Today we’ll be breaking the monotony of talking about serious health issues and have a casual look at why women are more accepting of the dad-bod, while it’s not quite the same vice-versa. For you to understand this article, you must first know the concept of the “dad and mum bod”, which is the body shape that includes some fat, but is still somewhat healthy.
To some people, it seems like a double-standard that women can accept a man with some body fat, while some men (note that I am choosing my words carefully) find women with some excess body fat less appealing. And yes it is a double standard indeed! And in my understanding this is a result of both socialisation as well as evolutionary roles of the sexes. Let me explain.
You see, when women see men with a dad-bod the first thing that comes to mind is that he is a “family-type man”, that he is a nurturer, that he is someone who will prioritise the needs of the family more than his own. This is, as I said, a result of socialisation as well as what we inherited from hunter-gatherer types.
As such, women who are of a certain age, or have the goal of finding a man to settle down and have family with will probably find the dad-bod rather appealing. To them, a man with rock-hard abs could still be a “player”, as his body would be the type that many women would “compete for”. Scientifically and anthropologically, men do increase their reproductive capability by getting access to more women ie quantity.
Some psychologists even go a little further to explain this phenomenon, stating that women often perceive their ideal size to be less than that of their male partner’s preferences. For example, if a man is attracted to a lady who is a size ten, then his lady would psychologically want to be a size eight. This is what some psychologists have said, so please don’t crucify me for paraphrasing them!
To top this all off, we are socialised to be judgmental towards women’s bodies and not men’s. Men are judged by their capacity to have access to resources, which in the western world, refers to his financial status. As such, women seeking to start a family are wired to think that men with a dad bod would have access to more resources, hence the dad bod.
What about the reverse? Why are men less likely to find the mum-bod attractive? According to psychologists, this once again comes back to our socialisation as well as evolutionary traits. Evolutionarily, physical attractiveness of women is one of the main predictors of women’s health, and is meant to determine how good of a partner and nurturer she will be.
As such, women with mum-bods are subconsciously judged to be lazy and still haven’t lost the baby weight yet. To make matters worse, we are socially conditioned to value a woman’s body based on how she looks. Therefore, there is always the issue of the pack mentality when it comes to determining what is seen to be attractive.
However, the tides are changing slightly in some parts of the world. The way things are going, people in the developing and the developed world are getting bigger on average, especially in the latter case. As such, no matter what men think, their choices of getting their “desired” pickings are getting slimmer, unless of course, they have a lot of Vitamin M to assert their alpha-maleness.
I’m not sure how much this article makes sense. I am aware that it might infuriate or annoy some people, but in the end what is reported here is the accepted explanations from psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists. We do not live in a utopia, and this is a reality.
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