It’s no secret that having kids changes a woman’s body. But guess what? It also changes a man’s. The “dad bod” is officially defined by the Urban Dictionary as:
A male body type that is best described as “softly round.” It’s built upon the theory that once a man has found a mate and fathered a child, he doesn’t need to worry about maintaining a sculpted physique.
Unofficially? It’s become the most attractive male body type out there. At least, according to a national study commissioned by Planet Fitness. The online study of 2,217 Americans over the age of 18 found that:
- 65% say the “dad bod” is attractive
- 61% say men with a “dad bod” are sexy
- 51% say the “dad bod” is the new six-pack
So men, fear not if you don’t have 18 hours a day to sculpt your body into an insanely cut, rock hard, ripped version of the walking Greek god, Adonis. Because apparently, this is not what women want. So forget Zac Efron and his chiseled abs, sculpted chest, and muscly muscles on top of muscles. Women want a man with the body of Seth Rogen.
This is the third year Planet Fitness has studied how American men and women view the “dad bod,” and year-over-year they have found an increasing appreciation, acceptance and love for this type of physique “with data pointing to the consensus that it exudes more sexiness and confidence now than ever before.” According to the study, over 23 million men identify with having a little extra padding hiding the washboard abs lurking beneath. And while squishy = sexy, it’s not just about appearances.
Both men and women associate a few extra pounds with positive traits such as confidence, happiness, and self-acceptance. 4 out of 5 of the study respondents indicated that a “dad bod” is a sign of a man who is “confident in his own skin.” And confidence equates to attractiveness. And happiness. 79% say they are happier with their “dad bod” compared to 64% of respondents in last year’s study.
As well, 72% say their lives have improved in some way, largely as a result of increased self-acceptance and decreased concern with their appearance. And that extra weight? Has also made them more relaxed. Which makes sense. Once you are able to let go of the unrealistic images of what a body “should” look like that are plastered all over glossy magazines and filtered on Instagram, you free yourself of the pressure to attain the unattainable.
Here’s hoping the “mom bod” gains the same acceptance.
While the study looks at important factors such as increased body positivity, self-esteem and boosted confidence as they relate to sexiness, it does leave one important factor out. Because what’s really sexy about a “dad bod”? Is the whole “dad” part. Ask any woman and she will tell you: there is nothing sexier than watching a man with his children.
Dad bod and all.