Actor James Van Der Beek shared why he has no issue letting his daughter paint his fingernails. (Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images)
Actor James Van Der Beek shared why he has no issue letting his daughter paint his fingernails. (Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images)

James Van Der Beek is a proud "girl dad."

The Dawson's Creek alum — whose large brood with wife Kimberly includes six kids, four of whom are girls — took to Instagram over the weekend to share a sweet moment with his 3-year-old daughter, Gwendolyn. The actor sat outside on the porch at a table with his daughter while the little one painted his fingernails pink.

"You're doing a great job honey. How'd you pick this color for me?" Van Der Beek, 45, asked the toddler

"Because I wanted for you to like it," she replied before her dad turned the camera back on himself and smiled.

In the post's caption, Van Der Beek — who is also dad to sons Joshua, 10, and Jeremiah, 5 months, and daughters Emilia, 6, Annabel, 8, and Olivia, 11 — spoke candidly about how he feels about embracing the unpredictable aspects of parenthood.

"Parenting perk: Surprise liberation from limited belief systems," said Van Der Beek. "Way back when we were pregnant with our first, I was on a set where the director had nail polish on one hand: black. It looked kind of emo, and someone commented on it. He said — without an ounce of embarrassment — that his daughter had done it, and I recall wondering why he hadn’t taken it off before working with a crew of people who might judge him."

The Varsity Blues star went on to explain how becoming a dad has changed his outlook.

"Now I get it. It’s one of those things you can’t really convey to someone on the brink of having their first child: The complete ease with which you abandon s*** you once thought mattered (but probably never really did in the first place) … and the simple joy you find in things that baffled you before you became a parent," he wrote.

Van Der Beek closed out his statement by adding, "If you think I’ll be removing this pink nail polish before pouring concrete with a few friends tomorrow … then you probably don’t have kids." He added a heart emoji and the hashtag "#GirlDad."

In 2020, Van Der Beek and his wife chose to leave Los Angeles with their family and move to Texas. In an intimate post, he shared how pregnancy loss, his mother's death and getting kicked off Dancing With the Stars solidified his decision to leave California.

“All of that led to some drastic changes in our lives, and dreams, and priorities ... and landed us here,” he shared. “Overflowing with profound gratitude today.”

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