Since the term was coined a couple of years ago, the "dadbod" has become something of a cultural phenomenon. ICYMI, dadbod refers to a guy who isn't significantly overweight but doesn't have much muscle tone. Basically, dadbod should be called "normalbod." As we pointed out when it first became a *thing*, it's awesome that men are now being encouraged to feel comfortable with a healthy but not exactly chiseled body.
But what about mombods? Sadly, even years later, we're still waiting for the female equivalent to make its grand entrance.
Actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason Segel, and Jon Hamm are praised for their ability to be comfortable with a softer, less muscular look, and they're certainly not having trouble finding work in Hollywood. DiCaprio even manages to surround himself with a seemingly endless supply of young, hot models despite his dadbod status. Yet when Rihanna debuted a slightly curvier look, she was basically fat-shamed. (Luckily, Twitter took down the sexist a-hole responsible.)
And in a well-intentioned but pretty infuriating survey done in honor of Father's Day by Planet Fitness, a gym that prides itself on being accessible and unintimidating to people of all body types (which is, of course, an awesome mission), researchers found that women are pretty much totally fine with the dadbod look. In fact, their findings show that women might even prefer it to a more muscular physique. The survey included about 2,000 people total, and 69 percent of the women who participated said they found dadbods sexy. And 47 percent of the women surveyed even said they think the dadbod is "the new six-pack." Some of the findings even suggested that women thought men with dadbods make better "marriage material." (You should probably take that last theory with a grain of salt.)
Here's the kicker: Three in five (about 60 percent) of men who self-identify as having a dadbod don't feel like they're judged for not being more fit. Can you imagine that number being as high for women who aren't considered to have an "ideal" body?
Can we just get a resounding WTF?! Yeah, it is great that men can feel free to be who they are without fear of losing out on potential mates—that's definitely progress. And it's wonderful that a significant number of women recognize that rock-hard abs aren't attainable for everyone. But can you imagine the same number of guys preferring a woman with a stomach that's not flat? Or saying that they'd rather marry someone who is a little softer around the edges than a woman who looks like a supermodel? It's awesome for men that the majority of women find the soft stomach associated with dadbod to be so sexy (according to this survey anyway), but the bottom line is, it doesn't go both ways. As plus-size model, mother, and body-positive advocate, Tess Holliday, recently pointed out, "Fat women as moms are robbed of our sexuality."
And even more than that, do we really need to be celebrating how wonderful things are for men's body images right now, at a time when access to birth control is on the decline, many women can't afford to take maternity leave, and it seems impossible to even go on a dating app without experiencing fat shaming?
Though the aforementioned Leonardo DiCaprio vs. Rihanna situation is a great example of how this double standard plays out, the most glaring application of it is actually in the real world. Women who are obese are STILL less likely to land a job than thinner women. Yet when it comes to men on the job hunt, being obese doesn't set them back nearly as much, according to a 2016 study published in Frontiers in Psychology. It begs the question: Why does America hate fat women so much? Something has to change, and it needs to start with acknowledging that overweight female bodies are beautiful, too. We're happy for you that you're ready to accept your bodies, men, but it's time to think about accepting ours, too—no matter the shape or size.