What Is A 'Dad Bod'? An Insight Into The Latest Male Body Craze To Sweep The Internet

05/05/2015 15:05 | Updated 05 May 2015

It's the body type proudly sported by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Chris Pratt.

The 'dad bod' has sent the internet into something of a frenzy over the past week. But what actually is it? And where on earth did it come from?

Another day in the office

A photo posted by Chubbies (@chubbies) on

The term 'dad bod' has been knocking around for a while, however it only really became a "thing" after American student, Mackenzie Pearson used it in a piece she wrote for The Odyssey.

In Pearson's eyes, "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."

Speaking to BuzzFeed, Pearson added that 'dadbods' are the epitome of guys you want to date: "He isn’t worried about being perfect,” she said. “He’s someone who knows who he is and loves his body."


With Western body ideals leaning towards a "the hunkier, the better" ethos - yes, images of Jamie Dornan and Aidan Turner (Poldark) still crop up on our Facebook feeds daily - the 'dad bod' could be seen as the internet's rebellion to that.

After The Cut released a piece explaining what the 'dad bod' is last week, the internet pretty much exploded into debate over the trend.

The Atlantic's Spencer Kornhaber wrote: "Is 'dad bod' a hashtag joke or a social-sexual movement? Are men really getting schlumpier, or are people just finding better ways to talk about it?"

Meanwhile, raising a valid point, Colin Gorenstein from Salon wrote: "Can someone with 'dad bod' be an actual dad?"

"Are they 20-somethings who channel dad-like qualities? Are they frat bros? Is this the straight-person equivalent of discovering bears? Do they have to do crossfit? How about triathlons? Is this different than 2006's 'man flab' trend?"

Paint me like one of your French girls, Jack @seanmcelwrath

A photo posted by Chubbies (@chubbies) on

There are also those who believe that the term "shouldn't be a thing" because there is no "mom bod type".

"Pop culture has always dictated women must maintain a perfect figure while men are allowed to fudge a bit," said Jordan Schultz Monroe for Red Eye Chicago.

"If we are going to celebrate the imperfections of men, we must also celebrate those of women."

So, is the concept of the 'dad bod' male objectification but on a normcore scale?

Is it implying that men can get away with shirking their gym habits, while waving it in the faces of women who often feel pressured to look "perfect"?

Or is it simply a harmless way to tell guys: "Hey, it's okay that you don't look like Jamie Dornan in that pair of shorts. I still fancy the pants off you anyway"?

Either way, given the amount of attention the phrase has received over the past week - it's probably here to stay.

This Is What A 'Dad Bod' Looks Like (According to Instagram)

Also on HuffPost:

Suggest a correction