The day my daughter invited me to join her Indian Princess troop (pre-Girl Scout training), it changed our relationship. The two of us met once a week with eight other pairs of fathers and daughters, a group designed to do something fathers and their daughters don’t often do enough: spend time together. We had campouts and a lot of fun picking our Indian names, but we also had guest speakers talk about messages the media sends to girls about how their bodies should look, domestic violence, depression, and one night, we learned to swing dance. That came in handy years later at my oldest daughter’s wedding. The relationship between fathers and daughters is often caricatured as one in which a clueless dad is stunned as his eye-rolling progeny blows past him on her way to the mall. But of course, the interaction between dads and daughters is far more complex. It not only sets an example for the kind of partner a girl may choose as she gets older, but also affects the way she sees herself. Research shows that fathers who are close to their daughters early on still eventually drift apart as the girl hits her teenage years. So I’m glad instead of being an onlooker during her early years, we found a way to communicate and exchange wisdom built upon experiences together. I remember one time when my younger daughter asked me if I thought she was fat. I stumbled through the answer, realizing that the answer wasn’t as important as the question. It led me to realize that the influences around my daughter telling her she had to look a certain way were more powerful than her mother and I. It was then I decided to read Margo Maine’s book entitled Father Hunger: Fathers, Daughters, and the Pursuit of Thinness. In it, she discovered that since daughters were generally disconnected from their fathers and desperate for approval and not getting it, it often led to food disorders. As a result, I stayed close and was clear that what I said mattered to her. Even the most innocuous comment from a father about his daughter’s appearance can be injurious. Better yet, all the dads in the group began writing CEOs of companies insisting they pull ads that perpetuate negative stereotypes for girls. I always ended mine with “Is this the message you want to send to your daughter?”