Dad Bod's Got Nothing to do with Being a Dad, Apparently

To have a Dad Bod, unless it's truly born of heavy drinking and pizza slices, is to live a busy life in which preoccupation with one's body image is low on the list of priorities.

Usually the Internet is good at taking jokes. Not especially this time.


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."

That quote comes from the piece that started us talking about the Dad Bod, written by rising junior Mackenzie Pearson for Clemson University's student newspaper. Drinking heavily and eating grotesque amounts of pizza? That describes a certain type of dad, but it better describes your token frat boy.

That, of course, is what the piece is about. It's fluff; it's funny (sort of); and it has definitely exposed our deep insecurities and loud opinions about body image in the age of consumerism. 

Responses have varied, from Time Magazine's overreaction ("Sexist Atrocity") to New York Magazine's ironic take on using your purchasing power to buy a sexy body: forget buying a gym body; buy the Dad Bod. After all, it's the new gym bod.

And as apparent proof that girls love the Dad Bod, there's shirtless Leo (who is not a dad). 

Scant mention through all this fodder why dads have a Dad Bod in the first place. Many don't have time to exercise. The same is true for many moms. Hell, between keeping something that vaguely resembles a social life and paying rent in DC's inflated property market, I'm lucky if I get to break a sweat a couple times a week. Even then, I'm just trying to stay mentally healthy, never mind getting ripped.

But this must ultimately be our attraction to the Dad Bod: To have one, unless it's truly born of heavy drinking and pizza slices, is to live a busy life in which preoccupation with one's body image is low on the list of priorities. Let's hope that if you have a Dad Bod, you are doing fatherly things: nurturing, having patience, teaching lessons, and so on. 

For all of you considering getting Dad Bods yourself, here's author Sherman Alexie on how becoming a father changes your working habits.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less