What the Hell Is Dadbod, the Latest Lifestyle Trend Breaking the Internet?

What the hell is Dadbod? We (and the internet) take a closer look.

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Complex Original

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Maybe you read about it on Twitter. Maybe you saw the back-and-forth discussion on The Cut. Dadbod is taking the Internet by storm. But what the hell is "dadbod?"

The phenomenon around dadbod stems from Clemson University's The Odyssey, via Mackenzie Pearson's piece "Why Girls Love The Dad Bod." Pearson describes "dadbod" as a body type that proves that "skipping the gym for a few brews" is par for the course. The Cut explains it as "a physique characterized by undefined muscles beneath a light layer of flab, usually topped off with a beer belly."

So in other words, it's somewhere between being Hedi Slimane-skinny and Jonah Hill as of this morning. The whole "skinny-fat" thing isn't new, and for guys it's known as "being average." If you go to the gym semi-regularly and dudes with well-defined six-packs those pelvic V-muscles make you feel self-conscious because those have always been an unattainable dream, then there's a good chance you have a dadbod. 

Essentially, there's dudes who are genetically predisposed to getting six-packs, and then there is every other man. Kanye West? Total dadbod. Will Ferrell? Dadbod as fu*k. Jay Z? Definitely a dadbod jumping into a pool somewhere with Beyoncé.

In the same way the whole "normcore" trend had every other person freaking out about whether or not they were following the trend, dadbod has inspired similar online consternation.

GQ editor John Jannuzzi writes on Twitter:

While the bro experts at TFM posit dadbod as:

But what does a dadbod look like? Look no further than physiques of Adam Sandler and Guy Fieri. Veritable dadbod gods. 

Sandler's stomach and sad-sack arms are the peak of dadbod (lack of) definition. His bellybutton has turned into a curved hyphen. Combined with his pecs, his entire torso resembles a frown :(. Such is the fate awaiting most men as their metabolisms slow to the ravages of time.

Meanwhile, Guy Fieri owns the look. Perhaps you would be this happy too if you just discovered your body type was hot right now. What Fieri lacks in paunch, he makes up for with all the fading muscle of a professional wrestler in his twilight years. 

Speaking of athletes, even highly-paid jocks are totally susceptible to dadbod. Take Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder, for example:

Or the eminently lovable pudgy football player, in this case represented by Wisconsin kicker Rafael Gaglianone: 

But the biggest question of all is: Do women enjoy dadbods? While the jury's still out, there are cases for and against the benefits of boning a dadbod. The original post over at The Odyssey began out of a positive outlook toward the doughy physiques of dadbod, and over on The Cut​, writer Allison Davis says: 

My friend has a theory that men with dadbods and doughier tummy areas are good at sex — better, even — than, say, a ripped-abbed man, because their guts push against your pubic bone in a pleasing way. I also think dadbods might be more enthusiastic oral-sex-givers. Perhaps to compensate for their lack of abs.

The Cut's photo editor, Emily Schornick, also weighs in on why sleeping with guys with a little extra weight isn't a bad thing:

What's great about dadbod sex is that you know you're gonna have great postcoital snacks. Dadbod definitely has some cheese in the fridge.

Postcoital cheese aside, there seems to be a positive, accepting environment for dadbods on Twitter, with plenty of people voicing their support for dadbods everywhere:

Not that men necessarily need their own movement promoting body positivity, but if there's one thing that all dudes can take away from this whole dadbod craze, it's that not having a six-pack isn't the end of the world. So as beach season draws ever closer, maybe stop working so hard towards that beach body and enjoy a couple of brews instead. Maybe in the end, nothing tastes as good as dadbod feels.

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