The Real Problem With The Dad Bod Trend
Unless you live under a rock, you probably have heard the term "dad bod" at some point in the last couple of days.
This phrase, coined by Clemson University sophomore Mackenzie Pearson, has been blowing up the Interwebs, spawning articles that cite various celebrities who epitomize the dad bod trend, as well as pieces that comment on the fact there is no universal equivalent for women.
For the uninitiated, "dad bod" applies to a man whose body is not fat, not thin, but somewhere in-between.
As Pearson explains, "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.'"
There's nothing wrong with celebrating various body types; in fact, this is something that should be done more often. Everyone is different, and each of our bodies is unique in its own way.
Unfortunately, the celebration of one body type is often done in conjunction with criticizing others, and the "dad bod" movement is no exception.
Pearson's article goes on to list reasons why girls love dad bods, and every single one of them is a jab at other types of men.
Pearson insinuates women are insecure around men with muscles and we always want to "look better" than our guys.
She explains we ladies would rather be the hot one in the couple, and if someone is going to stare, they'd better be staring at us.
She then goes on to say that guys with dad bods make better snugglers because "no one wants to cuddle with a rock. Or Edward Cullen."
I'm sorry, but all of this is complete bullsh*t.
If a man wrote this article about a "not overweight, yet not stick thin" woman, explaining men want to look better than their ladies, the Internet would be in an uproar.
Furthermore, if a man even dared to proclaim curvy women make better cuddlers, you can bet there would be stones (and knives) thrown.
So, why are we celebrating this?
There are plenty of ladies who are attracted to skinny guys (those "Edward Cullens" of the world), just as there are a plethora of girls who'd rather date a muscular man. And, there are millions of women who don't discriminate at all and are open to dating all body types.
Why does it seem to be so impossible to celebrate one body type without putting down another?
Every day, we are assaulted with so-called "empowering" slogans like, "Strong is the new skinny," or, "Real men prefer curves."
But, all we are doing is pitting ourselves against one another and continuing a cycle of finger-pointing.
Have we really not evolved beyond the halls of our high schools, squinting our eyes at one another and tearing each other down just to lift ourselves up?
Can we find a way to empower ourselves without scrutinizing others at the same time?
If we truly believe every body is beautiful, then we should say so and leave it at that.
The acknowledgement of "dad bods" is a positive idea in theory, but not if, in actuality, it involves simultaneously criticizing muscular, overweight or thin men.
Furthermore, the assumption men don't have body image issues is a foolish one.
One recent study by the Australian Psychological Society has shown that over the past 25 years, male body image dissatisfaction has increased from 15 percent to 45 percent of the population.
The National Eating Disorders Association corroborates this statistic with a similar study in the US.
Ultimately, it's as simple as this: Skinny people can be strong, and strong people can be skinny. Real men prefer whatever they want, and so do real women.
And, some people just might want to cuddle with a rock.