Sexual terminology is all the rage these days. Words like Lumbersexual or Spornosexual dominate the vernacular. Yet this March, blogger Mackenzie Pearson caused an international stir by coining a new term: Dad Bod. Describe by Pearson as the line between fit and beer gut, as exemplified by celebrities like Jason Seagel–a guy who looks like he skipped the gym to go for pizza and beer. Pearson claims the appeal comes from men seeming unintimidating, cuddly and more fun, not afraid of comfort food, and more in line with how they’ll look once they hit middle age (in other words, a guy who’s not afraid of commitment).
Never afraid of acting the contrarian, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, joined by correspondent Kristin Schaal, slammed the trend and it’s hypocrisies, pointing out the double standard when it comes to women–Momshells, that is, women who regain a svelte, fit body within weeks after giving birth, are the standard for ladies. Moreover, the perceived self-loathing in Pearson’s piece becomes all the more apparent. Women like Dad Bods because they make women look better? Nobody can age gracefully, so it’s better that the man starts out looking slovenly because 1) it makes women look more desirable by comparison, and 2) it puts less pressure on women to stay in shape? Or most glaringly, female standards of beauty, even if outrageous, should be accepted, but men can look however they want and still be sexy?
Gentlemen, go to the gym. I’ll see you there.
Watch the Daily Show piece here: