About this time a year ago, I was in my office watching Jenny Mollen’s Instagram story as she posted from the makeup chair. “Guys, I’m here today for a Parents magazine cover shoot with Laz and Sid,” the writer/actor/comedian whispered to her hundreds of thousands of followers. “I’m freaking out and kinda cracking up because Jason thinks he’s gonna be on the cover and I’m scared to tell him. He brought a pair of pajamas for the shoot and everything.”
I called our creative director, Agnethe Glatved, to warn her about the dynamic that might be unfolding on the set steps away. When we photograph families, our team is used to making last-minute pivots. The energy on set was amazing, Agnethe said. Jenny had already given us so many fun options for our April cover, so why not add Jason to the set? That’s exactly what we did, and the shot of the four of them was the perfect one to accompany Jenny’s essay in the magazine.
A few months later, Jason had a crowd of 500 advertising executives in stitches as he described—tongue firmly in cheek—not being included on the cover. “It’s ParENTS magazine,” he whined/yelled. “Not ParENT magazine!”
Shtick or not, it was a valid observation I’d heard before. When I became your editor two years ago, I pored over your letters and comments. I was struck by notes not from men, but from women: “How come every time I see a picture of a parent changing a diaper, it’s a mom?” Certainly, men are now changing as many diapers as women. In my house, Steve is the parent who makes doctor appointments and packs school lunches.
We’ve worked hard to address what readers like you have picked up on because we want the magazine to reflect your real family life. I hope you’ve noticed more photos of dads in kitchens, nurseries, and doctors’ offices. On our June cover, Nathan joined his wife, Laura, and their kids at the beach. Last year, Armando captured the Halloween spirit with his wife, Krystle, and their cuties. Now more than ever, representation matters.