What’s Up with the Dad Bod?
Are you rockin’ a Dad Bod? The term has taken the Internet by storm in just a short period. But what is a Dad Bod? Here’s a complete rundown of what a Dad Bod is, how the concept became so popular, and what the pros and cons are.
What is a Dad Bod?
A Dad Bod is a comfortable medium between “ripped” and “out of shape.” Guys with a Dad Bod aren’t unhealthy. But they’re not super committed to working out, either.
Journalist and columnist Mackenzie Pearson describes it as “A nice balance between a beer guy and working out. 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 a time.’”
A Dad Bod doesn’t have a ton of definition. You likely won’t have chiseled abs or be incredibly buff. Instead, you’ll like have a few extra pounds on top of your muscles.
Now, it does still have some definition. You can’t be grossly overweight and have this body type. A guy with a Dad Bod can still go on a hike, swim a few laps or otherwise stay active.
But the exercises of choice tend to lean more towards moderate activities like golf than high-intensity marathons or cross-training sessions.
What Types of Guys Have a Dad Bod?
You don’t have to be a dad to have a Dad Bod. In fact, the label was originally coined on a college campus. The first people to have Dad Bods were college students.
The term is almost never used negatively. While a Dad Bod has a few extra pounds and not much definition, it’s also not overweight or entirely without muscle tone.
Dad Bods do have at least some level of fitness – not a standard which requires much time in the gym. They are typically at least college-aged. The youngest you can have it is probably as a sophomore in college. That’s when extra pounds have started to pack on, and the typical guy has more of an interest in hanging out than working out.
What’s Appealing about it?
In many ways, a Dad Bod is appealing more for what it represents than the specific look. Guys who have it probably aren’t overly concerned with looks and are more willing to have a good time without worrying about counting calories.
Girls who like the look often describe Dad Bod guys as approachable, fun and with a boy-next-door quality. He’s the kind of guy a girl can go on a hike with during the day but then still enjoy all-you-can-eat wings for dinner.
Dad Bods need the right kind of fuel. They enjoy beer, pizza and more. At the same time, most guys were athletes in high school or college. The original athletic body is still there, but now with an extra layer of squishiness.
Guys with Dad Bods are Fun to be Around
Girls who like guys with a Dad Bod do so for a variety of different reason. First, the Dad Bod sends a signal that a guy is probably a lot of fun to be around. He’s down for a good meal or a tasty brew. He’s not concerned with superficial appearance.
Also, Dad Bods tend to make a girl feel pretty. After all, the girl in the relationship with a Dad Bod guy is going to get all the attention as the pretty one. A guy who is in too good of shape can sometimes make a girl feel insecure about her appearance.
Finally, many girls say nothing beats cuddling with a guy who has a Dad Bod. The extra bit of cushion is soft and comfortable, especially on cold nights.
Where Did the Phrase “Dad Bod” Originate?
The phrase is only a few years old. The Odyssey, an online magazine geared towards college students, published an article entitled “Why Girls Love the Dad Bod”, March 30, 2015. The author was Mackenzie Pearson, a sophomore at Clemson University.
While this might not have been the first time the term was used, it was arguably the most popular. The idea is now well-known among guys and girls everywhere.
The term mainly refers to the idea many people have of their dads when growing up. Your dad might not have been in the best shape, and he probably didn’t hit the gym regularly, but raising kids and staying active probably kept him in pretty good shape.
Is the Dad Bod a Good Thing?
The idea is considered good-natured fun. One reason the trend spread so quickly is that it seems like about everybody knows someone with a Dad Bod.
Now all of those guys with Dad Bods can feel a little more body positive and confident. The look embraces a body’s imperfections. It was one of the largest and most successful campaigns for male body positivity, well, ever.
Of course, women face far more pressure from the media than men. TVs, movies, and magazines heavily promote fit, youthful appearance for women.
The Mom Bod
One controversial aspect of the Dad Bod is that there’s no equivalent for women. The Dad Bod at least somewhat celebrates a lazy lifestyle. But a “Mom Bod” is different than a Dad Bod.
Mom Bods paint an unflattering picture of a woman whose best-looking days are behind her. In fact, a woman who regains her figure quickly after childbirth is often celebrated.
So while there is a Mom Bad, it’s not equivalent to the Dad Bod.
Pearson says “thick” is probably the closest term for a female Dad Bod. Thick doesn’t conjure up images of obesity. Instead, thick is a way to describe a girl with curves and a few extra pounds.
There’s certainly no shortage of rich and famous guys with Dad Bods. Let’s check out a few celebs who have been granted the status by none other than Pearson herself:
This star of Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World doesn’t have a Dad Bod now. But during his time on the TV hit Parks and Rec, he had one of the most famous body types around.
The Mad Men star is in shape but doesn’t look like he hits the gym every day. In many ways, the Dad Bod trend calls back to an earlier era when guys like Don Draper were considered a masculine ideal.
The popular singer-songwriter certainly doesn’t have a hard time finding a date. But his body is built from hours in the studio instead of hours in the gym
The comedian and actor have a lovable, somewhat lumpy body that fits right in with The Muppets.
Other celebrities often referred to as having a Dad Bod include Kanye, Jay-Z and Will Ferrell. Even Leonardo DiCaprio was labeled as having a Dad Bod.
So, as you can tell, the label certainly isn’t meant to imply the guy is unattractive to women!
Pros and Cons
So, is having this body type a good thing or a bad thing?
Well, any trend which encourages people to feel comfortable with who they are can’t be all bad. But there are some aspects of the trend which can be not-so-great.
Let’s break down the pros and cons:
- Freedom to Eat and Drink Foods You Enjoy
- Relaxed, Fun Look
- Easy to Maintain
- Can Slide into Obesity if You’re Not Careful
- Energy Levels can be Low
- No Huge Muscles or Six Pack Abs
If you have this body type, be careful. You don’t want to slide into obesity. Make sure your love of burgers and brews has some limits.
Is the term Dad Bod here to stay? It’s impossible to say for sure as trends come and go. But the idea behind it is worth keeping around.
It helps many men feel more comfortable and attractive in their skin. The trend celebrates the idea that a person has value beyond just what they look like.
Plus, it embraces the idea of living for fun. Have that piece of pizza. Drink that beer. Those few extra pounds on your body aren’t worth worrying about.
At the same time, it isn’t about being completely overweight and out-of-shape. A guy with a Dad Bod is slim enough to go on a hike or play a game of basketball.
He does hit the gym or otherwise stays active at least a few times a week.
So be proud of your Dad Bod. This unique trend celebrates guys who don’t look like they’re on the cover of a fitness magazine. That’s perfectly fine. Rock on with your Dad Bod look!
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