Have you seen a twitter feed recently that proclaimed “The Beauty of the Dad Bod”? Did you have to do a double take? If you have never heard the phrase before – have a little fun and do an image search on Google for “Dad Bod”.

The first thing that comes up will likely be a man who once resembled Jay Gatsby, Howard Hughes, and Romeo. That’s right, Leonardo Decaprio himself put on a couple pounds and now has a paunch. Wherefore art thou Romeo? He went to the bar and had an extra beer and a bowl of pretzels to work on his physique.

That’s right, the current en vogue body, at least for some segment of the population, is one that doesn’t resemble Matthew McConaughey. In fact it probably looks more like… your Uncle Donnie – that’s a Dad Bod.

So where did all this start?

Apparently a female student at Clemson wrote an article that extolled the virtues of the Dad Bod. It went viral, touched the polar ice caps, saved global warming and now at least part of the world loves something that does not look “fit” – at least in a traditional sense. In the event you didn’t hear that right it’s repeated here for clarity: Dads, the verdict is in, College Coeds say they like a guy who looks out of shape. Seriously, are you paying attention yet?

All you have to do to draw a look on the beach from Hannah and her Horse, and a scowl from your wife, is drink beer and relax! It just doesn’t feel right? Well, it might not be healthy, but here is the psychology for why the Dad Bod is in.

At least this is how one Dad understands it, from a woman’s perspective…

1. The Dad Bod spells success.

The guy who burns the candle at both ends is the one who is climbing the success ladder for his family.  That is his priority.  At the end of the day he crashes to the couch and grabs a beer – no questions asked. Women want to see a man who works his butt off to advance himself and his family, and they want to hug him at the end of the day.

2. I’d rather work on your body than my own.

It’s not meant in a perverse sense, but instead a dad who gives his wife time. The little paunch represents a guy who takes care of the kids for 90 minutes while his wife goes to the gym or does Zumba. It’s not glamour for this dad – it’s life. And his wife loves him for it.

3. The confidence to get what he wants.

“Sir you can add guac to the burrito, but it’s $2.50 extra.” The guy who nods, “yep” with confidence is one that not only has money but also takes control. You see what you want and you go after it, even at the cost of $2.50 and 200 calories. Hubba-hubba.

4. Women can be themselves.

If a guy has 6-pack abs and his lady friend doesn’t, is that more or less likely to make her feel comfortable? Yeah a little tire around your side may give her permission to go for the cheesecake. That bit of non-verbal communication goes a long way. It also means you might order one with her and double up the pleasure.

5. “Dads have abundant free-time to kill at the gym” – said no Dad ever.

If you went to the gym every night after work that might mean you were putting more time into your abs instead of time into that project that your boss said was so important to the firm. That could make your old lady nervous, better hit the stapler instead of the curl machine Daddy-o.

6. Your body is a movie trailer.

What would Hugh Jackman look like if he lost his Wolverine-like physique? If you have a tough time picturing Wolverine out of shape, you are not alone. If a woman falls in love with a guy who looks a bit rotund now, she knows exactly what the future holds. Men get the chance to “preview” with the old saying: “If you can live with what the mother-in-law looks like now, then you will be good in 20 years”. Women have that luxury with a Dad Bod. Ahhhh, isn’t that comforting?

7. Snuggle-time is never further than an arms length away.

Women may not love watching Game of Thrones, but with the prospect of being pet while laying on a soft cushy midsection, that’s a different story. All of a sudden it may not be that hard to watch a stunning blonde woman fly on a dragon’s back while conquering the world.

This is a fad, right?  It has to be. 

Think back to the days of Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor; and what the expectation of a beautiful body was then and what it is now.

Everyone knows Elizabeth’s swimsuit style is already coming back in fashion. 

Perhaps the times are changing to reflect a shift in our expectations. The idea being that our bodies are more “realistic” and that all people are perfect just as they are. 

What’s next guys? Likely the “Mom Bod”. And we love it!

Dad Bods are just one of the things women love. Check out more with Things Only Moms Get Excited About! Also stay tuned for a companion post for those who insist on not-Dad-Bod-ing it!

Photo Credits: Happy Dads Inc., Alfred Eisenstaedt and Maegan Tintari


  1. As a father of two, this is about the most ignorant thing I’ve ever read that wasn’t written by a feminist. What a real dad can do is be a good example for his kids, be healthy, and live longer. An extra 30 pounds of fat isn’t healthy, increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and a lot of other potentially deadly diseases. I’m not saying dads should have six packs, but I’ve been working hard to try to lose weight and be my best self for my family, and the ideas proposed here negate that effort. Dads should try to be as healthy as possible, because it not only extends their life, but their sons will likely follow whatever health consciousness their fathers model. I have nothing against people who are overweight, but I don’t think glamorizing such an unhealthy outlook is good for anyone.

    • Don,
      The writer meant for this to be a humorous article, and actually has a follow up post publishing very soon on how to AVOID the dad bod, so stay tuned. 🙂

    • Hi Don,
      Thank for taking the time to leave a comment and for being an involved father. I agree with your wholeheartedly and share your opinion for being as healthy as possible in life. I love the idea that my 2 children will be proud of my body (and mind more importantly for that matter) for ever and ever amen.

      That being said the gentleman in this picture is a great dad and an awesome person. He may have a “DadBod” but his wife loves him for everything that he is for his family – her requirement for being married does not require washboard abs. I hope you love the article for the jesting that is inside and the message that we can all love everyone just how they choose to be in this world.

      Life involves balance, and sometimes the physical aspect for some Dad’s does become less strict as the spiritual, social, mental, $, vocational and familial roles come more into focus. 🙂

    • Rather a father raising his kids with love and compassion while packing a few extra pounds, than a misogynist teaching his kids that feminism is ignorant. Trying to be healthy doesn’t make you a good person. Being a great role model does. Love the tongue and cheek of this article and love my husband for being an awesome dad despite a few extra pounds.

      • Jessi,
        I love this! All the writers were giving MAJOR kudos to your husband for modeling for these photos. I completely agree with every single point you make in your blog, and appreciate your response. I don’t think that binge watching shows encourages lazy habits, unless it’s done EVERY SINGLE DAY. Moderation is key, people.

  2. Funny post, man! I love the honesty. I totally relate to the reasons for not making it to the gym as much as I used to. Looking forward to your follow up post.

  3. While I am a lover of the Dad Bods (because let’s be real here…that high of a level of “perfection” with a set of 6 pack abs is a severe cause of anxiety coupled with intimidation for most females), I still want/wish/would like for my husband to be body -aware-…aware that what he eats/doesn’t eat is noted by his children. That sitting on the couch binge watching Game of Thrones is encouraging lazy habits. That outwardly stating “Peas are YUCCCCKKKK.” …he is showing his children -by example!- that those things are ok (and in moderation…why yes sir.) Not to mention that maintenance requires much LESS work in the area of diets/exercise compared to gettin’ the gluttony and laziness ON and ditching the aforementioned. I love Dad bods, but I love Dad’s who take on their new position of “role model” more seriously and encourage their children to be a slightly better version of their self.


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