The Internet is currently exploding with dad-bod mania. And it must end. Now.
What's a dad bod? According to Mackenzie Pearson of online magazine The Odyssey, "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.'"
He's got a masculine build. But also a gut. He's not let himself go. But he's not Adonis. He's every photo of your father's transitional stage between once trim hottie and beer-bellied chicken-wing slinger.
But age doesn't matter here. Neither do children, marital status or sexual orientation. Any man can don a dad bod. Examples? Think Seth Rogen or the not-so hunky versions of Leonardo DiCaprio or Chris Pratt.
The problem with dad bod is that women have never been allowed to have it in popular culture.
There is no mom-bod type.
Could you imagine a world in which all of society celebrated a woman's body throughout nine months of pregnancy? Or better yet where we didn't shame women for using that mom bod to feed their children in public?
Pop culture has always dictated women must maintain a perfect figure while men are allowed to fudge a bit.
Think about bombshell Katherine Heigl alongside pudgy Seth Rogen in "Knocked Up." Or what about totally fit Leslie Mann and soft-bodied Paul Rudd in "This is 40"? The list of on-screen pairings (small and large) of beautiful women and chubby comedic men is endless.
Women simply cannot get away with a dad-bod equivalent.
The thing is there's absolutely nothing wrong with the dad-bod body type. No body shaming here. (I skipped the gym this morning in favor of buying donuts for the RedEye staff. I get it.)
There's also nothing wrong with women and men finding themselves attracted to a person who isn't as fit as he or she could be. Personality, among other qualities, is important.
The problem with dad bod is the veneration of it as a cultural standard. It's the BuzzFeed headline that reads "Dadbody is the body all men should strive for." It's associating Hollywood icon Leonardo DiCaprio's newly less-fit figure with a trend he doesn't necessarily subscribe to himself.
Would we venerate a hard-bodied man who dates a pudgy woman?
Dad bod isn't new. It's a thing that happens. Our metabolism slows as we get older. Maybe we just stop giving a shit. Either way, dad bodies aren't news and shouldn't be in the media conversation.
If we are going to celebrate the imperfections of men, we must also celebrate those of women. Dad bod shouldn't be a thing.