No More Wannabe Playboys

A hundred years ago, fatherlessness was a result of paternal death. Today, men are not physically dying as much as they’re choosing to live socially dead. When you consider a child born outside marriage spends only six months of his entire childhood living with his father, it’s not so farfetched to view manhood through an Ashton Kutcher-esque lens.

“He just came up and kissed me,” twenty-two-year-old Sara Leal told US Weekly. “He lost his towel and I took my robe off.”

The article chronicles the now famous one-night stand that contributed to the ruin of a marriage and the tabloid stardom of a young woman. It also profiles a man who has now become a role model for all twenty- and thirty-something wannabe playboys: Ashton Kutcher.

For most men, this real-life scenario happens only in the movies. A film like The Hangover propagates the Hollywood gospel that says manhood equals debauchery, laziness, and irresponsibility. If you believe what you see on the big screen, and in Mr. Kutcher’s hot tub, manhood looks like being a slightly better dressed teenager.


Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.