Why The Dad Bod Hype Is A Blow To Women Everywhere

by Rebekah Buege

The abundance of praise and support for the "dad bod" washed over social media feeds earlier this week.

Initially, it seemed like a positive push for the social acceptance of average bodies, touting they can actually be sexy.

Seeing Leo's beer belly proudly displayed while enjoying himself on the beach was a refreshing glimpse into the life of celebrities who are embracing normalcy and starting to look like the rest of us.

The articles about this extra pudge being "surprisingly sexy" appear harmless and inclusive of all body types, for men, that is.

In reality, these articles and pictures further prove truth to the "Inside Amy Schumer" video posted on April 22, which now has almost 2 million views on YouTube.

Women's bodies will always be held to a higher standard than men's.

Not only are women held to a higher standard, but also, men will now be praised when they start letting themselves go.

Women, on the other hand, are excruciatingly questioned and measured when they choose to bare all and show off their bikini bodies.

The truly disturbing fact here, which some may have forgotten, is a man's body does not go through any sort of physical change when he becomes a father. Men don't gain weight during pregnancy; they don't swell, and they don't sag.

They don't bleed regularly; they don't get sore from hormonal changes, and they don't ache for seven consecutive days per month.

There is no reason for men to gain weight other than "not having time for the gym" because they're busy running their kids around.

But, apparently, men just got a free pass to eat pizza, drink beer and enjoy "the spoils of man," a term which becomes more literal with each dad bod photo posted and praised.

Women give birth; their bodies are affected by mothering children. Their bodies are also expected to "bounce back" and look fierce post-baby, within six to eight weeks.

Yet, the ones who are benefitting from entering parenthood are men. This isn't attributed to the promotion of the #DadBod, this has been happening forever.

The idea of a dad bod is spectacular. Men's bodies change as they get older; fat is stored more easily and typically congregates in the mid-section. It's something that should be accepted and even celebrated as "sexy" or "desirable" to women.

The fact this trend is spreading from celebrities to college students is an encouraging step for our culture to embrace what normal bodies look like.

The washboard ab phase will (hopefully) fade out and be replaced with an image of a more attainable, realistic version of attraction.

This movement, however, is misplaced. It is helping those whose boundaries of attraction are already much more widely spread and accepted than that of their female counterparts.

Our expectations for the female body remain rigid and narrow, while the already-loose definition of male attraction widens with their waistbands.

Before you begin publicly supporting the dad bod fad, recognize and evaluate how you and the men you know view the bodies of those who birthed them.

Some women are lucky enough to lose pregnancy weight easily through breastfeeding, or just good genes. Others are not so lucky; they are forever marked with the sacrifice they made for their children.

Then, they are constantly reminded by media and magazine covers that their love handles need to be "blasted," "burned" and gone almost instantly.

Those are the actual moms.

Frat boys hashtagging #DadBod to excuse their extra 10 pounds is not the same as an actual 40-year-old man with a layer of love covering his once-defined abdomen.

Especially when those same frat boys expect "their women" to have cellulite-free thigh gaps, willowy limbs, perky tits and a slightly defined core.

Women want equality. Women want respect.

But, what women really want is pizza -- judgment-free pizza.