Stop Trying to Make Dad Bod Happen
We women are an obliging bunch. When it comes to men, it seems there’s literally nothing we won’t swallow. Aside from the obvious, we’ve also swallowed centuries of gender-based exclusion, thrown back shot after shot of appalling violence statistics, and positively guzzled a truly astonishing quantity of unrealistic beauty expectations.
On that last point, men might indeed be forgiven for thinking they can ram just about anything down our throats. At first it was just the tip – a few beauty tips, that is – a smudge of makeup here, a quick blow-dry there. Nowadays though, more and more women are brought to their knees before an aggressively expanding beauty industry, slapped in the face at every opportunity by a rigid media that implores them to slather goo all over their bodies, paint their faces, halve their calories, violently rip all hair from the most sensitive areas of their bodies and to bleach places that ought ne’er to be bleached.
We adopt these recommendations with very little resistance, even with enthusiasm, for as we’ve been told, it’s so much better if it seems like we’re enjoying it too. It was only a matter of time before some bright spark, sick of the weekly gym session required for him to maintain some semblance of health and aesthetic appeal, asked himself, “Why stick to manipulating women’s perception of themselves, when I could manipulate their perception of me as well?”
So it came to pass that the ‘Dad Bod’ was born, a social-media movement that urged women the world over to acknowledge their long-suppressed yearning for a man whose midsection promises all the surprise and excitement of an early-life coronary episode, with none of the allure of a likely inheritance.
As mentioned previously, we women are a gracious bunch, yet to me, this proffered stomach is a little hard to stomach. While I’ve certainly been known to praise men for their girth in the past, it has never quite been in this context. While I’m willing and able to wrap my head around a bit of extra chub, I’m a firm believer that a person can’t just expect to receive acceptance all night long unless they’re willing to give a little bit of it in return. You can tell us the flab makes you cuddlier and “less likely to cheat” all you like, but unless you want to accept that the same goes for us, it’s a no-deal situation. The moral of the story quite simply is, that when it comes to embracing realistic body images, it has to go both ways, for men and women alike.
There, I bet you didn’t think I was going to get deep.
Cover by Mustafa Kamal Razak