How 'Dad Bod' Is Further Fragmenting Positive Body Image
I've become so disenchanted with the concept of "body image," mainly because "body image" has a different definition to every individual in the world.
I am probably the most sedentary, lazy person you'll meet. I don't like any form of physical activity.
Gym class was my least favorite in school, and I always felt inadequate compared to my peers who felt the need to look jacked at the ripe age of 14.
I didn't think spending so much time on one's body was worth anything long term and I still, to this day, don't believe having the perfect body is something to be so proud of.
On the contrary, there has been a lot of talk about the "dad bod," which is this almost out of shape, yet slightly appealing body type for men who have taken hold of both the "frat guys" and male celebrities everywhere.
Left and right, people are praising the "dad bod," and I'm all for letting myself go in the name of being part of a trend.
What I don't understand is why we are saying it's acceptable and sexually appealing for men to look one way, but women have to look completely different.
Our ideal woman has to have a tiny waist, big chest and big butt. These absurd demands and desires of our ideal woman are extremely preposterous.
I, for one, can't understand the appeal of looking one certain way, whether it's fit, in shape, out of shape, etc.
Why must we all find the need to "conform" in the sense of fitting a body standard? Where did this standard even come from?
A bunch of my fraternity brothers have really been "leading the way" when it comes to bringing awareness to the "dad bod" physique (something I didn't know was an actual thing until a month ago).
I've read countless point and counterpoint articles about it, and I just can't wrap my mind around why we've become sucked into this latest craze.
On the other hand, I'm also tired of my female peers who are always in the gym, trying to get that "ideal" physique.
They find the incessant need to Instagram their progress in the gym, as if taking a photo of yourself working out actually matters.
If you posted a photo of yourself eating a cheeseburger, I'd be much more entertained.
Men, regardless of their age will always be "sex symbols," but women will become, at some point, no longer desirable.
Recently, one of my favorite comediennes, Amy Schumer, did an entire skit on her show about females coming to the point in their careers where they go from being the "f*ckable" lead to playing someone's mom or, even worse, grandmother.
It's these horrible, misogynistic attitudes that continue to feed into the youth of America.
Magazine covers everywhere are always promoting new fitness tips, featuring really in shape celebrities and fitness models, both male and female, which gives your everyday American reader another reason to feel horrible about him or herself.
I'm generalizing, as there are many people in this country who are perfectly happy with how they look, and I'm all for that. I just wish those kinds of opinions were more prevalent.
We have so called "doctors" advertising new fitness and health fads on television that are supposed to make us all look and feel better, but they often fail to highlight the risks associated with them.
Both men and women suffer from body image issues and as a society, we are not doing enough to prevent negative body image.
If anything, we're exploiting the rich and famous for what they're able to attain because of their status and shaming the rest of America into pits of gluttony.
I think about all the kids younger than I am who are growing up in this digital age where everything is accessible to them.
If they're not careful, they'll fall into the traps of those who came before them.
I worry for the future because the beauty standards we have in today's society are bogus as well as harmful. When truly stop emphasizing what one's image should be, we will be able to achieve more than we previously thought possible.