You might not have heard, but Penn Badgley is a daddy. Of course, he was always a daddy, in our hearts, in our souls, in our collective teen groupthink. But he has a baby now. It’s like being a daddy but different.
Noted Incubus fan Penn Badgley, and his wife, singer and disgraced doula Domino Kirke announced the birth of their first child over the weekend. On Instagram, Kirke wrote: “His heart shaped home ❣️ #40dayspostpartum #placentaart”
Placenta art aside, the news marks a shift for Badgley, who now moves from daddy to Daddy, with a capital D. It’s the end of an era for the actor, who spent the last 12 years an an object of millenial and zoomer wet dreams. Specifically, me, who had a 8x11 inch photo of him skateboarding as the cover to my 7th grade binder in 2008. When my dad asked me why the image of Penn Badgley was emblazoned across my math notes, I couldn’t yet communicate that my dick sometimes got hard when I thought about boys riding skateboards, so I just told him: “Idk, I think he’s cool.”
Remember Gossip Girl? It was that show everyone pretended to loathe, which was actually quite enjoyable. Badgley played Dan, the bumbling everyman who stumbled his way through the Upper East Side, and private school, before outing himself as a scheming mastermind who repeatedly orchestrated the destruction of his friend’s personal lives. While his character on Gossip Girl was definitively “not hot,” Badgley’s own natural hotness practically leaked from the television screen.
For me and every 7th grader I knew, his hotness was contingent on the alchemy of Badgley’s dirtbag skater vibe, his swarthy long hair, and the general sense one got that he was permanently sweaty. The chest hair peeking out from underneath his t-shirt was a fun treat—a bonus!—for newly awakened teen homosexuals.
As Gossip Girl dragged on into near-eternity, my friends and I developed proper horny drives, accelerating our thirst. While we lustily trawled popular celebrity Livejournal site ONTD after school, saving whatever pap shots we found in a folder called “Homework Notes” (for purposes that were definitely NOT homework,) Badgley continued to skateboard around New York City. Or date people like Zoe Kravitz. I mean, look at her. Zoe Kravitz knew what was up.
Her face, her direct stare into the camera, the way she has her legs crossed just so—this was the face of a woman who could triumphantly announce, with just her body language, “I am dating Penn Badgley, and you are not. I have seen his dick and you have definitely not.” Oh, how my horny high school friends and I burned with a jealous passion.
When I consulted Jezebel’s horny expert, Megan Reynolds, on Badgley’s transition from daddy to Daddy, she said: “He’s hot!!! I used to watch him listlessly skateboard near my old apartment.” When I asked her to elaborate on his listless skateboarding, she said that he has “strong dirtbag Adam Brody vibes,” and that an “asshole fuckboy on a skateboard” is “perf.” Specifically, she’d like him to “skate right on over here and park that skateboard in my garage.” I’m inclined to agree.
Meanwhile, Jezebel’s teen expert, Ashley Reese, told me that looking at pictures of Penn Badgley stirred in her a desire to be “buried in the woods like that other bitch from You.” As someone who has not seen You, for fear of myself and my desires, I could only nod my head sagely, and agree. This is a daddy, but now, he is a Daddy.
I’d also like to note that Jezebel comrade Brandy Jensen, who is not a Badgleyhead, summed her own attraction to him as being scared she might “break him,” stressing that “it would be fun to try.” (Unbeknownst to Jensen, of course, is that “horny skateboarder gets railed by hot dom top” was probably a very popular category on XTube circa 2011.)
Anyway, as Badgley is no longer a daddy, but a Daddy, I’d like to end this with a brief moment of silence for the 12 years he reigned as the King of Thirst, First Among Skateboarders, Ruler of Teenagers Binders and Television Viewing Habits, Most Formative of All the Adolescent Crushes. And as this is my last chance to properly address him as a daddy, not a Daddy, I’ll leave him with this note, from my 13-year-old self, which I have censored for obvious reasons: “* **** **** *** ** ******** ** *** **** ** *****.”