If you haven't heard what a "dad bod" is, it's exactly what it sounds like. Girls dating guys that have bodies like dads. These guys don't mind missing time at the gym, eat whatever they want to and drink as much as they'd like. Guys have found confidence and excitement in this new trend because they don't have to work as hard to attract the girls they want.
The only thing is, there's no new trend for girls' bodies...unless you're talking about the never-ending list of features girls are expected to have. (As perfectly described in the picture below, featuring quotes from Tina Fey's book, Bossypants.)
Guys are still allowed to decide what's "hot" and what's "not" and girls are in this constant cycle of trying to be what society labels as "beautiful." The double standard here is infuriating and is doing nothing but slow down the fast track we all claim we want to equality.
Girls are constantly striving to fit that mold and it is a lifeless and draining path that we are walking down. Instead of loving our bodies and how God made us we are looking in the mirror and seeing what's "wrong." I mean, just think of the scene in Mean Girls where The Plastics are all looking in the mirror at Regina's house. They all go around saying things they don't like about themselves: "I have man shoulders...my nail beds suck...my hair line's weird."
Here's some statistics about self-esteem with teens from DoSomething.org :
- Among high school students, 44% of girls and 15% of guys are attempting to lose weight.
- Over 70% of girls age 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities, such as attending school, when they feel bad about their looks.
- More than 40% of boys in middle school and high school regularly exercise with the goal of increasing muscle mass.
- 75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking, or disordered eating. This compares to 25% of girls with high self-esteem.
These thoughts are engrained in us at an early age and it's so much easier to change your mindset as a kid than as an adult. I'm guilty of people-watching and judging people as they walk by, but it needs to stop. We need to stop telling people what's wrong with their body and let them decide for themselves how they want to look.
I'm not saying that promoting a body type for men that is not solely focused on living at the gym for once is a bad thing. I'm saying that if we're going to encourage this body type for men, it is only fair to do the same for women. While we're at it, let's stop making body types a "trend" and instead start promoting positive self-esteem for everyone. Let's make it popular to love the skin we're in.
**Disclaimer: I am not saying that everyone deals with the problems listed in the above paragraphs or that everyone has bad self-esteem. I chose to speak generally because it is a widespread problem that impacts a lot of people.**