Next time you're too lazy to hit the gym - and we're talking to you, dear men - check yourself out in the mirror. With your shirt off please. If the following is what you see in the mirror, chill, you can go back to that video game:
" A physique characterized by undefined muscles beneath a light layer of flab, usually topped off with a beer belly."
Congratulations, you have the 'dad bod', which is apparently turning people's knees into jelly, on the internet at least. The definition above is from NY Mag's Cut, for a body type we are all too familiar with, but didn't think was deserving of a new name. You can't exactly call this male body type fat or overweight, it's not toned or particularly fit either.
NY Mag quotes, "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."
Now how many men do you know, who fit the above description? Including most of you reading this article, more than half the men on your Facebook friend list, right?
The word sprang into limelight after psychology student in the US, wrote an article mentioning the same and it went viral. Mackenzie Pearson wrote an article called 'Why Girls Love the Dad Bod', which was later published in The Odyssey magazine. As this article was being typed, Mackenzie's article showed that it has been shared 407, 8000 times. And like most other things that go viral, the Dad Bod became the talk of the town, literally.
Mackenzie goes on to list out the reasons why she thinks girls are crushing on the 'dadbod'. Firstly, she says that a half-good body is not intimidating. "We don't want a guy that makes us feel insecure about our body. We are insecure enough as it is," she says. She adds that dating a guy with a dad bod means, if you are not exactly chubby, you get to be the 'prettier' person in the relationship. Finally she makes a point that should make all guys very happy. She says: "No one wants to cuddle with a rock. Or Edward Cullen. The end." There, go drown yourself in beer already!
Mackenzie's article sparked off an enthusiastic conversation in the American media, and men, were definitely amused! You may have thought that it is just women who need some self-esteem boosting when it comes to body image, you are wrong. Jackson Stiles of The New Daily, spoke to psychologist Scott Griffiths, who said, "Any time a body type that’s closer to what most people can obtain gets attention in the media, it will make people feel more comfortable about their appearance. To the extent that young men, fathers-to-be or new fathers are seeing images of big guys with broad shoulders, beefy torsos and six-packs, if they can also see the ‘dadbod’ alongside it and see how people are responding positively to that, then it will give them better body esteem."
The internet has thrown up Dad Bod icons already too, from Simon Cowell and Leonardo DiCaprio to Tony Abbott and John Hamm.
Slate conducted an interview with Mackenzie, where the interviewer questioned her if the term 'dad bod' is actually rooted in a woman's insecurity. The student had an answer for it too: "That was totally not the intention of the article. I think of myself as a very secure woman. I’m very proud of my body and who I am. But it is something that my friends have talked about, and like any other girl, I do have insecurities. I don’t want a guy to tell me what I can or can’t eat."
And if your ego is not already soaring, and the treadmill has lost its relevance in your life, here's what GQ has to say about the Dad Bod: "Dads fucking rule." You can now go to a small victory dance.
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Updated Date: May 05, 2015 17:54:26 IST