Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Why I'll Take a 'Dad Bod' Guy over Chiseled ABS

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Why I'll Take a 'Dad Bod' Guy over Chiseled ABS

Article excerpt

When a recent blog post about college girls preferring guys with a "dad bod" went viral, lots of older women nodded their heads in agreement.

As 19-year-old Clemson University sophomore Mackenzie Pearson described it, a dad bod is a "nice balance between a beer gut and working out." When a phrase like dad bod goes viral, we think it's new, but this has long existed without having a name.

Dad bod communicates not that a guy has let himself go - he still works out some - but he isn't so self-focused that he must have washboard abs and sculpted biceps. There's room in his life to push a stroller, shop for groceries and share a bottle of wine at the end of the week. You know, like a friend and partner.

I can't prove this scientifically, but I believe the lure of the dad bod has grown at the same rate that our economy has required two incomes to afford a house and raise a family. Women are looking for men who are comfortable outside the traditional gender box of earning a paycheck and watching the game.

It's not just that women want men to help with housework - that's nothing new. It's that none of us know which role we'll play from one year to the next. I've conducted a wide-ranging survey, consisting of my three sisters and me, to reach this conclusion.

My sister Gail's husband was laid off just as they were having their first baby. So her husband raised their son for the first year of his life while retraining for a job in information technology. My sister Mary quit her job as a nurse practitioner for several years to help build her husband's website business.

And Janet and I have supported our families through our mates' temporary unemployment.

Our men, out of necessity, have learned to make scratch pancakes, treat diaper rash and clip coupons. Together, we straddle the Baby Boom and Generation X, and all of us - in-laws included - were raised in a world where daily life was gender-specific. …

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