Enough of The Dad Bod and Body Image Crap

“Are there any guys out there who are just normal?!” 

Body-Image

Presenting…The Dad Bod. Apparently.

The damn Dad Bod. I swore I wasn’t going to blog about something so stupid. I figured the rest of the world would realize how stupid it is and it would just go away quickly. But it hasn’t. It’s more popular than ever. The headline and photo of Jon Hamm (who apparently is the new poster boy for this trend) on the front page of the local Fargo-Moorhead newspaper last Thursday just reinforced that nonsense. So, here we go.

Here’s my problem with the Dad Bod and all the attention it’s getting – it’s normal. It’s not a phenomenon or some new fad of what’s the ideal male body type. It’s what normal guys look like. Guys who work, then make time to work out a normal amount. Guys who eat a normal amount and type of food. Guys who consume a normal amount of drinks (which, as we all know from experience, can be a lot on the weekends). Guys with normal genetics and metabolism. Just normal dudes being normal dudes – and now there’s a stupid trend the masses are trying to associate with it.

Do you know what’s not normal? Guys with 24/7 washboard abs and zero jiggle to any part of their bodies. Guys who eat only chicken and steamed broccoli, then get the rest of their calories from shakes and supplements. Guys who don’t allow themselves to enjoy a few cold ones with their buddies. Guys who take gym selfies and film themselves working out, and every one of their social media posts revolve around how awesome they were at the gym that day. Guys who can’t talk about anything other than what kind of protein they take and how much they squat. And you know they’re judging the shit out of you for not being as perfect as them.

That’s not normal. And, really, is that the type of person you’re most commonly surrounded with? Maybe I’m the one who’s out of touch with reality but that’s sure as hell not my normal.

Body-Image

Let’s be honest – Leo could wear a potato sack dress and it would be considered a hot new trend.

It seems Leo DiCaprio sparked this Dad Bod phenomenon after a picture of him was taken on vacation. I doubt Leo was trying to start a new trend or morph his body type into this desirable Dad Bod look. Guess what probably happened? Leo took some time off work and took a vacation. He probably started eating normally vs. eating for a specific role, maybe skipping a few workouts but still getting them in for the most part. That’s right people, it appears Leo’s just living life. Being normal. As amazing as Jake Gyllenhall looks in his new movie, what he had to go through to get that body isn’t normal. Reports I’ve read state he was working out hard 8-hours a day (with professional trainers and programs) and sticking to a very strict diet (likely put together by a professional dietician or sports nutrition expert). Normal people don’t do that.

Prior to the front-page article about the Dad Bod in last week’s paper (BTW, thanks Forum. Way to feed into the stereotype that there’s no “real” news to report Fargo, ND) it actually came up in conversation with my future brother-in-law and his buddies. We were settling in to watch the hockey game with a bunch of pizzas. Winding down a day of hanging out at the lake, playing yard games and enjoying beers. Somehow the Dad Bod came up in conversation and they joked how they were ahead of the trend, how they loved it (forget the fact none of them are actually dads, that didn’t even factor in). All normal guys. Guys who work hard, then make time to the gym and work out hard. Guys who eat and drink a normal amount. Guys who have fun and don’t judge how their friends look without a shirt on.

Not to burst their bubble, but I wouldn’t call them trendsetters. I wonder if they know that they’re just normal? Either way, I’m grateful they are so that I don’t feel like I can’t be myself around them – beer gut, bikini and all. Which brings me to the female angle of all this. I’ve seen a few articles bashing the Dad Bod for the sexist and unfair message it sends. Don’t worry, I’m not going to do that.

Basically, I don’t care what the Dad Bod means for women’s body perceptions. If women feel offended that it’s okay for a guy to have a normal body but they need to look like Barbie, that’s something they have to come to terms with. Me, I’m not waiting around for the “Mom Bod” (or some other equally-appropriate name that defines a girl, mom or not, who’s not a size zero) to be okay.

Mom-Bod

Okay so she’s not heavy – but I love my strong “Mom Bod”

For it to be cool to be fit, yet also have thighs that touch and an ass that pops out of a bathing suit. (I enjoy speedwork runs and leg days so, yep, I have a big butt and thighs.)

For it to be okay to have a little gut from enjoying a few drinks and not eating perfect all the time. (I’m guilty of both.)

For it to be acceptable to wear a bikini and not have a flat stomach. (I do. It gets hot at the lake. I’m not going to wear capris and baggy t-shirts all summer.)

I don’t care about all those things. Sure I have days where I feel insecure like everyone else but I’m pretty much just being who I am, trying to rock the body I have. And I’m not vain enough to expect anyone to spend enough time and energy focusing on me and my flaws.

What do you think of the Dad Bod? Will all the hype die down? Will it help shift realistic body images for men and women? Or do you not give a damn one way or the other? No matter your view, I want to hear it! Comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311.

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