Ode To Dad-Bod

Regardless of the type of body you were born with, or how much work you put into transforming your physique throughout the years, one thing will always hold true: The sexiest thing you can be is confident. Herewith: One writer shares how he learned to love his dad-bod.
Text by Zak Mann | September 26, 2018 | Lifestyle

Dad-bods have been abundant in society long before the term was officially coined in 2013. Not to be confused with being considered overweight or unathletic, the dad-bod is a combination of slight definition and a flabby mid-section. The kind of guy that knows his way around the gym but also orders a bacon double cheese burger and washes it down with an IPA without hesitation. Yeah he could push himself to run a 5k, but he’d much rather walk with a drink in his hand debating where to go to next. He’s easy-going, low-stressed and knows how to enjoy life. He’s perfected time management techniques like swapping leg day for tailgating by justifying the knee bends during beer pong or subbing cardio for walking to grab drinks with a client. Contrary to urban myth and the implied name, being a father is not a prerequisite to donning a dad-bod. You could easily call this a lifestyle rather than a definition of one’s shape. Dad-bod is living life to the fullest!

Weighing in at a whopping 9 lbs 7 oz, my dad-bod started taking shape right in the womb. Thumbing through my baby pictures comes with a declaration that I didn’t eat my twin and have no relation to E.T. In the ‘90s, when everyone loved Chunk’s shuffle in The Goonies and the pudgy kid from The Sandlot was all the rage, I was hanging out with the cool kid/jock crew. Back then, a youthful dad-bod made for great defensive play, so I was usually picked toward the end at sports but never last. I lucked out with high school fashion, it was easy to hide my burgeoning belly bulge under a baggy Yaga t-shirt or loose-fitting Hilfiger.

While there was no pressure talking to girls, since everyone loves the funny guy, I was often put in the friend zone by most, but occasionally my great smile and a good line meant I had someone to split the large popcorn with at the newest Adam Sandler flick. I basically invented the LOL.

By college, the “Slim Fit” was in and that meant I had to be more creative as to not detract the co-eds. The fraternity jersey had to be designed by a 40-year-old, it was tapered in the arms but the Greek lettering on the front added just enough of a distraction to hide my lucky buddha. Pool parties were a little tough, but a well-placed flotation device always saved the day. By Junior year, the girls had partied enough and just wanted to settle down with a good guy that wasn’t trying to hook up with every freshman sorority girl at orientation. Dad-Bod screams boyfriend material, most girls would happily trade club-hopping for Sopranos & Pizza Night…I think the kids now call it Netflix & Chill. 

Once I entered the real world, my dad-bod finally felt accepted. Working in corporate America, I was surrounded by so many others who tried to hold on to their slowing metabolism but instead allowed themselves to have that second lunch. It was so easy to use working late or raising kids as an excuse to skip the gym…though Phil in the adjacent office had 5 kids worked till 8 and still had a 6 pack…we all despised Phil. Never before in my life did I hear of guys sharing diet secrets, but I guess it was easier than getting all new suits. I was determined to never go full Chris Farley so two weeks on a no-carb diet shrunk my bod a bit, but I never really made it past “Phase One”…my natural curves come back from hiatus at first bite of a Pub sub from that mouthwatering place “Where Shopping Is A Pleasure.”

By mid-2014, dad-bods were all the rage, Leonardo DiCaprio was our mascot and we were the top of the dating food chain, we wrapped everything in bacon, we had finally arrived. The chiseled chest was increasingly uninspiring and the rounded belly had become a must-have. Ladies were eating it up, it had become a beacon of grandeur, a sign of comfort letting everyone know this is the kind of guy you can grow old with.

And why not? We’re the perfect dining partner, always insisting to order a few extra dishes, kindly offering to eat what you can’t finish, laughing when you’re trying to decide which dessert to order, our answer is always “Let’s have both!” We’re like teddy bears to curl up next to at night with a built-in pillow perfect for seasonal hibernating, sleeping in late and passing out on in the back of an Uber.  In the end, the dad-bod is here to stay, even though society is eating a little more health-conscious these days, we’re still ordering large and missing 6 of 7 gym days. Now that the women are on board, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an underwear ad with one of us, perhaps holding a nice chessy slice of ‘za, extra on the pepperoni, please.   

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation or favoring of DAD-BODS. Individual results of DAD-BOD may vary, dating results not typical. DAD-BOD may put you at risk for serious health conditions. Side-effects of DAD-BOD may include, but are not limited to: midnight snacking, licking BBQ sauce off your fingers, buying elastic-waisted pants, owning an entire Tommy Bahama wardrobe, small children asking if you are Santa, owning multiple pairs of boat shoes, trying to deep-fry anything, random people rubbing your belly for good luck, excessive urges to eat at buffets, all your jeans being referred to as skinny jeans, never touching your toes again. If you suspect a loved one has DAD-BOD, approach carefully when handling a box of donuts. Please seek medical attention for a DAD-BOD lasting longer than 4 years as this may be correlated to other symptoms of excessive happiness and/or elation and/or cuddle overload. And, finally, always remember to enjoy DAD-BOD responsibly.