I’m Sorry But The Dad Bod Trend Is Total Bullshit

Parks & Rec
Parks & Rec

All across my newsfeed Dad Bods are popping up – links to articles citing the rampant Dad bod trend, dudes on Facebook eagerly and excitedly discussing how their Dad Bod is in for the season. I even got a text message during lunch today from my friend asking, “I’m almost positive you’re aware. Dad bods?”

What is a Dad Bod? Well, it’s basically when a dude eats like shit, drinks beer, and doesn’t stick to a regular workout routine, giving him a beer belly and an overall skinny-fat lumpy exterior. Think Vince Vaughn. Jason Segal. Chris Pratt before he bulked up. Seth Rogen. Jay-Z.

The term Dad Bod was coined by sophomore Mackenzie Pearson at Clemson University when she wrote an article, “Why Girls Love The Dad Bod.”

In an interview with Slate, Pearson said,

“A dad bod is a guy who is not incredibly chiseled, but at the same time, is not unhealthy. He’s not overweight. He’s probably that guy who played football in high school and came to college and didn’t play football. Maybe he had a few too many slices of pizza, or a few to many ramens, and just ended up with a little bit of squish on top of his muscle. It’s a healthy body. It’s a boy-next-door look. He’s the kind of person you go on a hike with, and then at the end of the day, you eat pasta and lay in bed and watch a movie.”

Although this seems to be a recent trend, women have been openly accepting of men’s average bodies for awhile. Cosmo published a piece a couple years ago called, “Never Stop Eating: An Ode To Husky Men.”

I think the article is funny and I agree with most of its points. I’m all about dudes with Dad Bods. Dad Bods are hot. Dad Bods are great. Dad Bods are fun to snuggle. I actually prefer a chubby dude any day of the week over some over-masculine gym bro who talks about protein supplements and playing lacrosse. But let’s be real – when do we ever see an article by a guy giving equal body acceptance to women? If the summary to the Cosmo article were gender reversed it would read, “Know a woman in the sweet spot between average weight and overweight? She’s probably following the trail of cheese cubes I left for her that leads to my dick.”

If we’re going to have a trend about accepting dudes for being lazy, beer drinking cuties with a tubby tummy, then we need to have equal acceptance for women. Where are the dudes lining up to be like, hell yeah, Mom bods! Stretch marks are sexy. Where are those dudes? Oh right. The narrative of men celebrating women’s imperfect bodies doesn’t exist. We live in a society that still shames women for being anything less than perfect – whether it’s deleting Instagram accounts by women without an ideal body or telling a plus-size woman she’s “brave” for posting bikini pics. Women aren’t given room, or in this case, congratulated, for being lazy.

I’m all for accepting people’s pizza and beer fueled bodies as they are, but let’s stop pretending like this Dad Bod trend is doing anything except reinforcing the same old ideas about gender stereotypes where the men get to be congratulated for simply existing and being themselves while women are publicly shamed for doing the same. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Former senior staff writer and producer at Thought Catalog.

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