The Dadbod: Stud or Dud?

Article posted in: Lifestyle

It seems that everyone has heard of, is talking about or has an opinion about the “dadbod.” Why are we all suddenly talking about this, when in fact the dadbod has been around forever? Its recent popularity is the result of the efforts of Clemson University student Mackenzie Pearson, who wrote an essay called “Why Girls Love The DadBod” back in March. It went viral, and the discussion quickly escalated.

What is the dadbod, anyway? Well, first of all, you don’t actually have to be a father to have one. According to Pearson, the guy with the dadbod has “a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. . . not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either.” So this type of body is easier to relate to because it’s real and, according to Pearson, benefits women in several ways as well, such as improved relative self-confidence (“We like being the pretty one,” she says), better cuddling and a more realistic picture of the future (“We know what we’re getting into when he’s got the same exact body type at the age of 22 that he’s going to have at 45”).

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It also leads to more questions about body image in our culture, the most important of which is whether people are as readily accepting of the “mombod.” It seems that a double standard exists—men’s dadbods are celebrated, but women with mombods are frequently under more scrutiny. This is especially true of actual mothers, who are often expected to magically lose baby weight and to be back to their pre-pregnancy selves in no time. (This despite moms having a better reason to having mombods compared to dads.)

So perhaps the best takeaway from the DadBod Discussion is that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to body types—whether you’re a man or a woman. It’s about your health and your happiness. Some people feel healthy and happy rocking six-pack abs or totally toned arms and legs, while others are content to lose weight so they can feel healthy and comfortable in their own skin—no daily trip to the gym required.

So stick to your weight loss goals, whatever they may be. And when you get there, make sure to celebrate the “youbod.”