Dear Mackenzie,

I hope you don’t mind that I address you like this. “Ms. Pearson” seems way too formal, not just because you’re only five years older than my firstborn son, but because we’re talking about bods, after all.

I read your article Why Girls Love The Dad Bod. When I was your age I used to say that I didn’t like muscle men. I still feel that way. It’s way too much pressure, especially when considering that it’s a lot harder for us women to get six-pack abs than it is for men. By the way, don’t you find it ironic that we use the term six-pack to describe a perfect abdominal area?

But, anyway, my point is that I see your point, even though we couldn’t be more different. According to news articles, you’re  a 19-year old Clemson sophomore. I am a wife and mother of two. I’m sure that you’re getting an excellent academic education. However, I feel that you could use some advice from an older (not old) voice regarding real life, most specifically as it pertains to “dad bods.” I wanted to point out where I feel you’re on the right track, and where I feel that you might need some enlightenment. I hope you excuse my presumptuousness.

Let’s begin. You define the “dad bod” as “a nice balance between a beer gut and working out,” using this photo below. However, I can assure that these are most definitely not “dad bods,” and not just because these guys are not yet dads. No, the better term to use here would be “pre-dad bod.” Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 4.49.35 PM


What do “dad bods” look like in real life and in movies portraying real life? According to Vox (and my own observation), a real dad bod looks like this:

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 4.39.34 PM










And this: Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 5.08.12 PMAs you can see there’s a huge difference between a “pre-dad bod” and a “dad bod.”

Moving on, in your article you give five reasons why girls are crazy about the “dad bod.” I’d like to start with the last reason you gave,

You know what you’re getting.
Girls tend to picture their future together with their guys early on. Therefore, if he already has the dad bod going on, we can get used to it before we date him, marry him, have three kids. We know what we are getting into when he’s got the same exact body type at the age of 22 that he’s going to have at 45.

My dear Mackenzie, please excuse my bluntness when I tell you that no, you don’t know what you’re getting. If by the age of 22, a guy already has a beer belly. Then, by the time  he’s 45 he will look more like Seth Rogen in the 2nd photo than like any of the guys in your article’s photo. By the time he’s 55? Take a look at the 3rd photo again.

I guess I’m trying to warn you that twenty to twenty-five years from now (and they go a lot faster than you can ever imagine), you will be far from the girl who penned “Why Girls Love The Dad Bod” and closer to a woman who would pen “Why Wives Hate The Dad Bod,” (my original title for this post). For example, when you mention,

Better cuddling.
No one wants to cuddle with a rock. Or Edward Cullen. The end.

This is true, but no one wants to cuddle with a marshmallow, the Pillsbury dough boy, or the Michelin tire mascot. I’m not being a fattist. I would not like to cuddle with a very thin man either. The key is to find the right balance like in this photo below. Oh, daddy!



Now, you do make a good point that can be applied to women of any age, and especially to those married to men with real “dad bods” (as defined by Vox and myself).

We like being the pretty one.
We love people saying “they look cute together.” But we still like being the center of attention. We want to look skinny and the bigger the guy, the smaller we feel and the better we look next to you in a picture.

Yes, it’s much better that the guy next to us looks bad so that we can look hotter, especially if it’s the guy who got us pregnant, fat, cellulite-filled, and stretch-marked.

Seriously, now, the biggest reason why a wife would hate a “dad bod,” is beyond looks or what can happen below the belt. Numerous studies have shown that fat on the belly is more dangerous than on the thigh and buttocks.

A 10-year European study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008 found that excess weight around the abdomen nearly doubled a person’s risk of death from diseases such as cancer, stroke and heart disease.

Both women and men struggle with abdominal fat. While men usually have less overall body fat and more muscle than women, they tend to hold their fat in the abdomen area throughout their life…[]

All this to say, that a “pre-dad bod” is ok. But, a real “dad bod” means a certain fate for too many of us: widowhood.

Whoa, this letter was not supposed to take such a serious tone. So, it’s time to wrap it up. I’d like to commend you for getting us to talk about men’s bodies for once, taking us away from our usual obsession with women’s, even if momentarily, and even if you go much easier on men and their bods than our culture does on us women (and girls).

I wish you lots of success in your college years and beyond. Mostly, I hope that your future is filled with many good things, children if you want them, and especially a husband with the absence of a real “dad bod.”

All the best,


The Opinionista