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James Van Der Beek says being a 'girl dad' has liberated him from 'limited belief systems'

In a recent Instagram post, the 'Dawson's Creek' star credited his young daughter for changing his outlook on life.

James Van Der Beek says being a 'girl dad' has liberated him from 'limited belief systems'
Cover Image Source: James Van der Beek arrives at the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

James Van Der Beek credits his young daughter for changing his outlook on life. In an Instagram post shared this weekend, the "Dawson's Creek" star showed his 3-year-old daughter Gwendolyn painting his nails light pink while he cheered her on and praised her nail painting skills. Captioning the post—which included a snap of his little one partaking in the beauty regimen and a short clip of himself showering her with compliments—the 45-year-old wrote: "#Parenting perk: Surprise liberation from limited belief systems." Van Der Beek then went on to recount an incident from before the birth of his first child when he was working on set with a director who had black nail polish on.


"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," he wrote. "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 sh*t 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."


Concluding his post, the proud dad revealed that he plans to rock the pink nail polish for the foreseeable future. "Which is to say... 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 wrote, adding the hashtag, "#GirlDad." According to PEOPLE, in addition to Gwendolyn, Van Der Beek and his wife Kimberly are parents to Olivia (11), Joshua (10), Annabel (8), Emilia (6) and Jeremiah (7 months).


Van Der Beek's post inspired many of his Instagram followers to share similarly heartwarming stories involving nail polish and men. "When my sons played Pop Warner football one of the grandpas came in his old man sandals with multicolored pastel toenails that his granddaughter, one of the cheerleaders had painted. We all complimented him on his fancy feet," commented mary_franks1125. "My father-in-law passed with his toenails polished from our daughters. He always let the colors grow out, and would never take them off," revealed mommabirdsemptynest.


"My son asks me to paint his nails. He's 13, an only child and wears it so confidently. I asked him why he wanted it and he said, 'it looks cool, it's my personality,'" wrote wildmadegoods. "Hahaha my husband went to an investor meeting with pink sparkle nails when our oldest was 10... the investor shook his head with a smile and a knowing look... he was a dad too," shared alexandrafreyer. "My 3-year-old son loves having his nails painted and picking out the colors himself. I actually just finished his a few minutes ago! (He passed out while I was finishing his toes.) Red on his fingernails and yellow/green color changing on his toes," commented punkypinup77. 

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