Cultural Appropriations

Mombod, Dadbod, Everyone’s Bod is Awesome

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the recent “dadbod” phenomenon taking over social media. If you haven’t, essentially it’s a bunch of dudes who have a certain type of physique being celebrated and called attractive for that physique. Which is awesome – I’m all for body positivity of every sort. But there has been a recent backlash from women – namely, mothers, who have been rightfully wondering why it’s okay for guys to have “dadbods” when a “mombod” is considered to be distasteful or even wrong.

And here I am, sitting over here with my childless bod, wondering why as a society we are so incredibly obsessed with the way other people look.

Shirtless man standing in  kitchen with arms crossed, mid section, close-up
Shirtless man standing in kitchen with arms crossed, mid section, close-up. The “dadbod”. Image credit Getty Images

Listen, I agree with celebrating every type of body. As a plus-size woman, I take selfies for this very reason. I’m here. My body is beautiful. I want to see more people who look like me in mainstream media. I don’t want to be an “other”, like I feel so many times when people make a huge deal out of plus-size modelling or talk about “dropping the plus”. My body is just as valuable and beautiful as anyone else’s. I feel the same way about skinny bodies. They’re also just as valuable and beautiful as anyone else’s.

But when I see that the dadbod is being celebrated while a mombod isn’t, or a mombod is considered amazing because “you earned your stripes and therefore you earned your fat and rolls and dimples”, but a plus-size body from a person who may never have kids is considered unhealthy and gross, I just get tired. Because it seems like whatever body you have is never going to be good enough. And though we shouldn’t care, really – we should celebrate ourselves as we are – we do care. Because it’s hard to go through every day knowing that society thinks you’re disgusting and unattractive, so unattractive that you’re not even worth being represented in mainstream media except as a joke for a TV show or a gluttonous villain in a movie.

There’s also a feminist aspect to this. It’s telling that dadbods are celebrated for being themselves while mombods are looked upon as something that are gross or gained through having children, which then makes them okay because having children is a society-approved thing to do. Fat women the world over are told how gross they are because they’re “unhealthy” and “unattractive” and “lazy”.

Never mind that you can’t tell someone’s health status from how they look. Nope, you really, really can’t. Never mind that you shouldn’t have to give a reason as to why your body looks like anything. Your body is yours. There is no wrong way for it to look or exist. Never mind that regardless of your shape and size, you’re worth a lot more than how you look, no matter what anyone says, but it’s okay to want to see people who look like you being celebrated. It’s okay to want to feel beautiful.

You don’t owe someone an excuse. You don’t owe someone an explanation. Your body isn’t worth more because it had children or is childless forever. It’s not worth more because you exercise every day or you don’t exercise at all. It’s not worth more if you have curves, and it’s not worth more if you’re really thin. It’s worth everything because it’s yours.

It’s okay to feel insecure about your body. I feel insecure about mine every day. There are photos I hesitate to post on social media because I feel shame when I look at them. There are photos that I happily post to social media because I feel beautiful in them. Body positivity is a long road and it has a lot of bumps. Society doesn’t help by championing one body type over another. I get that just as much as any other body-positive activist does.

So if you’ve got a mombod, a dadbod, a childless bod, a pregnant bod, a fat bod, a skinny bod, a built bod, a non-toned bod – every bod is awesome. Sick or well, black, brown, or white, disabled or strong. Let’s not get caught up in the media body trend of the week. Let’s fight for everyone’s body to be seen in mainstream media and stop hiding behind myths and excuses as to why someone is better than someone else.

Let’s celebrate everybod – because that’s the bod that I like best.

My bod. I struggle to love it some days - but I'm getting better at it.
My bod. I struggle to love it some days – but I’m getting better at it.

6 thoughts on “Mombod, Dadbod, Everyone’s Bod is Awesome

  1. Well Size Acceptance seems to have no problem with all the campaigns that are/were designed only to promote body acceptance for plus-sized women.

    Now we see one of the few campaigns that is focusing on plus-sized men and women find a problem with this because it does not focus on plus-sized women.

    If I complained about all the plus-sized articles in Size Acceptance that offer zero support for plus-sized men, it would fill up all the days in the rest of my life!

  2. To be truthful this article is way better and supporting of fat people of all genders than some of the earlier articles on Dadbods.

    Also articles about Mombods would be great, but there is no need to present them as a competition/reaction of/to Dadbods.

  3. You are beautiful elizabeth hawksworth. All people struggle with body image.
    Sometimes I also feel a body image crisis. (o^ ^o)

    People should not tell me how to look. The media is wrong. Bodies can not be judged. I also am childless. If i have son, he can not fix a body image crisis.

  4. A raven has never say to me,
    “I have a bad body”
    There is no word in the language of mountains that say
    “I have a bad body”
    What nature creates is good.

  5. Sweetie, skinny people are thin-shamed too and it doesn’t bother me. People may say we’re twigs, or little boys or anorexic, I don’t care. You know why? Because this is my body. I take the best care of it as I can and that’s enough.

    Daily interactions with people are great; I feel confident because I made the most of what I have. It makes me reach out to fellow ‘twigs’ to give them a boost when they’re made to feel small and unattractive.

    Just be yourself. You’ll radiate positivity and that itself is more of a draw than curves (for me) and thinness (for you). If you’re doing the best you can, why be so bothered about what others think?

    We can’t control others’ opinions but what we can control is our reactions to them. If 1 day the media only celebrates plus-sized figures, it isn’t going to change my habits because it already is the best I can do.

    Chin up!

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