A Look Beyond the “Sexiness” of the Dad Body
If you’re one to follow the latest hot topics in the media you’ve probably heard about the body trend that’s been taking over newsfeeds and girls’ night out conversations in the past few weeks: the topic of “The Dad Bod.”
In case you’re not clued in, here’s the back story:
A Clemson student wrote an article titled, “Why Girls Love the Dad Bod” for The Odyssey, a publication for college students involved in sororities and fraternities (and if that’s not your first clue on literary merit I don’t know what is, but I digress), and the piece went viral.
According to the article, “The dad bod says, “I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.” It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either.”
Some of the listed reasons for women loving the Dad Bod include better cuddling, we won’t feel intimidated when we inhale a whole pizza in one sitting next to our Dad Bod boyfriend, and it allows women to be “the hot one” in the relationship.
Needless to say, there’s an entire spectrum of responses on social media ranging from those hailing Dad Bods to others foaming at the mouth that men with beer guts are receiving affection when women are constantly being ripped apart in the media for their bodies.
Personally, I think it’s equal parts appalling, confusing, judgmental, but most of all, it’s just weird.
Because I write about health and fitness it was only a matter of time before someone asked my opinion on it, so here we go. Reasons why the Dad Bod is just plain ridiculous:
It’s not necessarily that the Dad Bod look is unhealthy, it’s the mentality that’s unhealthy
Strip away the actual look of the Dad Bod for a second and let’s focus on the greater Dad Bod concept. The Dad Bod is described as a guy who regularly participates in unhealthy habits such as over-eating, over-boozing and minimal exercise.
This type of activity for anyone at any age and of any gender is unhealthy. We know that it’s a normal part of life to over-eat and drink as well as it is to be lax on workouts sparingly, but we also know it’s unhealthy when these things become habits, meaning you do these things more than you don’t do them.
What I find weird isn’t that some people like men who don’t possess a six-pack, it’s that they are equating an overall unhealthy lifestyle with sexiness. If you think smoking is gross in a partner, the “Dad Bod” lifestyle of regular beer guzzling and pizza gorging should be equally unsettling.
Take the whole physical attractiveness factor away and the mentality of unhealthy Dad Bod lifestyle equating to sexy just doesn’t make sense.
The Dad Bod has nothing to do with being a dad
Scientifically, becoming a father results in 0% body changes because your child never actually took up space inside your body. (I don’t have a medical study to cite on this one, but just take my word for it.)
So, until men have the ability to carry, grow and produce a human from their bodies, there is no such thing as a Dad Bod.
Also, I think this is an odd stage-of-life category to fit men in to. Yes, men lose muscle with age (just like women do), but being a dad (or a mom) does not excuse one from living a healthy lifestyle. Again, it goes back to the twisted mentality of unhealthy habits equals sexiness.
When my dad became….a dad, his biceps were so big you can barely see little infant me in his arms in my baby pictures. Yeah, he was a young dude who hadn’t fully settled in to his dad-ness yet, but flash forward 24 years and my 60-year-old dad rides his bike everyday and still paddles half a mile out in to the ocean to surf 10 to 12-foot waves. So tell me, what’s a dad bod again?
Praising guys in their twenties for their keg stand time and pizza problem isn’t cluing society in to their sexiness, it’s setting these guys up for full blown obesity, and it most definitely isn’t setting them up for being future awesome dads who can run, jump, explore and be active with their kids.
Let’s stop judging looks and start judging health
Listen, as a woman, it is a true battle to go through life ignoring everything that the media is telling you your body should look like. And I don’t know what it’s like to feel body confidence issues from a man’s perspective, but if we’re looking at this from a truly neutral (i.e. human) perspective, we shouldn’t be touting or bashing ANY body shape or type regardless of it’s a man or a woman, parent or non-parent, someone in their twenties versus someone in their forties.
Now let’s bring back the actual look of the Dad Bod. The Dad Bod is described as not being “overweight”, but also not having a rock hard body.
This is where I find the whole thing confusing. I bet we can all think of someone we know who we can label as “healthy” because they eat well and stay active, but how many of those people have a six-pack? How many of them don’t look like fitness models? I’m going to guess you can think of a few people.
The point I’m making is that we already know healthy bodies don’t all look the same. Therefore, we shouldn’t be touting the way one body looks, but the way one lives with their body because we only get one of these bodies to live in, folks. We have to take care of it.
So please, for love of all that is sexy, can we please stop talking about what body type we think is most attractive? Everyone’s got different tastes, quirks and preferences, let’s all just agree that living healthyfully is sexy, whatever that looks like to you.
What do you think of the Dad Bod trend? Let us know in the comments or on social media!