A month or so ago, a college student told the internet that girls are into dad bod and a fake internet trend was born. The body type, which actually seems to be more of a behavior type, is defined as a guy who has "let himself go ever so slightly".  .

Worship of the nonchalant male is nothing new (see also: Don Draper). Perfect appearances are not supposed to matter to women, at least not like they do to men. Women aren’t visual, remember? Which brings us to that old stereotype about chiseled men, the one that goes back to ancient Greece. It is hard to say how much homophobia figures into the equation in the age of CrossFit. As of yet I have been unable to find a “Why Boys Love Dad Bod” corollary. I did find this theory on how the dad bod trend is a nefarious gay plot to destroy the nuclear family, though.


The Dad bod is the provider bod- the bod that says I’m too busy making the world go around to obsess about what I look like. It says I’m too important to be bothered, and anyone who looks better than this is wasting his time. It says men are more attractive when they give less of a shit. Women, on the other hand, are only attractive when they give more of a shit (but act like they don’t give a shit). This stuff that men are too important to be bothered with is women’s primary cultural currency. A woman has to spend large amounts of time on it to be considered successful, even if what she is trying to be successful in has nothing to do with her attractiveness.


A parallel mom bod trend is laughable for lots of reasons, e.g. our general distaste for allowing women’s mom-ness to seep into any other part of their lives. Being a mom is something women are considered attractive in spite of, not because of. MILF aficionados might argue otherwise, but that fetish isn’t about visible evidence. Fatherhood plays into our ideals, not against them. This may have something to do with the fact that the tradititonal dad role is associated with leisure as much as (or more than) active parenting. When he is being hands-on, there’s a good chance a dad is showing other traits women find appealing: affection, vulnerability, successful genetic expression. A stroller adds to a guy’s appeal. It subtracts from a woman’s.


As one champion of the bod put it, “the dad bod is about looking more like a man and less like a boy.” So how do we make womanly  feel like more of a compliment?