James Van Der Says That Having 4 Daughters Helped Liberate His Worldview

Becoming a parent certainly shifts your perspectives and priorities around— whether you’re ready for it or not.

Men who have the experience of becoming a “girl dad” often discuss how their worldview was impacted when their daughters entered their lives.

James Van Der Beek is a four-time “girl dad”

Actor and Dawson’s Creek alum James Van Der Beek, 45, is no exception to experiencing the girl-dad epiphany.

James Van Der Beek and his daughter Olivia pose for photo
Photo Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for John Varvatos
Photo Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for John Varvatos

As a father of six kids, four of whom are girls, Van Der Beek knows a thing or two about diaper duty and Disney princess films.

The Van Der Beek family is 6 kids strong

Van Der Beek became a father for the first time when his wife Kimberly Brook gave birth to their first daughter Olivia in 2010.

Since then, the family has been slowly expanding and the couple secretly welcomed another boy (their sixth child!) in November 2021.

Sundays are for manicures given by toddlers

Van Der Beek recently uploaded a picture on Instagram that summed up how his Sunday was going.

Young girl painting her toe nails wearing a Toy Story outfit.
Photo Credit: Rune Hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Rune Hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images

The father was in the middle of getting his nails painted a lovely pink coral shade by his 3-year-old toddler Gwendolyn.

The sleepy 3-year-old is focused on her job

The two-part post includes a photo of the father grinning at the camera while his daughter focuses on applying the pink nail paint.

James Van Der Beek and child painting his nails
Photo Credit: @vanderjames / Instagram
Photo Credit: @vanderjames / Instagram

Gwendolyn looks slightly disheveled wearing a sleep mask over her tousled blonde hair.

“Pink is a cool color”

In the second part of the post, Van Der Beek shared a video clip of the impromptu nail salon.

Side by side image of little girl and her father while she paints his nails sparkly pink
Photo Credit: @vanderjames / Instagram
Photo Credit: @vanderjames / Instagram

He asks Gwendolyn “How did you pick this color for me?” The toddler responds “Because I thought you would like it.”

Life changes after becoming a girl dad

Gwendolyn was right, her father did like the nail color.

James Van Der Beek and wife Kristen Brooks in family photo with children
Photo Credit: @vanderjames / Instagram
Photo Credit: @vanderjames / Instagram

The dad-of-six wrote a lengthy caption on his Instagram post to share his thoughts about being a father alongside an anecdote from his days before fatherhood.

“Surprise liberation from limited belief systems”

The post’s caption starts with “#parentingperk: Surprise liberation from limited belief systems.”

Dad and daughter hold new born baby in hospital
Photo Credit: Jonathan Borba / Pexels
Photo Credit: Jonathan Borba / Pexels

Van Der Beek then goes on to describe how his worldview has shifted since becoming a parent but especially since having girls.

A former director was once wearing black nail polish

The caption continues to explain that back when James and Kimberly were pregnant with their first child, the actor was working on set with a director who was wearing black nail polish on one hand.

Director looking into movie camera
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

The dad recalls “It looked kind of emo, and someone commented on it.”

The director’s daughter had painted his nails

The director responded, “without an ounce of embarrassment – that his daughter had done it.”

Director on set looking at monitor
Photo Credit: Kyle Loftus / Pexels
Photo Credit: Kyle Loftus / Pexels

Van Der Beek remembers wondering why he hadn’t taken it off “before working with a crew of people who might judge him.”

Your perspective on what’s considered “embarrassing” changes after children

The caption then shifts gears to Van Der Beek admitting “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.”

Man in red beanie holding young daughter over his shoulder
Photo Credits: Josh Willink / Pexels
Photo Credits: Josh Willink / Pexels

It wasn’t until after his daughter Olivia came along that the new father realized “the complete ease with which you abandon [things] you once thought mattered (but probably never really did in the first place).”

You become aware of things that didn’t seem to exist before

The father also highlights “the simple joy you find in things that baffled you before you became a parent.”

Dad and daughter build card board house
Photo Credit: Tatiana Syrikova / Pexels
Photo Credit: Tatiana Syrikova / Pexels

Suddenly, things that you never paid attention to before becoming a parent are now part of your everyday routine.

Watch the full clip of James and his daughter Gwendolyn

Van Der Beek summarized his thoughts by saying “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 included a heart emoji and the popular hashtag #girldad on the post.

Fans praised the actor for his willingness to get his nails done

Fans of Van Der Beek who viewed the father-daughter moment on Instagram left over 700 comments on the original post.

Comments from Instagram
Photo Credit: @vanderjames / Instagram
Photo Credit: @vanderjames / Instagram

The majority of comments praised the actor/father for his participation in activities like getting his nails painted.

#GirlDads are taking over Hollywood

Van Der Beek is not the only notable girl-dad in Hollywood.

Other celebs like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Channing Tatum are proud #girldads who share updates on their family lives regularly.