Dismantling the Dadbod

The #dadbod is the latest trend making its way around social media. In my mind, it’s the latest attempt by the world to justify pathetic and slothful behavior in order to pacify those men who aren’t willing to better themselves. Now, I know that the article was written by a woman and stated her specific reasons (It’s not intimidating, we like to be the pretty ones, better cuddling…blah)  but how many guys have you seen light up the internet with pictures of beer guts, proudly sporting their dad bods? Embracing the movement is embracing weakness and laziness.

I could make my case purely from a health standpoint. Obesity and heavy drinking are directly correlated with high blood pressure, heart problems, obesity, stroke and even cancer. Gluttony should not be celebrated. Take a look at healthcare, how many patients are habitually sick or injured directly because of their lifestyle? And the other small percentage that are injured in an accident or occasionally sick recover at a much faster rate because their body is working at an optimal level. Gene expression, both good and bad, is absolutely affected by diet and exercise.

In the article it states, “We don’t want a guy that makes us feel insecure about our body. We are insecure enough as it is. We don’t need a perfectly sculpted guy standing next to us to make us feel worse.” Again, I know this was written by a woman, but too many guys echo the sentiment. What is masculine about bringing down others around you in order to feel better about yourself? A man should be a leader, someone who looks to surround himself with people that stretch his learning and well-being to make him a better person. Especially in a relationship you should look for someone that makes you better in all aspects. A man can choose to embrace controversy and learn how to grow from it or completely shy away and live like a coward.

The general acceptance of the dad bod is honestly surprising to me -specifically from the population infatuated with super heroes and larger-than-life personalities. I hear people talk about how ripped Captain America is but the thought of getting in shape themselves and inspiring others never crossed their minds.  Men look towards greatness…it’s human nature.


A man can go to the opposite extreme by spending all his time working out, eating clean and just worrying about his bicep measurements (even to the point of crazy injections). The term “meathead” isn’t completely false. A man needs to learn to not go too far in either direction. Enjoy the occasional pizza but also be aware of your health and eat right and exercise frequently. Living shredded isn’t the goal but I guarantee that if you eat right and exercise regularly you’ll be pleased with the way you look.

Challenge yourself, read a book, get up and exercise, spend some time preparing meals and see how your desire to acquire knowledge and develop physically increase. You get out of this life what you put into it. Spend all your time playing the victim and you’ll be just that, a functionless product of circumstances. Take responsibility, make proactive decisions and you’ll mature more than ever. Not only will you benefit from it but also those around you will benefit from it. Be someone that makes others better.

“I don’t care what your profession is. You will be more successful if you trained regularly and ate well. You will have more energy, more confidence, look better and people will treat you like the boss that you are or can be.” -Mike Rashid

Meet The Author

Treg is an Idaho native and recently finished school with a degree in Exercise Physiology. He is currently interviewing for medical schools and has plans to run his own practice.
  • I agree with points that target laziness and the lack of will to eat correctly and put effort into staying in shape that leads to obesity. But there are legitimate “Dad Bod” cases…and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I grew up athletic, playing football and lifting through to my late teens. I’m 35 now, have two kids, and I have genetic diabetes. I control everything…I’m conscious of my eating habits, I exercise 5 days a week at the gym for 45 minutes to an hour every day. But I also work 60 hours a week, and have kids that like to play with their dad. I do what I can to control my disease and feel good about myself. But the fact remains that even after years of working hard to maintain, I simply cannot get the body I “wish” I had…at least right now.

    And I should absolutely not be ashamed. For someone who works a lot, and spends time with family and takes on constant projects…I do pretty darn good hitting the gym and making sure I don’t slack on my diet and exercise routine(s). But I’m 195 lbs and have a bit of a belly…and I shouldn’t be ashamed of it. I am, and it’s articles and attitudes like this that makes me feel that way. I suck in my gut, I feel guilty if I indulge or miss a day at the gym. And I shouldn’t. Sure, in another 10-12 years I’ll have oodles of time and if I really want to get ripped like I was when I was younger, I can put a little more effort in and really hit the mark. But at my age, size, and fitness level…should I be ashamed? I eat grilled chicken and green beens for lunch. Every breakfast is a parade of eggs and fruits. Dinners are fish or meats with vegetables. But sometimes, my kid(s) do something I’m proud of and I want to share an ice cream or a naughty dinner out. Or I’ll miss the gym to put extra hours in at work so I can get home for that assembly or recital. And I shouldn’t hate myself or think about “my” dad bod when it happens. There’s a difference between masculinity and obsessive perfection, is there not?

    You say “Living shredded isn’t the goal but I guarantee that if you eat right and exercise regularly you’ll be pleased with the way you look”, and that’s not always true. I would love to shed another 20-25 pounds…and I’ll get there, eventually (hopefully). I should be proud that I do as much as I do, and I shouldn’t be so self conscious. But articles and attitudes just remind me that being a little overweight isn’t acceptable, and that’s a real problem.

  • We all have our own opinion but, I don’t think the “dad bod” is a symbol of laziness. Not every guy likes to work out all the time or has the time to for that matter. To each their own though.