Do you hear that rumbling? No, not thunder, but the sound of dads all over the world throwing their raggedy old Speedos into the bin, after Jason Momoa – the closest thing we currently have to a demi-god – was shamed for his “dad-bod”.
Because if Khal Drogo can be body-shamed, what hope is there for the average dad?
In fact, there is plenty of hope. I’m here to tell any fathers currently considering cutting leg-holes in a pop-up tent and styling it as beachwear, or braving summer without so much as an undone tie, that dad-bods – of all the bods – are among the most underrated. And here’s why:
1. Dad-Bods Are A Big Hit Among Mum-Bods.
No matter how easy your pregnancy, birth and first months of new parenthood, these life experiences (and I include the mainlining of Hobnobs to stay awake during the night-feed here) change your body so much in so little time, that they can leave even the most secure of us feeling uncomfortable in our own skins.
The prospect of clambering out of a saggy maternity bra and Sudocrem-stained leggings in front of someone in peak condition can be a little intimidating. If your partner also has eye-bags and a slight paunch from emergency Hobnobs, it may not only be a comfort, it can also strengthen your bond as parents.
2. Newborns And Muscles Cause Marital Troubles.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule but it kind of rhymes so I’m keeping it. Some new dads still maintain a five days a week workout schedule, I imagine to help them cope with the massive life-change. But that can leave their partners overwhelmed and resentful; they’d prefer they prioritised sharing the parenting load over bench-pressing the weight of a small principality.
3. Having A Ripped Partner Isn’t All Fun And Games.
At the risk of shaming people with overdeveloped pectoral muscles, sometimes going in for a cuddle is a bit like being squashed against a bag of apples. Sometimes it’s nice to come downstairs and not find that a forest of industrial protein powders has magically sprung up around the house just because Holland & Barrett had a sale.
4. Dad-Bod Is ‘Bed-Head’ Turned Up To 11.
Plenty of people go gooey over sleepy, first-thing-in-the-morning boyfriends with their tousled hair, five o’clock shadow and gentle air of “where the hell am I?”. And those people are going to love the first few weeks of new-dadhood, which feature sadness-beards, perpetual eye-bogies, foggy thinking, and unwashed pyjamas as daywear.
5. People Love A Visible Dad, Visibly Dadding.
Whenever my husband is out alone with my sons – particularly when he used to mooch around town with a baby strapped to his chest – people went nuts. Old women. Young women, who openly flirted with him. And I don’t mean to sound bitter, but this rarely happens with mums, because people expect to see mums out with their kids. The most attention I ever got when wearing a baby-carrier was a woman who asked me to check if my baby “was still breathing”.
My point is, if your dad confidence is ever at a low, just strap on a baby and walk around your local town centre, and you’ll soon start feeling like your friendly neighbourhood Jason Momoa.
So, dads. I hope you can stand a little straighter and feel a little prouder, now. Because we have a great British tradition of seeing our summer parks and beaches gloriously overrun with tops-off dad-bods lobstering unselfconsciously in the sunshine, and it would be a shame if that ended. You can leave those Speedos in the bin though – we’ve talked about them.