The Dad Bod trend has been around for a while, with BuzzFeed reporting that the term first appeared in a viral article by Odyssey in 2015. But really, hasn’t the dad bod dominated popular culture forever? Men get to have whatever types of bodies they want with little judgment, or so it seems. Honestly, I think unfair beauty standards are frequently applied to all genders, but women’s bodies will almost always be more policed.
That’s the pointed a viral TikTok made about the Dad Bod versus the much less popular mom bod. Created by TikToker @brightnorthstudio, or Rachel, the TikTok seems to have touched a nerve for a lot of women out there who feel like their bodies reflect their lives: they had a baby. They’re moms. They have mom bods.
“Do you ever think about how society is so accepting of dad bods,” Rachel says in the clip. “And yet, it’s women who literally carry and birth the child. And the second they do, they’re bombarded by society about how to lose the baby weight. Because their ‘mom’ bod that literally birthed a human is not accepted, but a dad bod is.”
The comments are full of people agreeing with Rachel and commenting on how mom bodies are usually the result of carrying and birthing a child whereas dad bods are the result of…what?!
Rachel made her TikTok a sound so that other people could use it to show off their mom bods, and they lined up to do it:
BuzzFeed interviewed Rachel about how she decided to share her perspective and she says the term “dad bod” had always bothered her. And she reflected on the way that body acceptance gets so hard for moms.
“I was teased about my body growing up, and still deal with body dysmorphia,” said Rachel. “I’ve gone back and forth about having children for many reasons, but a huge one is the societal pressure placed on women to ‘lose the baby weight’ knowing I already struggle with my body image. It’s always felt so unjust to me that a woman will carry and grow a human for nine months, have their organs rearranged, go through the physical and mental trauma of childbirth, and then be expected to look the same way they did before it all happened.”
She also said she doesn’t really hold anything against men.
“I’m an advocate for body neutrality and/or positivity for all,” she explained. “I don’t want this to be about men versus women, or ‘let’s tear men down more so it’s equal.’ I want better for all of us.”
That’s the dream.