Apparently, the hottest subject amongst college women these days isn’t whether or not guys have man buns or beards, but whether a guy is a beer-swigging, Chiptole-pounding, “Dad Bod.” Because a Dad Bod is a dude who knows how to let his hair down. The Urban Dictionary definition nails it:
Girls on college campuses are obsessed with the idea of the Dad Bod these days. Clemson sophomore Mackenzie Pearson penned a breakdown of why chicks are obsessed with the Dad Bod and it’s turned into one of the most popular things on the Internet today. It has 200,000+ likes on Facebook, sparking response pieces from the usual slate of blog aggregators: GQ, NY Mag, Salon, Complex, The Frisky, etc. Discussions about the subject have been on my Facebook feed for 24-hours straight. TFM and Betches have been writing about it for weeks — if not months — before Mackenzie’s post went viral.
So what the hell actually is a “Dad Bod”? In Mackenzie’s words at The Odyssey:
The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. 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.” It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either.
If you just said “Hey, that sounds like me” to yourself, welcome to the club. She continues:
The dad bod is a new trend and fraternity boys everywhere seem to be rejoicing. Turns out skipping the gym for a few brews last Thursday after class turned out to be in their favor. While we all love a sculpted guy, there is just something about the dad bod that makes boys seem more human, natural, and attractive.
So what is it that makes chicks so thirsty for Dad Bod? Mackenzie explains:
It doesn’t intimidate us.
Few things are worse than taking a picture in a bathing suit, one being taking a picture in a bathing suit with a guy who is crazy fit. We don’t want a guy that makes us feel insecure about our body. We are insecure enough as it is. We don’t need a perfectly sculpted guy standing next to us to make us feel worse.
Hmmm. OK. That’s pretty brutally honest about cosmetic insecurity. I’m glad my flab from eating an entire can of Pringles in a sitting makes you feel confident about your body, though.
We like being the pretty one.
We love people saying “they look cute together.” But we still like being the center of attention. We want to look skinny and the bigger the guy, the smaller we feel and the better we look next to you in a picture.
Fine. But what happens when her snarky, sassy friends are like “how nice that slob could put his piece of Dominos pizza down for a second to take a picture with you?” when you upload the pic to Facebook? That has to dig, right?
No one wants to cuddle with a rock. Or Edward Cullen. The end.
Allison: My friend has a theory that men with dadbods and doughier tummy areas are good at sex — better, even — than, say, a ripped-abbed man, because their guts push against your pubic bone in a pleasing way. I also think dadbods might be more enthusiastic oral-sex-givers. Perhaps to compensate for their lack of abs.
As does her colleague, Emily Shornick:
Emily Shornick, photo editor: What’s great about dadbod sex is that you know you’re gonna have great postcoital snacks. Dadbod definitely has some cheese in the fridge.
Hell yes. Post-sex snacks are the best. Especially Synder’s of Hanover Honey Mustard pretzels. Speaking of which, back to Mackenzie:
The dad bod says he doesn’t meal prep every Sunday night so if you want to go to Taco Tuesday or $4 pitcher Wednesday, he’d be totally down. He’s not scared of a cheat meal because he eats just about anything and everything.
There are bad things about dudes with Dad Bods, though, as the ladies at The Cut articulate:
Ella: I’ve always found the dadbods I’ve been with pass judgement on my eating habits — probably because they project. Like, they have always been the most enthusiastic about me eating a salad.
Isabel: Dadbods want to date skinny girls?
Leah Rodriguez, producer: Yeah.
Ashley Weatherford, associate beauty editor: I dated a dadbod in college, and he told me I needed to work out.
Molly: Dadbod as outer manifestation of his sense of entitlement???DADBOD = PRIVILEGE???
Isabel: Dadbod = power, privilege, smugness.
Molly: Plus vast, slick sex torso.
Allison: No! Dadbod = comfort, pizza, better sex.
Emily: I can’t stop thinking about how offended I would be if men were talking about the “Mombod.”
The Dadbod life is one I embrace — I’d rather eat cold leftover pizza while nonchalantly standing at the fridge with the door open than aggressively looting the cabinet for some bullshit healthy snack like kale chips or almonds. Going out for wings or tacos is the highlight of my week. I have passionate opinions about menu items at Chili’s and IHOP and equally passionate opinions about condiments. Netflix binges and Sunday night HBO are my domain. The bodega under my apartment knows my preference for heady IPAs on the weekends and keeps a rotation of things I haven’t tried accordingly. I’ve been to more Phish shows than I’ve had birthdays. I own loafers for work AND New Balances. I look terrible in tank tops, but wear them anyway because I like the feeling of the breeze on my bare arms. 85% of my wardrobe comes from The Gap.
My preferred methods of exercise? Brisk walking, occasionally taking the stairs, taking out the trash, and a weekend bike ride every now and then. Frisbee in the park is fun too.
I don’t give a fuck.
I suppose girls who embrace the Dad Bod male figure are attracted to a Dad Bod’s nonchalance and general apathy, seeing it as self-confidence with one’s body image. Dad Bod life is all about not giving a fuck in a society that consistently reminds you that you should be giving a fuck.
Instead, I don’t.
The joy of having a #dadbod is that you don’t give a fuck. Long live the Dad Bod.