Not long after John Legend and Chrissy Teigen welcomed their first child, Luna, into the world in 2016, Teigen reportedly began experiencing the symptoms of postpartum depression. “Getting out of bed...was painful,” Teigen wrote in a Glamour op-ed. “My lower back throbbed; my shoulders—even my wrists—hurt. I didn’t have an appetite. I would go two days without a bite of food.”
In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Legend opens up about the difficulty of that time and how it shaped his role as father to Luna, now 3. “It was really tough for both [Chrissy and I] — and especially for her. We kind of learned together how to deal with it,” Legend tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “But I think the most important thing for me was to be the best dad and best partner and husband that I could be and support her as much as possible.”
A big part of that support was changing diapers, which he says inspired his playful kids’ song “Stinky Booty.”
“I would change [Luna’s] diapers and I started singing ‘somebody’s gotta a stinky booty.’ And it came up in an interview one time and one of my production people was like why aren’t you pitching this to Pampers?” he says. “And so we pitched [it] and they loved it and we built a campaign around daddy diaper duty. Really no [diaper] companies [had] focused on the fact that dad’s should be changing diapers, too.”
Both Legend and Teigen began appearing in Pampers ads with the song, as well as this year, their second child Miles. But a few months ago Legend decided he needed to take his mission even further. “A guy named Dante posted a picture of him squatting in the men’s restroom using his thighs as his changing table and basically saying we needed more facilities for guys to be able to change a diaper.”
So, after teaming up with Koala Kare and Pampers, Legend is now setting out to build changing tables in restrooms nationwide. “I think it’s important to normalize men changing diapers, but I also think it’s important to normalize the fact that we share in household duties anyway,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We talk a lot about equality in the workforce, but a lot of times people aren’t accounting for the fact that there’s a massive inequality at home. My mother and my father gave us chores...we did dishes, we did laundry, we cleaned the bathroom we did whatever. It was never a thing where men do this and women do this.”
#ThrowBackThursday This picture has went viral turning itself into a campaign! #SquatForChange ❤️🙌🏽
I do have one goal I want to accomplish: I would love to sit on the set of @TheEllenShow with my wife and three boys!
Call to Action: I need everyone to Tag Ellen pic.twitter.com/YVk1b7hpC0
— Donte Palmer (@3boys_1Goal) February 7, 2019
For Legend, however, the idea of men stepping it up is bigger than just doing the right thing — it’s about actually leveling the playing field.
“There shouldn’t be any kind of stigma around dads and boys being involved in all these different household duties,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It’s important we have these conversations because it’s actually an economic issue and an equality issue for women making sure that those responsibilities are shared in a way that’s more equitable.”
To hear more about John Legend’s mission to normalize daddy diaper duty, and install changing tables in mens’ bathrooms nationwide, watch the video above.
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