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Dream comes true for Utah's 'short-shorts' dad following international reaction to viral photo

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 29 2013 6:00 a.m. MDT

Mackintosh family photo, December 2012.

Courtesy of Becky Mackintosh

LEHI — Scott and Becky Mackintosh never thought Scott's lifelong dream of becoming a public speaker for teens would come true. While the couple have seven children who have taught them plenty of shareable life lessons, Becky didn't see how it could ever happen.

That is, until Scott decided he would teach his daughter a lesson in modesty. It all took place one Monday night when the couple's 19-year-old daughter, Myley, refused to change into longer shorts per her parents' request.

In an effort to demonstrate just how distracting short-shorts can be, Scott cut off a pair of his own jeans to wear during the family outing. He paired his Daisy Dukes with a "Best. Dad. Ever." T-shirt and called it good. Scott not only got a reaction from his kids, but eventually from thousands who saw the picture online.

"I had just put it on my Facebook," Becky said. "My son put it on his Twitter, and my daughter put it on Tumblr. That night it got 130,000 shares, so I was like, 'OK, you need to write the story.'"

That's when Scott agreed to write "The real story behind the short-shorts," which first appeared on Becky's blog. Although the picture had been seen by many, the readers didn't know why Scott had put the short-shorts on, Becky explained, which is a main reason Scott decided to write the post.

"It was after we posted the story behind the picture on my blog that it went viral," Becky said. The popularity began with a KSL interview, and the same day Deseret News ran the story. "Then the phone started ringing off the hook.

"Initially it was the funny picture that took off. But then when they read the story, it was a lesson of love," Becky said. "He did that because he loves his child. People are desperate to do that. He brought embarrassment to himself, not to his daughter."

Scott, Becky and Myley appeared on many national TV shows, including "Today," "Good Morning, America," "Inside Edition" Australia's "Sunrise" and CNN news programs, and they were mentioned or discussed by dozens of others.

"We would get a text message from someone saying, 'They're talking about you on TV,' or 'Jay Leno is talking about you,'" Becky said.

One of their most memorable appearances was on "Rachael Ray." When explaining the story and showing the viral picture to the show's guest host, Regis Philbin, Rachael Ray said, "I love this guy. I think he's my hero. ... I love that he turned the tables and came out in short-shorts." Ray then spoke with Scott, Becky and Myley about the experience.

"Definitely my whole life I've been taught — we say 'modest is hottest," Myley told Ray and Philbin. "So definitely my whole life I've been taught to dress modestly, so I think this was just a good reminder that maybe I needed. Now I think about it again more."

Ray eventually brought out Scott's short-shorts, which she had framed along with the phrase "modest is hottest."

"Because of what we see on TV, we often think everyone in the world is pushing for you to be less modest," Becky said, "but having the media picking up on this story with the focus on 'modest is hottest' shows you they're wanting better. It's been an eye-opener."

As for the reaction Scott has received, Becky explained that anyone who knows her husband knows this stunt wasn't too far out of his comfort zone.

"Scott's funny. For him to do this it wasn't shocking," Becky said. "To him, it's something that any dad would do to help his daughter. For him to do it, it was just natural."

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