Ah, the Dad Bod…

I began to write this as a “thought” or comment on Storytime with Johns post The Dadbod Myth, but then it morphed into something so long I could no longer class it as a comment, so I decided to write a ‘response post’, and you guessed it! This is it.

Someone stood next to a book which is so long, it has been placed on the floor and still reaches their knee.
Image courtesy of Google Images.


You mean to say that suddenly those Grecian demi-god types, those sculpted walking statues, those action figurine looking fellas… are now of absolutely no value or merit whatsoever? I mean…huh?! – Storytime with John

After having a little chuckle at those comparisons, I did some research into where this new ‘dad bod’ craze came from, and this is what I found:

The term “dad bod” was virtually absent from American conversation until April 30, when a 19-year-old Clemson sophomore named Mackenzie Pearson penned a story in the Clemson Odyssey titled “Why Girls Love the Dad Bod.” Her argument was counter-intuitive, suggesting that women are more attracted to men whose physiques reflect “a nice balance between a beer gut and working out” than they are to hunks with washboard abs. [Source].

So the term seems to have originated from a story, written by a Mackenzie Pearson, in which she explores the concept that women are more physically attracted to men with something in between the beer gut, and the Grecian god because it’s more balanced.

This is an interesting concept, although I don’t think she’d have expected it to become the next fad!

Now, my response to Storytime with Johns post goes something like this:

“Reason being we don’t get the same body shaming tactics that I feel females have historically received” – Storytime with John.

I do agree with this to a point; society publicly puts a lot of obvious “pressure”* on women to look a certain way for all kinds of reasons. Although the same “pressure” is not publicly applied to men, I still think that you guys have some less obviously advertised ideals as to how you should look around you.

I’m going to use Disney princess movies as an example (in no way does this mean I dislike Disney movies, I love them, it’s just that it works as an example of the point I’m trying to get across). So in most, if not all Disney movies, the prince is usually a muscular fella. Or at least toned. So when young, impressionable girls watch these, some of them may have been subliminally imprinted with this image of what the right man should look like. So later in life they may look for the guys with the toned look without realising. Therefore, this may be how some guys feel they should look. So that they have more appeal. This is all hypothetical, but it might be true for some people…

A picture with a selection of disney princes.
Image courtesy of Google Images.

Other guys however, don’t need to have the prince-like body to feel attractive to others. They already feel comfortable in their own skin, hence the ‘dad bod’.

A picture of a penguin walking with the caption "Bitch, I'm fabulous".
Image courtesy of Google Images.

I think it all depends on your personal view of self-worth, and in a world full of selfie crazed people I guess some level of vanity has crept its way up the ladder of the things we value more than others to feel good about ourselves. Some guys will go to the gym for themselves, because looking muscular makes them feel good. That’s great! Do what makes you happy. Then you have the guys who go to the gym for others, to make themselves look like the Disney princes.

Personally I think that you should be whoever makes YOU happy, whomever that may be.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that people with the Dad-bod are happy with the way they are…but I’m yet to get my head around why it’s become such a talked about craze…

Any thoughts?

*I’ve put the word pressure is in quotation marks because I think it only becomes pressure if you let other people shape the way you think about yourself.


2 thoughts on “Ah, the Dad Bod…

  1. I have heard guys say things like “yeah well there are unrealistic male images too” such as comic book heroes, and as you pointed out the Disney princes – but if that is true (which clearly it is) why do men for the most part not feel as stressed to the same degree about appearance/physique? I don’t have the answer to that I just find it interesting as a comparison…

    Anyway, I can only truly speak for myself – I am not in fantastic shape but not fat, I like to dress well and if my weight meant I couldn’t do that anymore then I would make efforts to lose the poundage, rather than grasp at the Dadbod craze as an easy way to still feel attractive. After all, FOR ME it wouldn’t be – others may feel different, and if they do then fantastic! As you pointed out it’s a personal preference, and it should just come down to people feeling comfortable in their own skin. I hate this idea that everyone should look the same, how fucking boring.

    Wow, don’t usually give such a comprehensive response but I guess this interested me. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that a small part of the answer to that lies in the amount of media involved, but as you say, we can’t know for sure.

      I think that you have a fair perception for your appearance, everyone should feel comfortable even if they are a little different. I’d really dislike it if everyone was the same – this dulux advert airing in the UK at the moment shows one aspect of something being the same everywhere, and how boring it would be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4w2nGq646k

      I feel privileged, thank you for the comprehensive response! Your post inspired it so thanks for the inspiration. 🙂


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