If you've been on the internet for the last five years, chances are you've heard of a little something called the "dad bod."
But, in case you haven't, here's a refresher: A "dad bod" is "a physique characterized by undefined muscles beneath a light layer of flab, usually topped off with a beer belly," according to The Cut. The term first popped up around 2015, when a (very 2015) Odyssey article about it went viral.
And, for all intents and purposes, the dad bod trend has been considered a good thing and really body positive! But it begs the question: If dad bods are now widely accepted, where's all the love for "mom bods" (and women's bodies in general)?
Rachel Whipple, a 32-year-old real estate agent and Etsy shop owner from Eugene, Oregon, felt the exact same way when she decided to call out the hypocrisy of the widespread acceptance of dad bods on TikTok:
"Do you ever think about how society is so accepting of dad bods," Rachel says in the video, "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."
POINTS. WERE. MADE.
Rachel's video quickly gained over a million views, and thousands of women flooded the comments to agree:
Rachel told BuzzFeed that ever since the dad bod trend started a few years ago, it's always "rubbed me the wrong way. I love that it allows for body acceptance and confidence, but why only for men? I couldn’t understand how 'dad bods' achieved this cultural acceptance while society was still preying on women’s insecurities with such intensity."
When asked why she decided to share this perspective on TikTok, Rachel responded, "I was teased about my body growing up, and still deal with body dysmorphia. 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."
"I met up with a friend who opened up about struggling with body image during her pregnancy, so the topic was on my mind. I decided to speak up, not thinking very many people would see it or care."
Not only did plenty of people care, but moms on TikTok began showing off their "mom" bods to the sound of Rachel's commentary, to prove that not only are their bodies beautiful, but they deserve the same kind of representation and acceptance as dad bods:
"When I saw women using my sound to show off and embrace their 'mom bods,' I started crying. It’s a bittersweet mixture of emotions: happiness to see women embracing their bodies, grief for the way things are, relief that so many people agree, anger for the misogyny that came through in the comments, and hope that things will get better."
"I’m just grateful the video started so many conversations. It brings me peace knowing that people shared it with their friends, family, and partners. Talking about these issues with the people you care about, however uncomfortable it might be, is how things start to change."
"I’m an advocate for body neutrality and/or positivity for all. 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. I’d encourage everyone who cares about this issue to get acquainted with intersectional feminism and listen to the voices of those who are the most marginalized and oppressed by our patriarchal society."
Yes, yes, and YES. You can follow Rachel on TikTok for more perspectives like this, and let us know what you think of "mom bods" and "dad bods" in the comments.
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