Let’s get this out of the way before all of the professional victims start whining about my opinion on the “dad bod” trend and call me a fat shamer. I’m not a fat shamer. I shame all people equally.
I’m a mediocrity shamer.
For those who don’t know, “dad bod” is a term recently coined by a Clemson student named Mackenzie Pearson in an article for ‘The Odyssey’ called “Why Girls Love The Dad Bod”. Ms. Pearson describes the dad bod in the following excerpt:
“The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, “I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.” It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either.”
Given the adult and childhood obesity epidemic in America, I’m relieved that someone has finally started a movement to set the bar as low as humanly possible. I’ve spent so many years exercising and eating healthy, trying to maintain a high level of fitness, that I’m ashamed. My wife must be disgusted with my lack of excessive body fat. And christ, what kind of example am I setting for my son. He’s at risk of growing up to think that fitness and health is important to your quality of life. Fuck that. I’ll be at the McDonald’s drive through if you need me.
Pearson goes on to list the reasons that girls love a dad bod, which I will now shit on in this particular post.
1) “It doesn’t intimidate us.”
She uses the example of standing, in a bathing suit, next to a guy with a fit body and feeling insecure about herself. Basically what Pearson is saying is that his fit physique makes her feel badly about her unfit physique. So rather than taking better care of herself, eating healthier, and exercising more frequently, she’d prefer that he also make poor personal choices, giving her a lower standard to live up to.
I think more people need to start thinking this way. All of these stupid motivational book encouraging you to aim higher are pointing you in the wrong direction. What you need to be doing is surrounding yourself with people who are less fit, less educated, and less successful than you so that you’re not at risk of being dissatisfied with your own mediocrity. Don’t set the bar low, bury it underground!
2) “We like to be the pretty one.”
According to Pearson, females aren’t satisfied with just having a poorly constructed physique, they also want to appear skinny. And the best way to accomplish this is by standing next to a fat guy. In comparison it would make her look smaller. Notice how she doesn’t mention that she might look smaller if she stood next to a muscular guy.
How are all women not mad at this chick for assuming that every female suffers from poor self image and a complete lack of self esteem?
3) “Better cuddling”
Her entire entry under this heading is, “No one wants to cuddle with a rock. Or Edward Cullen. The end.” I think it makes perfect sense. Why would a girl want to rest her head on a firm, muscular pec when she could squish it down onto a hairy man boob that would mold to the shape of her face?
As far as the Edward Cullen comment well, point taken.
4) “Good eats.”
A guy that eats healthy should disgust every woman. “Sexy” is a lack of self control and succumbing to your every craving regardless of the consequences. Here I am, literally “doing my meal prep every Sunday” night and only indulging in moderation, mostly on the weekends, when I should be eating tacos and drinking beer on a nightly basis.
Atherosclerosis is a panty dropper.
5) “You know what you’re getting.”
This one might be the
saddest greatest statement of all. Young Mackenzie continues on to explain that women envision a future with a male prospect very early on, so having a shitty dad bod from jump means that they have years to get used to it. He’ll have “the same exact body type at age 22 that he’s going to have at 45.” Yes! Hopefully he’ll start at the bottom of the ladder and stay there forever. If she’s truly lucky, his intellect, emotional maturity, career, financial status, and social skills will also remain stagnant from his 20’s until he dies early from heart disease.
By way of proving her theory correct, below are two photos of me. The first is of me at age 22, wearing a super manly, hot pink Speedo. The second is of me today, 5/21/15, exactly three months before my 45th birthday. No Photoshop, no filters, no special lighting or flattering angles.
In the first picture I was competing in a bodybuilding contest where I won my weight class, weighing in at approximately 165 pounds. I’d been training twice a day for months and adhering to an absurdly strict diet. I don’t know what my body fat percentage was but it was low, unlike the amount of hair product, spray tan, and baby oil covering me.
In the second picture I’m standing in my bathroom where I’d just peed in what appeared to be morse code, thanks go my middle-aged prostate. My current weight is approximately 160 pounds. I workout for an hour, 4-5 days per week, and adhere to a mostly healthy diet with weekly binges on In N’ Out Burger and five or six super sized Kit Kat bars. I don’t know what my body fat percentage is here either.
I’m not a candidate for the cover of Men’s Fitness magazine. I’ll never be mistaken for a Calvin Klein model. I’m not even the fittest one of my friends. However, I think I look pretty good for a guy pushing 45 who has a 3 month old baby, a wife, and a normal day-to-day life.
The point of my entire post, if you’re not clever enough to discern it on your own, is that we as a society owe it to ourselves, and our children, to not aim for mediocrity in any facet of our lives. You wouldn’t suggest to your children that they should shoot for below average intelligence, or success, or maturity, or social ability, or kindness, or compassion, or emotional health, or any other aspect of their development, so why would you encourage them to aspire to a lesser level of physical fitness or health?
Ask yourself why you aspire to be (or appear) smarter, more successful, or nicer, or whatever you prioritize in your personal development, but not your fitness? What good is anything else without your health? Yes, I know that the “dad bod” bullshit speaks in terms of physical appearance, but the not-so-underlying message is poor health choices.
“…drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.”
People say that America isn’t what it used to be and I agree. Maybe our attitudes are the problem. Shouldn’t we strive to be more, to be better? Are we happy being the fat, fading, consumer society where 21% of our kids are obese, 35% of adults are obese, and 69% of adults qualify as overweight.
Before my son was born, I wrote a post committing to setting a good example for him when it comes to my health and fitness. I intend to demonstrate that to him every day by exercising, eating healthy, and walking around shirtless so that he can marvel at the fullness of my pecs and how my triceps bulge out like goddamn water balloons. I also plan to teach him to make good food choices, to focus on his fitness, and to indulge in rest and delicious treats in moderation so that he grows up with balance in his life.
I won’t push him toward perfection, I’ll encourage him to set his own standards, but to set them high. I don’t want him to be the best at everything, I just want him to be the best that he can be. And that will never include lowering the bar to make anyone feel better about themselves, particularly himself.