John Legend Is on a Mission to Get Diaper Changing Tables in Every Men's Room

For John Legend, changing diapers isn’t a chore—it’s a doody duty.

That’s why the singer-songwriter and father of two is teaming up with Pampers for the Love the Change campaign, which will install 5,000 Koala Kare changing tables for public restrooms across the United States and Canada by 2021.

“There’s been a cultural tradition that women take on more parenting responsibilities than men,” Legend told Men’s Health over the phone. “And that’s been a source of a lot of inequality because when you factor in those hours of work that women don’t really get credit for, it puts them at a disadvantage in a lot of other areas of life.”

Pampers recently shared new research revealing that 9 out of 10 dads have used a public restroom lacking a baby changing table. So when dads are faced with the challenging of changing their newborn’s diaper sans flat surface, they have to get creative. It’s an issue Pampers playfully addresses in a new ad featuring Legend and other dads showing off their on-the-go diaper-changing techniques, like the “piano solo,” “laptop,” “co-pilot,” and “tailgate.”

Legend gives credit to Donte Palmer, who posted a photo to Instagram that went viral showing Palmer squatting in a public restroom while balancing his son on his knees in order to change his diaper, including the hashtag “#squatforchange.”

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This is a serious post!!! What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom as if we don’t exist!! #FLM #fatherslivesmatter clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is. It’s routine to him!!!! Let’s fix this problem! I Kaepernick drop a knee to this issue! @theshaderoom let’s show the innovation of fathers! #squatforchange

A post shared by Donte Palmer (@3boys_1goal) on

The ad is a follow-up of sorts to Legend’s “Stinky Booty” spot for Pampers, which features the singer crooning “Somebody’s got a stinky booty/Her name is Luna and she made a poopy” as he changes his daughter Luna’s diaper.

While the commercials are light-hearted, Legend insists that launching the changing table campaign is no laughing matter.

“If we want real equality, it needs to be not just in school or the workplace or in public places, but it needs to be in the home as well,” Legend said. “And a big way to make sure that happens is to make sure men and women and partners share their parenting duties as much as they can.”

Legend said that his relationship with wife Chrissy Teigen has benefitted from co-parenting Luna, 3, and their son, Miles, 1.

“Obviously, some parents have to be single parents or they choose to be single parents,” Legend said. “But in our relationship, I think us being parents together strengthened our partnership and gave us a new challenge to work on together and made us stronger as a couple. It strengthened me and my wife and our partnership together.”

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Even though diaper changing tables may seem like a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to bridging inequality between men and women, Legend is motivated to see incremental progress.

“It’s a good thing that some of these traditions are changing and we’re able to round out some of the possibilities for men and women that aren’t as strictly defined as they were in the past,” Legend said. “I think it’s more freeing for men and women if we can find ways to not let these strict traditions and strict gender roles hinder us from being our full, free selves.”

Pampers and Koala Kare are planning to install the diaper changing stations in the first 500 locations in the coming weeks.

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