"In case you haven't noticed lately, girls are all about that dad bod."
May 2, 2015 5:43 AM   Subscribe

"The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, "I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time." It's not an overweight guy, but it isn't one with washboard abs, either." (Mackenzie Pearson writing forThe Odyssey. Follow-up interview at Slate.com)
posted by valkane (132 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
We know what we are getting into when he's got the same exact body type at the age of 22 that he's going to have at 45.

Yeah, umm, no. What you know is that he's a 22-year-old who's in good shape for a 45-year-old. Let me tell you for free that what comes easily at 22 is a beast to maintain at 45.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:47 AM on May 2, 2015 [90 favorites]


Yesterday before seeing the new Avengers flick I spent some time expounding upon why it is just science that Mark Ruffalo is the hottest Avenger to my nerd group at dinner and nobody got it until my best friend piped up "he's dad hot" and suddenly they all understood.
posted by Mizu at 5:48 AM on May 2, 2015 [29 favorites]


I've had this body since 30 and it gets a tad larger every year. But, hey! Works for me!
posted by josher71 at 5:49 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]




Instead of "mom bod" we get MILF.
posted by phunniemee at 5:53 AM on May 2, 2015 [24 favorites]


I don't get the joke about him using Victoria secret as a dating hot tub.
posted by sio42 at 5:54 AM on May 2, 2015


And milfs are all skinny and stuff anyways! They don't even have mombod
posted by sio42 at 5:56 AM on May 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


Instead of "mom bod" we get MILF.

Milf on the internet is any woman over 18.
posted by srboisvert at 5:59 AM on May 2, 2015 [63 favorites]


Huh.

I am KILLING IT.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:01 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't get the joke about him using Victoria secret as a dating hot tub.

This is likely just referring to the common knowledge that if you spill Russian energy drink on a Victoria's Secret model she will turn into a time machine.
posted by phunniemee at 6:02 AM on May 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


Instead of "mom bod" we get MILF.

I prefer the term "yummy mummy."
posted by Nevin at 6:05 AM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oedipus wonders what these girls are going to like when they grow out of their daddy phase.
posted by Dashy at 6:08 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oedipus wonders what these girls are going to like when they grow out of their daddy phase.


look at this fool who doesn't now about granddad bod
posted by Metafilter Username at 6:11 AM on May 2, 2015 [39 favorites]


Except Mark Ruffalo doesn't really have a dad bod (warning: hot shirtless Ruffalo)

He's just very...fluffy.
posted by Windigo at 6:16 AM on May 2, 2015 [24 favorites]


No one wants to cuddle with a rock. Or Edward Cullen. The end.

As the risk of creating a Peak Metafilter™ comment, let me state simply that body-shaming isn't cool, regardless of gender.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:19 AM on May 2, 2015 [40 favorites]


...and then he read of the rest of the "article."

Please disregard my previous comment. This is essentially just a Facebook post, not an actual article. I should have saved my Dignified Disapprobation™ for something with a bit more substance.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:25 AM on May 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


So what you're saying is that you don't like articles that don't have a lot of meat on their bones? Might I interest you in a dadarticle?
posted by Apoch at 6:28 AM on May 2, 2015 [50 favorites]


lol
posted by grobstein at 6:28 AM on May 2, 2015


writing forThe Odyssey

Ironically Odysseus probably had this body type.

Except when he was shipwrecked for years I guess
posted by grobstein at 6:29 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, when Andie McDowell is listing the qualities of her perfect man.

"That's me!"
"Me, me, me."
"Me also."
"I've got a great body and sometimes I go months without looking."
"This is a man we're talking about right?"
"I am really close on this one. Really, really close."

I've got the Dad Bod, I've got gray hair, nerdy glasses, I watch Mad Men AND I love Marvel movies.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 6:29 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's kind of sad that two out of the five reasons given are, essentially, "I'm insecure about my body and being around super-fit guys makes me feel even more insecure." That doesn't sound like a genuine preference, it sounds like over-concern about what other people would think. I mean, I can understand it. I have some similar hangups myself. But that's not "attraction" per se.
posted by Kilter at 6:30 AM on May 2, 2015 [31 favorites]



Instead of "mom bod" we get MILF.

I prefer the term "yummy mummy."


The two terms have different meanings; MILF is about objectifying sexual attraction, pure and simple, whereas “yummy mummy” is more about social status/lifestyle envy (or for the Marxists in the audience, the low-level insecurity under late capitalism of not being able to stop making an effort to remain competitively attractive, just in case).
posted by acb at 6:35 AM on May 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm not finding it, but there was an FPP recently about the solid build of some movie and TV stars of a few decades back that was getting at sort of the same thing, but better thought through, as I recall.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:37 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oedipus wonders what these girls are going to like when they grow out of their daddy phase.

You know, I had this same thought, and then I was all, no, I'm overthinking it, and then I got to

"Pearson: My dad has read it. He called me this morning to talk about it. My dad is super into CrossFit. He’s super, super fit and really healthy. He actually found a comment where someone had uploaded a picture from Facebook saying, “This is her, this is actually her and her dad!” My dad looks young. People think we’re dating all the time, because he’s in such great shape. He told me that he got a kick out of it. He sent it to my entire extended family, saying, “Look how funny my daughter is!” He’s really enjoyed the comments and the attention."

and I was like "oooooooooookay"
posted by escabeche at 6:41 AM on May 2, 2015 [19 favorites]


That said, between normcore and dadbod, I'm pretty psyched about how my own personal look has become the defining style of our age
posted by escabeche at 6:42 AM on May 2, 2015 [26 favorites]


Folks, it's not an oedipal thing, apparently her dad is way hotter than dadbod. From the slate interview:
My dad has read it. He called me this morning to talk about it. My dad is super into CrossFit. He’s super, super fit and really healthy. He actually found a comment where someone had uploaded a picture from Facebook saying, “This is her, this is actually her and her dad!” My dad looks young. People think we’re dating all the time, because he’s in such great shape.
More seriously, I expected this to be something of an anti-body-shaming article for men -- all-kinds-of-bodies-are-attractive kind of thing. Instead of just reads kind like a wierd FB post (as Hall and Oates said) by a woman who is insecure and calls herself and other women "girls."

So in the end, I'm just reminding myself that she's 19 and being thankful that when I was 19 I did not have the opportunity to publicly publish my brilliant ideas for the whole world to read.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:42 AM on May 2, 2015 [44 favorites]


Mackenzie Pearson: My friend pointed it out at the beginning of this year. We’d be walking around campus, and she’d whisper: That’s a dad bod. That’s a dad bod. I eventually became really familiar with the body type and was able to identify it.

This is so fucking weird! I cannot stop giggling. "I eventually became really familiar with the body type" -- hmmm??? -- "and was able to identify it." Able to identify the standard body shape of men aged 25-45?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:47 AM on May 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


writing forThe Odyssey

Ironically Odysseus probably had this body type.

Except when he was shipwrecked for years I guess


For that part he was heroin chic

I'm cool
posted by grobstein at 6:49 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's so exhausting to be a man. To be attractive you have to get old and slightly pudgy. I don't want to eat anymore fucking chips but I guess I have to.

(I'm working on a collection of dadbodspiration images for pinterest.)
posted by srboisvert at 6:53 AM on May 2, 2015 [25 favorites]


The DadBod is not to be confused with the Mod Dad look, which seems to be one of the standard male looks at indiepop festivals in the UK.
posted by acb at 6:59 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm working on a collection of dadbodspiration images for pinterest.

Keystone image.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:00 AM on May 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


Can we just take a moment to consider that this article was written by someone who won't graduate college for two more years?
posted by johnnydummkopf at 7:00 AM on May 2, 2015 [16 favorites]


> "I've had this body since 30 ..."

Um.

Just, uh ...

Whose body were you using before this one?
posted by kyrademon at 7:02 AM on May 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


So, someone strong but not a bodybuilder, obsessed with body fat percentage. Like Shatner in Trek's early days, or probably most functionally fit guys throughout history.

And milfs are all skinny and stuff anyways! They don't even have mombod

That is not even close to universally true. Maybe the "MILFs" you see in the covers of magazines in the grocery store checkout lane.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:03 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


70s big is apparently also a thing with the hipsters these days
posted by Existential Dread at 7:16 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Burt Reynolds was always a sex symbol. Which is hard to fathom, but now I guess everything old is new again?
posted by vogon_poet at 7:19 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


phunniemee: "Instead of "mom bod" we get MILF."

Holy moly, I hate that acronym.

Personally, I find fit people attractive. Age isn't the decisive factor. Maybe it's because I'm getting older quickly, but I feel like I'm living in this odd Venn diagram overlap of professional/mother/thrill seeking/ridiculously gorgeous middle aged women. Go Sphinx.

I need to Dad Bod it up a skosh more, this winter hasn't been friendly to me. And apparently I need to Steve Dallas up my non-existent chest/arm hair. "Looked fluffier..."

Anecdotally, I've recently worked with two insanely fit extrovert 50+ year old fitness/workout professionals, and it turned me into my old school introvert shoe-staring 14 year old. "Yes Ma'am."
posted by Sphinx at 7:23 AM on May 2, 2015


There's always been something really gross to me about using any variation of "mom" or "dad" to talk about someone's sex appeal. Yuck, move out of the house already.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:28 AM on May 2, 2015 [17 favorites]


Now that I'm of the age where seemingly everybody is attempting to become parents if they aren't parents already, using "mom" or "dad" to talk about someone's sex appeal is really normal. Contrary to the implication of the linked piece, it's not about a parental thing so much as a potential-life-partner thing, in the fantasy scenario where you have pleasant children together who live up to your hopes and dreams.
posted by Mizu at 7:33 AM on May 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sigh. MeFi is supposed to be the Best of the Web, not the Worst of Facebook.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:38 AM on May 2, 2015 [33 favorites]


Contrary to the implication of the linked piece, it's not about a parental thing so much as a potential-life-partner thing, in the fantasy scenario where you have pleasant children together who live up to your hopes and dreams.

Oh, if you put it that way it makes sense. In that context, sure. But young dudes talking about a MILF, "yummy mummy" (shudder) and a college sophomore writing about a "dad bod" ... yeah, less of that please.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:42 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


70s big is apparently also a thing with the hipsters these days

Eventually everything becomes a thing with the hipsters.
posted by arcticseal at 7:48 AM on May 2, 2015


Sigh. MeFi is supposed to be the Best of the Web, not the Worst of Facebook.

Ugh, I know, right? At least when my facebook friends talk about their preferences in men's body types they're all lumbersexual this and guys sticking shit in their beards that.
posted by phunniemee at 7:51 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's more like my tumblr. Well, that and porn.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:54 AM on May 2, 2015


I live in an area with a lot of colleges and go onto Yik Yak sometimes just for kicks. Yesterday there were like 10 Yaks about the Dad Bod, pro and con and now, today, it's on MeFi. This is definitely a thing.

I like this one about it: What is the Dad Bod?
posted by dis_integration at 7:56 AM on May 2, 2015


I know I'm really old and everything, but this is something I truly scratch my head over. The dudes in that "dadbod" photo at the link aren't "dadbods." They're standard-issue pasty-faced white frat boys of the kind you see the cameras pan to in the stands at every single (and I mean every) college football game. They don't have dadbods. They have college-boy frat beer gut, if that (those aren't really beer guts on those dudes, just incipient ones). And it's not a "new trend." Frat boys have looked like this since I was in college in the Pleistocene Age, and probably before that. You can stream a beach blanket movie from the 60s and see many extras with variations of these types.
posted by blucevalo at 8:06 AM on May 2, 2015 [21 favorites]


At last! An achievable goal for my fitness programme!
posted by Paul Slade at 8:12 AM on May 2, 2015


This article kind of annoyed me in a way that I can't quite put my finger on. I think it is the whole overinflated sense of self thing where somebody decides, "These are the kind of people I'm personally attracted to, therefore it must be a cultural trend. I should write an article about it!"

It would be just as easy to point out some of the bigger movie stars of the current era, like Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, or Chris Hemsworth and write an article along the lines of, "TREND ALERT: Women into super muscular, chiseled dudes!" Even one of her own "Dad Bod" examples, Chris Pratt, catapulted into a much higher level of stardom once he got rid of the Dad Bod and become more Ripped Bod, which would seem to counteract the point she's trying to make. I don't think the author has quite captured a cultural phenomenon in the way she thinks she has, as much as she's just pointed out the obvious that people are attracted to different things.
posted by The Gooch at 8:18 AM on May 2, 2015 [11 favorites]


The dudes in that "dadbod" photo at the link aren't "dadbods." They're standard-issue pasty-faced white frat boys of the kind you see the cameras pan to in the stands at every single (and I mean every) college football game.

It has always killed me how a lot of my female peers (well, preppy women who were in sororities, mostly) have worked really hard to maintain the same looks they had at 18 and 19 years old--and they do look great, honestly--and ended up marrying men who, at age 26, already looked fifty. It's depressing how many men can do basically no work on their appearances and still demand wives who look 19. I have so many questions about the power dynamics in these marriages.
posted by witchen at 8:18 AM on May 2, 2015 [26 favorites]


The dudes in that "dadbod" photo at the link aren't "dadbods." They're standard-issue pasty-faced white frat boys of the kind you see the cameras pan to in the stands at every single (and I mean every) college football game.
I think the missing piece here is that there's a trend among bro-y guys at big sports universities to be really into weightlifting and body building and to be really big and muscle-y. A lot of guys feel tremendous pressure not to have what was, in the past, a normal frat-guy body. They're supposed to look like '70s-era Arnold Schwarzenegger or something. They spend tons of time at the gym and tons of money on supplements and it's all very strange to me, but it's a thing. I think there might be a backlash brewing. I don't think that's a good thing: body shaming is not the right way to fight unrealistic body expectations. But I think there is a perception that the expectations are unrealistic and are causing some guys significant distress.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:26 AM on May 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


The cultural phenomenon is the ichor that gives vitality to the thinkpiece that generates the life-sustaining clicks and shares. It must be sought wherever the barest suggestion of it can be found. This is alchemy 101
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:34 AM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


> "I've had this body since 30 ..."

Um.

Just, uh ...

Whose body were you using before this one?



This brings to mind the classic "I have the heart of a child... I keep it in a jar on my desk."
posted by mr. digits at 8:35 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


I like the idea but these guys all look awful. Can't we have a straight version of bears?
posted by colie at 8:35 AM on May 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Before reading this, for a split second, I thought dadbod would be this body-positive affirmation-for-size-diversity-in-straight-dudes thing, and wouldn't that be great? Turns out that's not what dadbod is. Also, dadbod seems like it has less to do with the dadbod per se than it does with messed up expectations for how straight women "ought" to look vis-à-vis their romantic partners.
posted by radiocontrolled at 8:45 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]



It has always killed me how a lot of my female peers (well, preppy women who were in sororities, mostly) have worked really hard to maintain the same looks they had at 18 and 19 years old--and they do look great, honestly--and ended up marrying men who, at age 26, already looked fifty. It's depressing how many men can do basically no work on their appearances and still demand wives who look 19. I have so many questions about the power dynamics in these marriages.


This whole thing does seem a tiny bit "oh, no, the social expectations placed on women to be perfect and toned while dating schmoes and pretending they're not interested in guys who take some effort [whether fitness or just, like, dressing decently] with their appearance - that's not a power dynamics/patriarchy issue, it's just my kink!!!" It's like, let's eroticize sexual dynamics determined by patriarchy!!! Now, if that helps you to have the sex that you are told to have by patriarchy, good for you, I guess...

I mean, Mark Ruffalo is the best Avenger in all ways, but that is only partly because he looks like a sort of kind of realistically fit version of a handsome middle aged guy; mostly it's because he's relatively left for a famous person, charismatic and not blond.

(I mean, from a personal preferences standpoint, "pudgy or not pudgy" is not a primary determinant for me.)
posted by Frowner at 8:46 AM on May 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Can't we have a straight version of bears?

Before I quit smoking, I was scrawny as hell, now I've been told I look like a bear. There was no 'dadbod' era in between. Also, random people on the street used to call me 'slim,' now they call me 'big homie.' And people get out of my way faster.
posted by jonmc at 8:52 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm mildly irritated that my archetype is having it's cultural moment when I'm 46 and do not give a fuck. Dadcore, dadrock, dadbod. I aspired to be something other than the current me when I was in my 20's. Trust me young men of today, there will be plenty of time to wear comfortable not to tight cotton clothing, listen to The The records and drink wine while commiserating with male friends about the tribulations of your roofing contractor, Mercedes versus BMW or how your current cities local sport franchise doesn't play with as much heart as the same iteration of the team 20 years ago.
posted by Keith Talent at 8:55 AM on May 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


Sssh it is finally my time. Stop trying to spoil it.
posted by humanfont at 9:00 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


You know who I want to snuggle with? A person who identifies as a guy, who is also attracted to me as a person, likes his body, and gives a shit about his personal space and my comfort.

These bodies have included lots of different shapes. Ditto hair, facial hair, clothing preferences, and incomes.

I'm kinda getting tired of articles that tell me women are a monolith. Snd this idea that men need to conform to some new standard (even if it's more 'lax' it's still a standard) grinds my gears just as much as telling women they need to have a certain shape, or dress to accentuate/hide/whatever the shape they do have.

/this rant brought to you in part by my feelings about a newly minted doctor friend (old friend, now he's a doctor) engaging in some fat shaming on facebook in the guise of being concerned about health.
posted by bilabial at 9:05 AM on May 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


there will be plenty of time to wear comfortable not to tight cotton clothing, listen to The The records and drink wine while commiserating with male friends about the tribulations of your roofing contractor, Mercedes versus BMW or how your current cities local sport franchise doesn't play with as much heart as the same iteration of the team 20 years ago.

I'll be right over.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:05 AM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Bring wine.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:12 AM on May 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


The two terms have different meanings; MILF is about objectifying sexual attraction, pure and simple, whereas “yummy mummy” is more about social status/lifestyle envy (or for the Marxists in the audience, the low-level insecurity under late capitalism of not being able to stop making an effort to remain competitively attractive, just in case).

Haha... what? MILF is at best a crude term, but most often signifies *any* woman over 18, which makes it gross.

A "yummy mummy" is in the eye of the beholder, for sure. I am not sure why we always have to repress the urge to recognize that someone, whether it be a mom or a dad, might be found attractive. Marx was no biologist.
posted by Nevin at 9:16 AM on May 2, 2015




Ironically Odysseus probably had this body type.
Except when he was shipwrecked for years I guess


So Calypso was into dadbod? Or do you think she made Odysseus work out?
posted by thivaia at 9:22 AM on May 2, 2015


For the past few years I've been getting increasingly amused at straight people suddenly co-opting shit us queers have been doing for ages; Tinder (we had grindr first), casual hooking up in general, highly open relationships, etc. And now, decades (at least) after gay boys have had a thing for daddies, along comes the 'dad bod' as though it were something new under the sun.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:35 AM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


How To Get A Dad Bod:
1) Get a bit careless with your contraception
2) Congratulations! You have a dad bod
posted by ominous_paws at 9:40 AM on May 2, 2015 [22 favorites]


For the past few years I've been getting increasingly amused at straight people suddenly co-opting shit us queers have been doing for ages

Eventually, we'll work out a hankie code.
posted by jonmc at 9:48 AM on May 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


oh yeah and that whole metrosexual thing, there was that too

and lumbersexual is just straight for 'bear'
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:50 AM on May 2, 2015 [13 favorites]


I always heard bear used to only refer to larger/chunkier lumbersexual dudes, not the wiry little ones in stovepipe jeans.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:52 AM on May 2, 2015


I vaguely remember a documentary which reported on a study that followed the reproductive fates of a whole bunch of people in some small town over a few decades. The preliminary result of the study was that people slightly chubbier than average (and slightly shorter than average) had the greatest success from an evolutionary point of view, at least in that time and place.

I can't remember the name of the documentary or any more details about the study, however.
posted by clawsoon at 9:52 AM on May 2, 2015


I always heard bear used to only refer to larger/chunkier lumbersexual dudes, not the wiry little ones in stovepipe jeans.

them's otters, a subspecies of bear
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:54 AM on May 2, 2015 [23 favorites]


(gay taxonomy cares not for your pesky 'science')
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:56 AM on May 2, 2015 [17 favorites]


them's otters, a subspecies of bear

I say we should all reduce our sexual selves to an animal of our choice. I am a Boston Terrier.
posted by jonmc at 9:57 AM on May 2, 2015 [11 favorites]


Is octopus a thing already? Because I want to be that.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:59 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


My boyfriend is wiry with visible abs and he is strangely one of the most snuggle-able people I've ever cuddled with so I don't think the cuddling really has much to do with how much muscle or fat a guy has.

Can we bring back a fashion for chest hair and short shorts on men? I would appreciate it.
posted by vespabelle at 9:59 AM on May 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


mm, yes, the Selleck.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:02 AM on May 2, 2015 [14 favorites]


While I am happy to see body hair back in vogue I am at the same time unenthralled at the ongoing attempts of bloviates everywhere to create defined phenotypes into which quote-unquote attractive people should fit.
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:03 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I will also report that I am (according to a sample size <30 so probably no statistically significant) a really good big spoon, even though I have never been any more than 2 inches taller and never heavier than any snuggle partner.

I like being little spoon as well. Snuggling is fun and good for your health!
posted by bilabial at 10:29 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is so many different colors of fucked up that even my ADD is leaving me powerless to cover all bases. I mean - objectification, self-esteem issues, a generation raised to believe that every thought they think is a brilliant pearl of wisdom….the mind boggles at the counterpoint I could take the time to write if I could only get these damn kids off my lawn.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:33 AM on May 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'd quite fancy a 70s-Big Otter.
posted by colie at 10:40 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


a generation raised to believe that every thought they think is a brilliant pearl of wisdom….
Oh, for fuck's sake. Kids have been publishing stupid-ass shit in college publications since always. I promise you that there was plenty of stupid-ass shit published in my college newspaper, and there probably was in yours, too. You were probably pretty shitty as a 19-year-old, although nowhere near as shitty as old people at the time thought you were. Generational warfare is tedious and stupid.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:41 AM on May 2, 2015 [17 favorites]


Actually, we mostly stuck to stupid-ass poetry.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:50 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I guess the hottest thing in a patriarchy is a patriarch.
posted by ignignokt at 10:57 AM on May 2, 2015 [14 favorites]


As a queer young guy into hot dads myself, I don't quite see this trend as a co-opting of gay culture so much as it is a natural consequence of increasing sexual agency for women. There are a lot of patriarchal tropes that male-male relationships avoid - so we certainly did get to certain tropes of male sexuality faster than straight women, but I think it's snide to call young women copycats for expressing their own sexualities and tastes in the context of greater sexual agency, even if they do overgeneralize their own experiences as in this article. Still, though, even though I'm attracted to older gentlemen, I'll rarely ever actually act upon that impulse due to the whole bullshit "I'm attracted to you because you're so much more mature and intelligent than your peers but coincidentally not attracted to anyone around my age who exhibits those same qualities" preening plus the racial fetishization that seems to be a lot more prevalent with older men - I can see how those issues are compounded even further for women. Patriarchy is why we can't have nice things.
posted by Conspire at 10:58 AM on May 2, 2015 [16 favorites]


It's absolutely co-opting something that we've been doing for a hell of a long time. Only now suddenly it's okay because straight people are doing it, as with literally every single thing that has been co-opted out of gay (male*) culture.

* I say this because, for a very wide variety of reasons that need to be changed, what comes out of queer culture into the mainstream is by and large gay male culture; lesbian, bi, and trans voices get erased.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:21 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


You're stating that as if it were self-evident that these tropes of male sexuality "belong" to gay men in the first place. The whole "DILF" trope, alongside lumberjack/jock tropes, come from heterosexual gender archetypes that are used to assert the value placed upon "straight-acting masc" men in gay communities - which stems out of misogynistic evaluations of feminity as weak and undesired. Furthermore, I don't think gay men necessarily have a monopoly on the tropes that we used to shape male sexuality in the first place.
posted by Conspire at 11:41 AM on May 2, 2015 [14 favorites]


I think by leaving biology out of the equation
We are loosing some of the explanation.
A certain level of maturation
Ensures a degree of progenation.
If the mid-rif shows inflation
By buffet table navigation,
Rest assured in pollination
By Nocturnal boudoire invasion,
The booty train won't leave the station
Um. . . Riderless?
posted by rankfreudlite at 11:44 AM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Go Sphinx.

♫Sphinx!♫
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:48 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]




Not all changes with age need be regarded as senescence. As an example, suppose that females sometimes favor older males largely because their greater age indicates a phenotypic success which may reflect a genotype superior in coping with the fluctuations in the species' environment (e.g., in maintaining resistance to rapidly evolving parasites and diseases). In the case of older males which are also obviously successful breeders, the relevant environment includes competing conspecific males. In such cases, attributes in males suggesting greater than actual age may be favored because they imply either resource control or power (as through ability to marshal assistance or assemble coalitions). Also, perhaps for all these reasons, they may enhance a male's attractiveness to females, as attributes in females suggesting youthfulness (hence, ability to bear and tend offspring well) may enhance their attractiveness to males. It would be inaccurate to regard such male attributes as simply evidence of maladaptive senescence, even if they started out as such. We may wonder, until someone figures out a way to test these ideas, if some tendencies toward gray hair or balding patterns in human males, or the 'silver backs' of adult gorillas, might not represent effects of such selection.
(Alexander, The Biology of Moral Systems, Transaction, 1987, pp. 55-6.)
posted by grobstein at 1:59 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


You're stating that as if it were self-evident that these tropes of male sexuality "belong" to gay men in the first place.

Seriously. If women finding me attractive is somehow turned into an offensive cooption of gay culture I will start beating the screen with my man bag.
posted by grumpybear69 at 2:05 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am grateful that Ron Swanson became a thing right around the time my body went from metro- to yeti-sexual.
posted by zippy at 2:10 PM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is the only "yummy mummy" I ever want to hear about.

What about this one?
posted by jonmc at 2:19 PM on May 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


And now, decades (at least) after gay boys have had a thing for daddies, along comes the 'dad bod' as though it were something new under the sun.

To be fair, it's not like the concept is exactly new in straights, either.

Seriously. If women finding me attractive is somehow turned into an offensive cooption of gay culture I will start beating the screen with my man bag.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:05 AM


OK people, looks like we've reached peak eponysterical.
posted by Pink Frost at 2:36 PM on May 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ok but how do "the girls" feel about thinning hair?


*crosses fingers*
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:38 PM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I always thought guys worked out to impress other guys but the homophobic ones that think their homosocial tendencies would be mistaken for homosexuality like to pretend they do it to get women and like to pretend women only care about money and male physique.

That's the theory that seems true to me anyway.
posted by discopolo at 2:41 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ha. I hit forty two years ago and had a minor mid-life crisis/existential insight. I was overweight, but it was all in my gut so you couldn't really see it if I wanted to hide it with baggy shirts and whatnot. But I started running and working out last year and have lost 20 pounds or so.

I'm in great shape, better shape than I've been in since probably high school. I was always sneeringly condescending towards exercise, considering it for "jocks," something not on my radar. But now I see how working out is something everyone can and should do.

The spare tire though...still kinda there, because I still like to eat plenty of junk food.

In short, I have a Dad Bod.
posted by zardoz at 4:28 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


witchen: "It's depressing how many men can do basically no work on their appearances and still demand wives who look 19. I have so many questions about the power dynamics in these marriages."
Not just in marriages, but this has been a thing more or less forever as far as I can tell. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a middle-aged fat lazy man sneer at a woman's appearance because she didn't live up to his idea of perfection, I'd have enough money to do something about getting rid of this Dad Bod I've lived in forever. Oh, wait, now I have the body that women girls lust after? How unfair and absolutely bloody typical it is that I had to wait until I was so old I don't even exist for 99% of the female population to have the kind of body that interests them.

I really doubt, though, that what the 19 year-old writer of that 'article' sees as Dad Bod is the same as what those of us who are now dreaming of being the object of desire for 19 year-olds see in the mirror. When she sees Dad Bod, she doesn't see a bald head, hairy back/ears/shoulders/nose, bad teeth, wrinkles etc - she sees the same chiselled body with slightly more body fat and a lot more free time.
posted by dg at 4:56 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hello I am a horse.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:56 PM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd quite fancy a 70s-Big Otter.

Surely that would be a bear, no?

I work with and supervise a bunch of really strong guys who do a lot of heavy manual labor. They are all carrying a bit of extra weight in their gut; almost no one who actual busts ass for a living has anything remotely approaching a gym body.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:00 PM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's absolutely co-opting something that we've been doing for a hell of a long time.

Women expressing desire for men is still so unusual that some people think that we're just copying gay men?
posted by LindsayIrene at 5:19 PM on May 2, 2015 [28 favorites]


October 3rd, 1978. The scene: a dank alley behind a New York nightclub. Wearing nothing but white lab coats and body glitter, two gay men invent sex. The world has never been the same since.
posted by indubitable at 6:41 PM on May 2, 2015 [14 favorites]


Wait, so... what kind of men are women allowed to be attracted to?

Also, lumbersexual =/= bears, and daddies =/= DILFs =/= dad bod. Lumbersexuals have no real physical specifications besides beards + hipster lumberjack wear (and random artisanal/outdoorsy skills), and the hotness of a DILF is usually predicated on his oh-my-god-gentle-and-mature-enough-to-start-a-family-with charms. Dad bod is... like some totally other thing, that to be honest I don't even really get.

You'll note that in both cases the straight version of these tropes is more acceptable not only due to straightness, but because they are both non-sexualizing; straight men don't have to feel any uncomfortable, icky pressure to be sexually provocative. They just have to oil their mustaches and learn how to homebrew and/or settle down with a nice family and join the neighborhood softball league. Obviously, women also have a SEXUAL interest in men, but that is not as popular in the mainstream consciousness... (I'm sure many straight women are into bears and twinks, if you will, but we are not really allowed to express that or approval of any body type that doesn't have the consumerist, completely shaven, Axe® muscle-core stamp of approval.)
posted by easter queen at 6:53 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I always thought guys worked out to impress other guys but the homophobic ones that think their homosocial tendencies would be mistaken for homosexuality like to pretend they do it to get women and like to pretend women only care about money and male physique.

As with all these things, it's probably a bit of both.

Historically, men trying to get respect and esteem of other men was not considered "gay" - it was just what men did. (Although there was, of course, some furtive, and probably highly closeted, gay activity in the mix.)

Men do "traditionally masculine" things to impress other men. Things that impress men, earn a man status among men, and, other things being equal, woman prefer being with a man who has higher status. So, it could lead to interest from women, but probably by a more indirect path than the gym rats prefer. And, of course, some women are just muscle queens, so in that case it's a direct route.
posted by theorique at 6:57 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is such hilarious bullshit. The western-world gold standard for 'hot body in your teens/early twenties' is always going to be fit and non-pudgy with muscle definition, for both genders.

Well done, dudes, for pulling it off though! (*slow clap, eye-roll*)
posted by Salamander at 8:34 PM on May 2, 2015


Keep in mind, everyone, that the author and her friends are looking for the dad bod on college boys they see on campus. They made no mention of looking for "the dad face", or "the dad hair", or "the dad smell".
posted by clawsoon at 9:25 PM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


The main truth to emerge from all this is that if you are a dad over 40, no matter how much working out you do it is impossible to shift that ring of fat from round your lower torso.
posted by colie at 12:52 AM on May 3, 2015


infinitywaltz: "Is octopus a thing already? Because I want to be that."

It is in Japan.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:23 AM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Women expressing desire for men is still so unusual that some people think that we're just copying gay men?

That is not at all what I said. Please read again.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:08 AM on May 3, 2015


I've re-read it, fffm, and I can't say it makes any more sense on the second or third reading. I'll make a deal with you: if people here agree to re-read your comment, would you take a second to consider why some women might find it kind of offensive?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:19 AM on May 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


The western-world gold standard for 'hot body in your teens/early twenties' is always going to be fit and non-pudgy with muscle definition, for both genders.

Does muscle definition on women being part of that gold standard really have a long history? Plus it's already getting some normalizing pushback in my experience.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:29 AM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Keep in mind, everyone, that the author and her friends are looking for the dad bod on college boys they see on campus. They made no mention of looking for "the dad face", or "the dad hair", or "the dad smell".

Shit. Oh well, serves me right for getting my hopes up.
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 8:20 AM on May 3, 2015


I've reread your comments, fffm, and they still come across as condescending to women-who-desire-men.
posted by LindsayIrene at 8:54 AM on May 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm saying that this specific fetishization has been articulated in the gay male world for a very long time, and, like so many other things, it's been 'discovered' by straight people as though it were something new. It's not. That's not condescension.

Has nothing to do with condescension towards women at all, it's about the straight world once again taking something we've been doing for a long time and pretending it's new.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:48 AM on May 3, 2015


But what if... the fetishization is different? Because I'm pretty sure it is.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:06 AM on May 3, 2015


How is it different?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:09 AM on May 3, 2015


I guess I have two issues with that, fffm. First of all, I don't believe that gay men own attraction to any specific body type, and I don't believe that straight women (or any women) have to ask anyone's permission before they express their sexual preferences and desires. And second of all, there seems to be a pretty big double standard, because gay men borrow stuff from women all the time. So basically, everything of ours belongs to you, no questions asked, but if we want to do anything that you've already done, we need your permission? Nope. No. Not asking your permission. Don't need your approval.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:51 AM on May 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


I also want to add that the whole "straight women are doing it means it's okay" thing is a very gross dismissal of the systematic struggles that women actually face in asserting sexual desire. Women have to work very hard to overcome the slut shaming that comes with even making a tiny peep going "hey, we have sexual desires too", and it seems like a bald-faced assertion of male privilege for gay men to go "we claimed these body types first, gtfo posers" when the whole reason why women haven't been as a group as publicly assertive of their sexual desires for these body types is due to millennia and millennia of oppression.
posted by Conspire at 11:12 AM on May 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


So basically, everything of ours belongs to you, no questions asked, but if we want to do anything that you've already done, we need your permission?

it seems like a bald-faced assertion of male privilege for gay men to go "we claimed these body types first, gtfo posers"

Neither of these are things which I have said. I'd appreciate it if you would respond to the things I have actually said, please, without mischaracterizing them.

Bit rich claiming millennia of oppression for women, yet not for queer men. That is a double standard.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:56 AM on May 3, 2015


Dude, if multiple people have responded to you stating that this is exactly what they read in your comments, perhaps the issue here isn't the reader but the writer.
posted by Conspire at 11:59 AM on May 3, 2015


It is a problem with the reader when the writer has stated flat out that the meaning you are taking is not the meaning which is intended.

It is likewise a problem with the reader when they are making up things that the writer did not write. e.g., "we claimed these body types first, gtfo posers," which isn't even an uncharitable reading of what I wrote, it's made up out of whole cloth.

Please respond to the actual words I have actually written, and please listen when I tell you that your interpretation of my meaning is wrong. Thank you.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:08 PM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Folks, let's move away from interpreting the interpretations of the interpretations of one comment, please.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:12 PM on May 3, 2015


fffm, see easter queen's comment above. That's why I think they're different. Straight women aren't creaming themselves over daddies or leather daddies or "bears" in the traditional sense. I mean, there are only so many body types, eventually stereotypical straight female and gay male interest are going to overlap.

"Dad bod" isn't going to be a popular meme because it involves straight approval of a gay thing, it's going to be popular because it enables dudes to just be pudgy and not give a fuck.
posted by stoneandstar at 5:37 PM on May 3, 2015


I've been getting increasingly amused at straight people suddenly co-opting shit us queers have been doing for ages; ... casual hooking up in general, highly open relationships

Whoah whoah hang on - if you're going to lay claim to casual sex and open relationships as having been "co-opted" by the straights, let it be known for the record that 4chan stole Rickrolling from me, which I was doing on Alamak Chat back in 2002. You're welcome.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:09 PM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


What is fairly clearly laid out by this thread is that a man's body shape is subject to either ownership or cruel judgement. Congratulations, everyone! We are going backwards as a species.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:10 PM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


The body shapes of all women and a great many men have been subject to ownership or judgment for a long time. If it happens to straight young affluent white men, they're just catching up with the rest of humanity.
posted by gingerest at 11:34 PM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wonder if we could get at some useful stuff by moving away from language about "appropriating" and "stealing" - it seems like those are not useful terms for something as abstract as "having casual sex" or "being attracted to non-cut bodies". (Whereas they're very useful for concrete stuff like "wearing a fake Native headdress to a music festival" or "my college peers from towns just as white as mine breaking out all the AAVE".)

I think there's some interesting questions here, like "as straight people have access to more information about gay and/or queer cultures and as GLBTQ people become more visible, how does that influence straight people's understanding of their own sexualities?" And to me the more interesting "as straight people have more access to knowledge about queer cultures, how do straight social habits modify their understanding"? (like, being a straight woman into "dad bod" [whatever the hell that actually proves to be] is not socially the same as being a gay guy into bears - women are not in the same social position vis a vis straight men that gay men are vis a vis each other. Two guys hooking up may have a substantial power differential (if one is marginalization in relation to the other) but it's still not the same power differential that a woman experiences when hooking up with a man, and there are all kinds of other things in play, in terms of pregnancy risk, much more pervasive rape culture*, etc.

As, like, a queer person, I do feel that my straight friends have somewhat more of the social habits of queer people than they did when I was younger - a lot more casual hook-ups, a lot more 'being socially friendly with exes or hook-ups', a lot more awareness of non-missionary position sex, etc.

And I think that straight people are more influenced now by a lot of the [rather depressing] ideas that you find Samuel Delany writing about in the seventies/early eighties (as in Triton - the idea that everyone has this predetermined "type" sexually and nothing else will do, and this isn't changeable; the idea that you can categorize people by "type" in this really taxonomic "he is an otter, he is a twink, she is a babydyke, she is a stud" way - stuff that is not Totally 100% Original To The Gays Since The Dawn Of Time but becomes culturally recognizable in gay/queer communities at that time. And that is also sort of crystallized by Dan Savage's discourse about sexuality.

At the same time, this is also clearly a result of OKCupid, dating algorithms and the way that female sexual desire is starting to be incorporated into/recuperated by patriarchy. And it's not the same as a set of cultural practices evolved by marginalized queer people to assist in finding each other safely. (Although honestly I am not super into the whole "let's classify everyone by body type and sexual practice like they are so many fungible commodities" thing that one encounters in queer social circles, no matter how non-heteronormative it aspires to be.)

I think it's really worthwhile to try to unpick some of the causes of changing public discourse around straight expressions of desire - far too often those get naturalized. At the same time, I think arguing about appropriation in this context gives much more heat than light.





*Which isn't to say that gay men don't get sexually assaulted by other men
posted by Frowner at 11:22 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]




Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane: "'Dad Bod' Is A Sexist Atrocity"
This is exactly what bothered me about this whole 'thing'. It's a continuation of disparate gender-based attitudes towards attractiveness that I wouldn't be surprised to find was instigated by males tired of being held to the same standards of 'hotness' they hold females to.
posted by dg at 4:57 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The article is not bad, but the title is a bit hyperbolic. When I think "sexist atrocity", I tend to think of child brides seized by Boko Haram, the state of women's rights in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, things like that.

An apparent uptick in the popularity of "normal" men's bodies versus "gym" bodies, and its potential implications for women, does not an "atrocity" make.
posted by theorique at 5:40 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah the title is really overstating things a bit.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:58 AM on May 7, 2015


In this highly scientific study, the readers of Gawker, given a choice between Dadbod Chris Pratt and Guardians of The Galaxy Ripped Hunk Chris Pratt, wanted their MUSCLES.

HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC, I tell you.

Go for the story, stay for the comments.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 2:31 PM on May 12, 2015




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