A disturbing trend is among us, and what’s even worse is that there’s a name for it: The Dad Body.
What is this, exactly?
Well, to be honest, it’s normalizing the double standard that men can have whatever body shape they please, while women are held to a higher judgement, with expectations including a variety of adjectives that are not easy to maintain: pretty, skinny, toned.
Brian Moylan of TIME describes that Dad body as, “a physique that looks like a formerly fit athlete has gone a bit to seed and grown a nice layer of protective fat around his muscular girth. He’s less Muscle & Fitness than he is Ben & Jerry’s.” And Betches Love This call it a trend that capitalizes on “the fact that twenty-something bros are too lazy to get off the fucking couch and lose weight.”
So in summary, the “Dad Body” is an overweight, flabby body that isn’t super attractive, but isn’t obese, either. Basically, the Dad Body says: It’s okay for dudes to do whatever. And ladies — this is what you’re supposed to be attracted to.
The whole “Dad Body” concept came up when a Clemson University student made a declaration on a website that isn’t even relevant. Mackenzie Pearson opens his rant with, “In case you haven’t noticed lately, girls are all about that dad bod.”
Since the post went live, the term “Dad Bod” — or “Dad Body” — has gone viral, and the Internet has basically gone bananas.
Pearson says there is something about the dad bod that makes boys seem more human, natural and attractive–and I can’t disagree with him there. However, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if women subsequently decided to embrace the “Mom bod.” Then, I realized there might not even be such thing as a mom bod, because women are constantly improving themselves to look good and feel good — not only for themselves, but for their partners, significant others, and even their children.
I’m not going to say I hate the dad body, because I think everyone should be comfortable in their own skin, whether that skin is toned or flabby. What I do hate is that what Dove (and other “love yourself, ladies!” campaigns) has been struggling to do for years, Pearson accomplished in one blog post…but for men.
And that’s not to say that men don’t already embrace this trend! Think of almost any sitcom dad. More specifically, think of Peter Griffin or Homer Simpson. The signs of the dad body are all there: beer bellies, flabby arms, and being the less attractive one in the relationship.
I’m not saying men shouldn’t embrace their own dad bodies, if they have them. But the message this trend, or obsession, is sending to females is: you have to work your ass off, but you can settle for a lazy dude.
I’m not about that.
Ladies, you don’t need a “Dad Bod”-boyfriend to make you feel more secure about your body. And men, hitting the weight room once in awhile is not only good for you, but it’s better for our relationship, too (at least, according to science).
You can reach Erin Kelly on Twitter.