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"I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time." That's how 19-year-old Mackenzie Pearson explains "dad bod." It's a man's body says he's not perfect, but he's also not a slob. This, apparently, makes him sexy. He's more accessible and has the potential to make the woman by his side look better by comparison.
In just a few words, Pearson has given a now-viral stamp of approval to exactly how women will never, ever find acceptance from others for a similarly imperfect body type. It's not for a lack of trying. Following the "dad bod" trend has been the inevitable "mom bod" response. Although, really, who are we kidding? Showing a woman's stretch marks and post-baby pooch is what women show other women to tell each other that we are worthy of self-love. Then we flip through the pages of Us Weekly and see celebrities in bikinis—and the only way a muffin top is on display is if it's in a feature article about body fails.
The fact is that women have an expiration date (as Amy Schumer so perfectly pointed out here) that is far, far sooner than those stamped on men. Double standards for men and women are nothing new, although the "dad bod vs. mom bod" one seems to sting just a wee bit more. We struggle forever for change and acceptance, only to have men waltz in and bask in being told we love them, they're perfect, don't ever change. Ouch.
Pointedly putting dad bods on a pedestal and giving them a prize while mom bods sit next to them on a pedestal as a form of punishment and public shaming is beyond insult to injury. And yet for better (dad bod) or worse (mom bod), you can take it to the bank that discussion of both will be around for a long time to come.