Gone are the days where rock-hard abs are considered to be the only beauty ideal. Now, the rise of the dad bod is more than just a sign for men reaching their forties – it is a preference. So much so that one survey conducted by Dating.com revealed 75 per cent of respondents said they preferred the ‘soft and round’ male body type over a toned one. Although in previous years the term ‘dad bod’ has not always had positive connotations, thanks to increased awareness surrounding body positivity online, the stigma surrounding such is being quashed.

So, how has society’s view on the dad bod changed for the better in recent years? Here, we discuss the dad bod boom and whether this trend is here to stay in the years to come.

The beauty of dad bods

Back in 2010, the term ‘dad bod’ was increasingly being used to describe a male physique that consisted of a softer, less toned mid-section as opposed to the abs-of-steel physique that is commonly promoted online and in Hollywood movies. For those who are just catching wind of the dad bod trend, you will most likely have positive connotations with them, with the aforementioned survey stating that just 15 per cent of participants preferred the toned ‘Ken- and Barbie-like’ body type. However, this wasn’t always the case.

The term has, in previous years, been used to body shame celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Zac Efron, and Chris Pratt for not maintaining their grueling, movie-ready six-pack physique at all times.  Nowadays, issues surrounding online body shaming and spreading awareness of body positivity continues to thrive across social media channels such as Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter – and rightfully so.

In previous years, the media has painted the ‘beauty ideals’ for men to be chiseled abs, broad shoulders, and living off a diet that consists of protein, protein, and more protein. But why should this be the case? In short, it shouldn’t be. These high and often unrealistic expectations set for people to achieve lead to insecurities and anxieties.

Luckily, the stigma surrounding dad bods is beginning to change. In more recent news, A-list celebrity Will Smith took to his Instagram to show off his so-called dad bod and explained in his caption how he is ‘in the worst shape’ of his life. It didn’t take long for the post to go viral, with the world supporting and appreciating his honesty and openness. His post was not only brave and admirable but relatable too. It’s fair to say the majority of us have not been keeping in tip-top form throughout the events of the pandemic with sport and leisure facilities closing, but what is wrong with that? Sure, health and fitness are important, but through celebrities like Smith – who has in previous years been admired for his six-pack physique – it is comforting to know that a more realistic figure is becoming celebrated too.

Dad bod fashion tips

Now we have established the dad bod is here to stay, are you in need of some fashion tips and tricks to help show yours off? You’re in the right place. From jeans to shirts, take note of our top fashion tips to help flatter that dad bod physique this year.

For a smart-casual look perfect for a date night with a special someone or an evening out with friends, opting for clothes that are made with heavier materials that hold their shape will flatter your figure perfectly. You could do this by pairing a shirt jacket with a T-shirt or polo neck underneath, selvedge denim jeans that are slim fit but not too tight, with loafers or trainers.

For a more casual everyday look that is both stylish and comfortable, basic tees are a go-to. Opt for ones that have a more loose fit and pair with knee-length shorts, since shorts help to give the illusion of extra length to your legs. As for shoes, trainers help to complete the ultimate casual dad bod outfit.

If you have a more formal occasion coming up, finding the perfect suit to flatter your shape is vital. So, opt for a grey or navy-blue single-breasted suit with a plain or checked shirt underneath. Keep an eye on the length too – if the sleeve or trouser length appears too long, then make sure to get them tailored so that you don’t look ‘lost’ in a suit that is too big for your body shape and size.

So, rather than hate the dad bod, why not embrace it? Now, being ‘in shape doesn’t mean to say you need to spend nine hours of the day at the gym and eat, sleep, and breathe protein shakes and carbs. Instead, take it easy. Make sure to fuel your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs, exercise for the recommended amount per day, and don’t stress about achieving the whole washboard-abs look. After all, it’s clear the dad bod is an admired physique too!

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