I’ve heard so many women complain (I might have too) that men get away with all kinds of fat crimes while women are constantly under pressure to be ‘skinny’.
After a post touting ‘beer bellies are in, biceps are out’ went viral a few months ago, men all over the world have started to embrace their curves. I’m sorry, ‘dad bods.’ Do I have to be a dad to sport a dad bod, you ask? Nope. And this is where it gets interesting. According to the post, all you have to do is skip gym once in a while and have the ability to “drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.” Wait, this can’t be right. Oh, but it is. Are you telling me that we’re celebrating squishiness now? Yes, we are.
Needless to say, the post became instantly popular with beer-belly-sporting men world over, dads or not. What’s more, women chimed in (well, the post was written by a female student to begin with) saying they hadn’t been comfortable dating perfectly sculpted men all along and this was non-threatening and “honest”. Now, as someone who has found Popeye biceps on real men anything but sexy, I agree with these women. But what fascinates me is just how quickly the question of men’s body image issues was raised, addressed and put to rest. All it took was one blog post by a female student to convince men—of all ages—that they were beautiful as they were.
Compare this with women who have been told for years and years that they are beautiful in all shapes and sizes through extensive campaigns involving gorgeous plus-sized models posing naked, and empowering videos on women working out; we even came up with cute names such as ‘muffin top’ to get women to look at the extra fat on their waistlines with affection, introduced songs like I’m all about that bass into popular culture and oh, my favourite one yet—a post that did the rounds on social media trying to convince moms that their bodies weren’t ruined by stretch marks but that they were tigers who had earned their stripes.
The result? We just continued slathering on the cocoa butter on those ‘earned stripes’ and squeezing ourselves into those painfully tight body shapers before stepping out. To be fair though, we bit off well-meaning people’s heads when they told us we shouldn’t torture ourselves this way so we did take the tiger comment seriously.
Now, I—like so many women I know—struggle with maintaining fitness routines. I’ve tried various routes so far—the gym (three wasted memberships), walking in the park (too many crows), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (lasted 4 months with breaks) and Zumba (lasted three classes)—and I’m currently experimenting with home workouts. I even got colour-coordinated dumbbells and yoga mat because I have a weakness for matching things and at this point, I’d do anything to keep myself motivated. In addition to this, I experiment with diets (with little success) and I’ve now started using sugar supplements. Oh, and my BMI is well within ‘normal’ but since ‘normal’ and ‘happy’ are two different things, I feel like I must keep trying. But do you now see why I’m so fascinated by the massive and immediate success of The Dad Bod Movement?
I’ve heard so many women complain (I might have too) that men get away with all kinds of fat crimes while women are constantly under pressure to be ‘skinny’. While that may be partly true, if The Dad Bod Movement is anything to go by, I don’t think men are getting away with anything at all. I think they simply don’t give a shit. How liberating. I don’t know about you but I’ve decided to follow suit and strut my Mom Bod—tiger stripes and all—in whatever outfit I please.
But give me three months to finish the Squat Challenge, Plank Challenge, Push-up Challenge and a couple of GM Diets.