We are all unique and beautiful and should love our bodies and ourselves.
Now that that’s out of the way, really with this ‘dad bod‘ nonsense? Finally fellas, after years of the stifling social pressures from the media, and continual self-hatred for not having flawless skin or being able to fit into a size 2 or having a ‘thigh gap,’ you can rest assured that women love the ‘dad bod.‘ And how does one achieve the new standard of male perfection? It comes from a few years of picking up your babies and playing with your kids in the backyard (or, for the younger, childless ‘dad bod,’ occasionally going to the gym), while still having as much pizza and beer as you want. You go, ‘dad bods.’
Fine, yes the ‘dad bod’ praise is a positive thing. Realistic standards of beauty. I fully support this. But for Mother’s Day, let’s talk about the rather-not-talked-about #mombod.
‘Mom bods?’ Gross. You got all stretched out from carrying a living being inside your own body for nine months (give or take). Then countless magazines and fitness regimes told you to ‘Get your body back!’ as quickly (and as out-of-sight) as possible. But you’ve probably still got stretch marks, or cesarian scars, or saggy boobs from feeding another living thing with your own body for months (if not years). You’ve put your looks at the bottom of your to-do list, under loving and supporting your family, doing your jobs (both inside and outside the home), juggling everyone’s schedules, and being expected to hold your shit together. And in the midst of all of this, you’re bombarded with people telling you how you do or should look. ‘You really lost the baby weight!’ Does it actually feel good to hear that? Or, ‘You should get more sleep.’ That’s got to be helpful.*
And for the non-childbearing or childless ‘mom bod’ variety, we’ve achieved our physiques by: not being 17 anymore, discovering the joys of wine and cheese, and knowing we should probably get to the gym but resigning ourselves to the fact that there are so many other things we have to do or would rather be doing. But this is not necessarily a thing to celebrate, I think it’s what is most commonly referred to as ‘adulthood.’
Women can do what they can to celebrate their bodies and their scars, but the ‘mom bod,’ the ‘nice balance between childbearing hips and community zumba’ will not become the new feminine ideal, not in this country. The ‘mom bod’ is only lauded when it has ‘bounced back’ to its former glory. Is this backlash from us claiming we can have it all? Society has said, ‘Fine, you want it all: here it is! And all the shitty, unrealistic expectations that we’re going to load onto it!’
There is already plenty being said about ‘dad bods’ vs. ‘mom bods.‘ But for Mother’s Day, let’s toast the ‘mom bod.’ Because, truly, is there anything more amazing than the female body?(I, for one, am convinced that Freud got it all wrong, and it’s breast envy, not penis envy, by the way.) Women can CARRY LIFE inside their bodies (if they so choose). And then FEED that life. WITH THEIR BODIES (yet another Pete Holmes reference for you). I want to toast the ‘mom bods’ we inhabit, that carry us through this world, childless, child-bearing, or otherwise.
So here’s to you, ‘mom bods!’
And an extra shout out to my own mother who carried me in her womb for nearly an extra month, because I am just that stubborn and indecisive.
*Disclaimer: I am not a mother nor do I claim to be an authority on motherhood or the pressures that come with it. I am only an empathetic, observant female with opinions.