20 Questions With The College Girl Behind The Viral Dad Bod Trend


In 2000, the six-pack abs of Abercrombie male models were plastered on every website. Fifteen years later, nearly every link contains at least one slightly-pudgy frat boy -- a look that's become best known as the "dad bod."

Love it or hate it, the movement began with Clemson University sophomore Mackenzie Pearson.

With little thought to the world of masculine self-image outside of her own campus, Pearson published the now-legendary piece "Why Girls Love The Dad Bod" for Clemson's The Odyssey.

And then, more than a month later, the phenomenon blew up.

Dad bod (or #DadBod, if you prefer) is the subject of articles in Slate and New York Magazine, amongst others. The body type is, as Pearson puts it, best obtained by some combination of beer and semi-frequent workouts.

The dad bod regularly tosses a football with friends, but that won't stop him from ordering late-night mac and cheese occasionally.

Dozens of outlets have interviewed 19-year-old Pearson about the bod's origins, but we were more interested to hear what being Internet famous is like for someone who's boosted the egos of average-bodied men around the world.

We tracked Pearson down for a little game of 20 questions, dad bod-style.

1. Which dad actually inspired the dad bod?

2. Which male celebrity has you drooling over his physique?

3. Which male celebrity could be a lot more attractive if he put on a few pounds?

4. What’s the strangest response you’ve gotten to the phenomenon?

5. What’s the weirdest part about starting a viral trend?

6. What unexpected secrets have dad bods shared with you?

7. Has anyone called you out in person for beginning the dad bod movement?

8. Will you put the phenomenon on your resume?

9. Will you bedazzle it on the top of your graduation cap when that day comes?

10. On a first date, what’s the best feature a guy can show off?

11. What’s the worst?

12. What does your Tinder bio say?

13. Do people bring up dad bod to you on Tinder or other dating apps?

14. What’s your favorite dad bod meme so far?

15. Can you give us an example of a funny tweet you’ve gotten in response to the movement?

16. When does the male body officially become a dad bod?

17. What separates an “OK” male body from a truly magnificent dad bod?

18. Is dating a dad bod a way to cope with insecurity?

19. Is there anything you think men misunderstand about the movement?

20. How long do you think men will talk about dad bod?