JLS star JB Gill on what it means to be a dad in 2019 - Fashion shows, farming and fatherhood

JLS star JB Gill and family at the Mini Mode fashion show

HITC Culture spoke to JLS star JB Gill at the Mini Mode fashion show in London on Friday the 13th.

Celebs, families and mini models in the making flocked upon St Mary’s London for the Mini Mode fashion show, which celebrated fifteen of the most innovative and creative kids-wear designers from across the globe. My K by Myleene Klass was the most-anticipated clothing line of the show as the mother-of-seven stunned with her latest collection from Mothercare.

Inevitably, motherhood was at the heart of the event. Gillian McKeith rolled out to support 18-year-old daughter Afton, who was presenting, and Myleene waltzed around with newborn Apollo bouncing by her side.

But what about the dads at Mini Mode? Were they simply slumped outside the changing rooms twiddling their thumbs? And did they look as disinterested as the blokes you see stuck in shopping malls every Saturday afternoon?

We spoke to JLS star JB Gill about modern-day parenting and how he has managed to strike the perfect combination balancing life in the spotlight with family fun on the farm.

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JB Gill and family at the Mini Mode fashion show

Daddy day outs beyond the stereotypical

Far from his pop-star days with JLS, 32-year-old JB Gill is now settled with wife Chloe Tangney and their two children. The Mini Mode event proved the perfect day out for the Gill family.

JB and five-year-old son Ace strutted the red carpet hand-in-hand, with Ace looking a picture of cool in his miniature silver suit and bowtie. JB jokingly admitted that “he’s teaching [him] a few lessons” about fashion.

But JB and Ace were not the only pair enjoying a ‘daddy day out’ as streams of fathers and sons, and fathers and daughter, filled the front row.

Fashion of the old used to mean dads dressing up their sons in the colours of their favourite football team. Now, this has been swapped for footballers like Kemar Roofe hitting the FROW to cheer on their daughters on the runway. God bless cool parenting in 2019!

Making the time, no matter your job

Since JLS split in 2013, JB has taken on a very different career path and upended his life in London for one in the Kent countryside, working in the farming industry. He is also one of the lead presenters on CBeebies’ Down on the Farm.

Speaking on his unusual career choices, JB said: “I don’t have a typical 9 to 5 job, or work in the city, or office, or anything like that.”

This flexibility allows JB to implement a different approach towards parenting. He continued:

"When I am at home I can go out onto the farm and have the kids with me. I can take my little boy out there and have a great time and still be working… he loves it!"

One may presume that the life of a pop-star or TV celeb wouldn’t lend itself well to family time, what with hectic schedules and constant 'on location' demands. But for JB, the untraditional flexibility of this work allows him to be more hands-on with his parenting when at home.

It's not about your job, schedule or social life but how you make time for your children.

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Breaking down outdated gender roles

The topic of traditional gender roles was inevitably going to arise in the discussion of fatherhood. And JB saw nothing but positives coming from the changes.

He said:

“I think now more than ever being a father is increasingly becoming more hands-on and the traditional roles that we’ve seen within the family – mother and father – have become blown wide open.

Men are tending to be a lot more at home and helping out with the childcare than they did historically. And similarly, women are taking on career-roles and being more of a breadwinner.”

Although JB admits their family “is slightly more traditional than others” he explains that it is vital that he is there to pick the kids up from school and spend quality time with them in a way which is “hands-on”.

What’s clear from chatting to JB and soaking in the atmosphere of Mini Mode is that for a day which could have been all about the mums, the dad’s pulled through. From fashion shows to farming, dad’s really can do it all in 2019.

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