Dadbod is a Gateway Drug

(Photo by: Danny Feld/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

I am writing to you as someone who has a mild case of the “Dadbod.” I’m not working towards it, in fact I am trying to rid myself of it, but the fact remains — you can only really see an ab or two when I’m dehydrated and most pictures I see of me are so-so. I’m not full on Sandler or Segal, but if I put a little more effort towards it (ie – a little less effort towards doing what I’m supposed to), I could probably hang with them in the next Dadbod article to come out.

Here’s what they’ll tell you:

  • “It allows women to feel secure about their own bodies.”
  • “Promotes positive self-image.”
  • “It’s authentic”
  • “Says ‘We can be healthy AND have a good time.'”

Look, I’m all about positive self-images and having a good time, but the Dadbod is a gateway drug, slippery slope, and fast track to nowhere-ville all wrapped in to one. Let’s investigate:

Stage One: The John Hamm Phase

Confident, Dadbod Lite version of John Hamm
Confident, Dadbod-Lite version of John Hamm

If this is where it stopped, I’d have nothing to say. The John Hamm phase isn’t Calvin Klein model, show up your kids, “hey look at me and my bod” type of body. He obviously goes to the gym, eats right, and doesn’t appear to be pretentious about the fact that his body is in shape.

Stage Two: The Leonardo DiCaprio

Not quite rocking it, but he's busy. I get it.
Not quite rocking it, but he’s busy. I get it.

Not what you would want to see in a People Magazine, but no shame here. Leo is a hard working actor and has earned some time off (both from the screen and from the gym). He’s not hiding in the shadows and, unlike the rest of us, can pull off this look. It does appear he is a slice of cake or two away from falling to…

Stage Three: The Adam Sandler

Money can't save you now. Dadbod-Heavy starting to set in.
Money can’t save you now. Dadbod-Heavy starting to set in.

Stage three is where the gym is that thing that you used to go to and your fridge has more beer and soda than lettuce and fruit; in fact, vegetables are only those things you pick off your pizza when it gets delivered. Your energy is low, you probably buy candy bars in the checkout lines at grocery stores where you only buy pre-cooked whole chickens and Mountain Dew by the case.

Stage Four: The Kevin James

Full on Paul Blart
Full on Paul Blart

You’ve now entered Stage Four — aka the Paul Blart, aka the point of no return, aka it’s not funny anymore to try to pass this off as Dadbod but you’ll try anyway. Pretty soon, you’ll be exclusively rocking the untucked shirt and refraining from washing your jeans because you’ve worked them into a comfortable groove you won’t get back if they shrink a half-inch.

Dadbod is a cool word and that’s why it’s popular right now, but don’t confuse Dadbod with anything “healthy.” It’s not healthy. I don’t know why it’s so wrong to strive for something that is hard to get like a six-pack (not the one from UDF). Being in shape takes hard work, dedicated time not being on the couch, and will power to refrain from shitty food and understand that food is the fuel, it’s not the vehicle.

I love eating and drinking as much as the next guy, but we have to remember moderation is key and if we don’t recognize our habits early, we’ll go from Hamm to James before we bat an eye.


Author: ryanjrauch

I am not here to change the world. I am here to change my world.

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