Okay for starters: what the heck is a 'Dad Bod?!'
According to VOX, it's a "a nice balance between a beer gut and working out." It is a male body type that is best described as "softly round." Think Seth Rogen or current Leonardo DiCaprio. It's built upon the theory that once a man reaches a certain age or point in his life, he doesn't need to worry about maintaining a good physique.
"To put it another way, a dad bod isn’t attractive because of what it looks like, but because of what it says," Peter Holley, a human with a self-proclaimed dad bod, wrote in the Washington Post. "A dad bod says I have a job, responsibilities and enough money to nod approvingly when someone says 'guacamole is extra.'"
It's a phrase that went viral last month after a college student named Mackenzie Pearson penned an article on "Why Girls Love the Dad Bod."
Now, is there a 'Mom Bod?'
When we search the term Mom Bod, all that comes up are stories of women losing weight and getting their awesome bodies back after a pregnancy (think of that super model that legitimately got a six pack after giving birth...)
You don't see chubby women, or even regular-sized women celebrated for their bodies. In fact, you only see them ridiculed. Think of Kelly Clarkson's recent weight gain all over the news but nothing about all our rounder male celebs.
Basically, a dad bod is to be jokingly loved and praised, and a mom bod is something to feel shame about. According to VOX again, "The dad bod craze encourages men to be complacent and suggests we applaud them for their unworked bodies. Meanwhile, women are consistently told they need to be skinny and toned to attract good-looking men."
We celebrate Jennifer Lawrence, who is considerably thinner than the average female, for being so curvy, so real. If this is the biggest body size our society can accept as beautiful, how can we ever expect to change our idea of beauty?
But Really, Show the 'Mom Bod' Some Love
“Women judge themselves more harshly than most men ever will,” says psychologist at the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU, Jennifer Wolkin, Ph.D, told Women's Health.
Take, for example, the answers you get when asking women about ideal body sizes. An ideal body size according to females tends to be thinner than what men prefer.
“What women might see as ‘overweight’ or ‘heavy,’ [men] often see as normal or healthy—and likely attractive,” says Kristen Carpenter, Ph.D., director of women's behavioral health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
“Men worry just as much about how people perceive them as women, but the way it manifests itself is different,” says Wolkin. “Women tend to be more concerned with how their bodies are perceived, whereas men worry about how society will rank them based on their intelligence and income.”
So sure, women have had body ideals and beauty standards forced upon them for centuries, but it seems like women are the ones that are enforcing those ideas the most. If we want to see change in our impossible body standards it needs to start with women first. Stop judging yourself based on other women, stop shaming certain body types, stop thinking you are worth less because you don't fit into a certain dress size.