An Ode To "Dad Bod Girls"

An Ode To "Dad Bod Girls"

Appreciate girls that aren't just "curvy" or thin.
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Last year the “Dad Bod” became a fad and transformed all the lives of beer-bellied college men. It started to not just be socially acceptable to have the body of a 40-year-old golfer, but it was being seen as a sexually attractive feature. Rowdy Gentlemen even sold merchandise that proudly announced your Dad Bod.

Not everyone with a Dad Bod is a man though. There are blessed few women with the Dad Bod--affectionately, I have named them "Dad Bod Girls" for the purpose of this article. For whatever reasons--genetics, gymnastics, swimming from an early age, or all three--these girls do not have the “ideal” curves and are left with a small chest and hips the same width, with really no dip in between, or are stick thin. The Dad Bod Girl probably did a lot of sports in high school but wasn't as dedicated to staying active when she went to college, and taking up beer did not help the situation. The same luxury of acceptance we give men with these habits was not given to women, though.

Why was there never a Mom Bod movement? When we focus on Mom Bods, it is only to decide if they are a "MILF" or not or how long it took her to lose all the weight after having a child. Carrying a life inside of you isn't even an excuse anymore for having a less than "desirable" body.

Society is all about "body acceptance" right now, but still, the bodies of the models are either skinny or curvy. There is a serious lack of representation of beautiful Dad Bod Girls. Body appreciation is not just about being curvy or naturally rail thin, but if you saw any body appreciation post or advertisement for underwear for “everybody,” there are really only those two types of bodies represented.

These bodies aren't photoshopped but they are still pretty close to perfect, and there is very little variation in figures. The girl who is a little thicker than the rest is even turned to the side, emphasizing her curves, not a lack thereof.

Although I appreciate the leaps and bounds for plus-sized women have made in the past five years and the great campaigns, like Aerie's "Real," there still seems be no room for more than two body types that happen to look pretty good anyway. “Real women” are not just curvy or thin. With huge surge in "real women are curvy," all the Dad Bod Girls feel almost more left out of the body acceptance conversation. It was general knowledge that not all women are super thin and it was okay to be human beings and like, eat or something. Now you can be plus-sized, but only if you have curves with a nice a** and big boobs. If we are going to celebrate bodies and beauty then Dad Bod Girls need representation, too. We need more solidarity for the solid girls.

I am a Dad Bod Girl, and there is no way that I accept my body. Call me a hypocrite or whatever for calling others to accept my body when I can't even accept it, but when you grow up with media overrun by "perfect" women I would have never had a choice in the matter. I have struggled with my weight ever since I developed a thyroid issue and gained a lot of weight in middle school. I have done crash diets, like the ABC diet, and spent summers where I skipped more meals than ate. Like when a mother loses all evidence of bringing a life into this world, when a Dad Bod Girl loses 20 pounds in two weeks, we congratulate them-- no matter if they are healthy or not.

Cover Image Credit: youtube.com

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The Complicated Love-Hate Relationship I Have With My Body

We all have times where we look in the mirror and either love or hate what we see.

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People are always saying how you should love yourself just the way you are. You should embrace yourself and feel beautiful in your own skin. There are times that I do. Times where I step up and say this is me, this is who I am. However, there are also times where I look at myself and say, this is not me, this is not who I want to be.

I've always had a love-hate relationship with my body. I go days where I feel good about myself and love who I am no matter what. Then I go days where I hate everything I see and want to hide away from everyone. I just can't seem to find a middle ground.

Sure you can make plans to change yourself, but even then, I feel like you'll always see a flaw. My body has changed from time to time, but no matter what, I always find something to hate. I just can't seem to find the confidence in myself to accept who I am. I wish that I could.

I wish I was someone who could love who they are.

I try my hardest to respect my body. I've told myself that I'll work hard to keep it healthy. I made a promise that once my current spine injury has healed that I'll work harder to get where I want to be. To work hard towards loving myself more often than hating myself.

It's a dangerous mindset to have, the hate sometimes consuming you. I also struggle with bipolar disorder, so when I'm in a depressive phase and hating my body things get dark. I feel disgusting and I just wish I could tear pieces of my body away.

You turn away from mirrors, you try to wear clothes that hide the things you don't like, sometimes when you catch an angle of yourself that's particularly bad you just stand there staring, hating it all.

Then you walk with your shoulders back and your head held high. You wear clothes that make you feel cute and you don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You love yourself and decide to be happy.

This constant yo-yo of a relationship is exhausting.

The hardest for me is looking at pictures growing up. Looking back on the way my body changed and trying to pinpoint where things went wrong. Seeing a picture and thinking, 'look how good I look there.' It doesn't even matter if it's a happy memory. If my picture captured a really good moment. All I can focus on is what I look like.

My fear is that these thoughts will never change. I can learn new tricks to help me stay positive. Learn new ways to love myself. Even if I change things, that there truly will always be something I don't like. It hurts to look at yourself in a mirror and only see something gross staring back at you.

To not see yourself, to only see everything you don't like. It makes you want to crawl into your skin. You don't want anyone to see you in fear that they might see the same thing.

When the confidence comes I savor everything moment I have of it. I take pictures, I like to go out, I live my life as a happy me. I try to hold on to that love I have. To remind myself that I am OK. That I can love myself, but that it's also OK to not like some things. I don't have to find every piece of me perfect because no one is perfect. We all have flaws, it's just about learning to accept those flaws as a piece of who we are.

I know that this love-hate relationship will always be there, but I will always be there to try and fight it. I will work hard towards finding that confidence inside myself and let it shine. We all deserve to see the beauty we have, that no matter how bad seems, there are parts of us that are beautiful.

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