The Deal with the 'Dad Bod' Fad

The "Dad Bod" is apparently in. A term made popular by Clemson University student Mackenzie Pearson in an article on The Odyssey, it quickly gained favor when guys realized their beer-bellied look was hip to the ladies. Although why the word "dad" is inserted isn't wholly understood (and why girls want to describe a potential suitor with the word "dad" is even less understood).

In her article, Pearson gives the fullest definition of what a guy sporting the "Dad Bod" is all about: "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.”

The appeal of the term is all centered around body positivity, a wonderful thing to be instilling in today's youth. Your Will Ferrell, Leo DiCaprio, Jon Hamm and Jason Segel body types are celebrated with this term.

leo dicaprio
(Photo: MSN)

Indeed, men struggle with body issues just as much as women do, although the media certainly propagates the ideal body type for a woman much more than one for a man. Body positivity campaigns have erupted in the past years, but a much smaller percentage of them are directed specifically at celebrating the imperfection of the male body. So, cheers to the "Dad Bod" for giving a nod in the direction of squishy, everyday men!

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But, could there be a celebration of the "Dad Bod" counterpart? The "Mom Bod"? In an article on Mic, Ellie Krupnick asks this very question: Where is the glorification of the Mom Bods? She points out that postnatal women who show no signs of recently having a baby are praised for their toned bodies, while "those whose physiques actually reveal that they recently contained a baby? That's what we might call a Mom Bod, and it's not something women are praised for."

So why aren't women with Mom Bods, the most beautiful bodies that give life and breath to the world, praised for those abilities? Why are men given a pass in sporting imperfect body types and women are shamed for the same thing? The Dad Bod and the Mom Bod are just body types. They don't define a person or show their true character. We can promote love of all body types and champion each human for being just that: human. Unfortunately, with the popularity of the "Dad Bod", we see that men are celebrated for their flab, yet women are still expected to look like super models.

jon hamm dad bod

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Women should be given just as much, if not more leeway to push society's standards of beauty. The stretch marks, the endearing and supple curves, the little bit of tummy flab... these are physical signs of the most beautiful part of living. What the "Dad Bod" ultimately refers to should be championed, but a level playing field is, once again, needed.

If society (or college girls) tell us that it is ok for one group of people to not have perfect bodies, then the same must be said for all groups of people.