The day my co-workers and I caught wind of Dad Bods, the Gchat windows that lined the bottom of my computer screen lit up like a Christmas tree. The whole idea made us LOL (or at least frantically type that much) … until we actually thought about it.
Suddenly, it wasn’t quite so funny.
I mean, how is this: “We want to look skinny and the bigger the guy, the smaller we feel and the better we look next to you in a picture,” even remotely OK? A COLLEGE SOPHOMORE WROTE THIS. This is someone’s actual thought process, and it runs so much deeper than the funny memes and beer-slugging the goofy term has spurred.
Guys like Seth Rogen, Vince Vaughn, and “Parks and Rec”-era Chris Pratt are leading men and heartthrobs, celebrated for having a bit of extra weight on their bones. But what about the non-celebrated Mom Bods? Or, you know, women’s bodies after they totally GROW AND BIRTH A HUMAN.
The difference is stark and sexist. Dads, you’re cool to drink beer and eat pizza, and the end result is a bod that’s not just AS bangin’ as before, but EVEN BETTER. When will it be socially acceptable for women to do the same? We want to eat pizza and drink beer and be patted on the back for it, too … don’t we? Or is life just one big race to pop out a few kids, lose every ounce of baby weight, and spend our lives drinking Skinny Girl-brand drinks – which, I’m sorry, are not that great – and counting calories?
Guh-ross. And unfair. And, sadly, unsurprising.
What do you guys think about this Dad Bod trend? Funny and harmless, or so much more dangerous than we realize?
I don’t know what it is exactly about celebrities and their lifestyle blogs, but I CANNOT EVEN, despite the fact that they’re just like us. But nothing – NOTHING – compares to my distaste for Blake Lively’s website, Preserve, and the twee artisanal crap it’s hawking by way of ridiculously worded essays that nobody – NOBODY – can comprehend.
(Case in point, my friend is collecting advanced degrees having to do with the ancient literature of faraway lands, and when I showed him Preserve’s written content as part of an experiment, even HE blacked out. Academics, they’re just like us!)
So when I heard about Blake’s (or Preserve’s, depending on who you think produces this stuff) latest blueberry muffin recipe for “B’s Blueberry Stud Muffins,” I had to speak up. Not only is the basis of the recipe ignorant drivel, but it’s coming from a California-born girl who got married on a plantation and romanticized the Antebellum South in a Preserve fashion spread last fall. Also, the sugared lemons are CUT INTO HEARTS and there are some type of GOLD HEART DOILIES strewn about.
Oh, and if you “shopped the story,” as Preserve so often encourages us to do in hopes that we, too, can live such a pretty, charmed life, it would cost you $168 ($43 of which is in stamped spoons).
But what do I know? Here’s what Preserve had to say about its recipe (and its inspiration). Bracketed edits courtesy of Defamer.
…It’s safe to say pink is out this year—blue is in.
The blues began in the deep South [on plantations], as a means to voice injustice and hardship [like slavery] in the African American community—same place most great American music comes from. It has evolved to influence all kinds of popular music, and inspire many to take respite in good old, down and out, soulful singing. But it’s more than music. [True.] It’s a lingering mood [of racist subjugation] that we kind of like, especially in the midst of the Valentine’s fuss. It’s a gardenia tucked behind your ear in tribute [to a time before the Civil Rights Act]. Its lyrics are timeless, but the tunes are like a time capsule brimming with [depression, abject terror, and] a thousand love letters lost. The Blues evoke a time [of sharecropping] and a place [of total inequality] that romances us with nostalgia. Let’s go there.
Preserve, aside from its oppressive, racist and oblivious missteps, is dangerous in other ways, too. It tells us that we are good enough and we are pretty enough only when we’re spending $168 on shit to make muffins, wearing $360 cardigans, littering our homes with gold heart doilies and cutting sugared lemons into hearts. This is an extreme case, I know – seriously, who has time to cut those fucking lemons after spending a billion hours and dollars roaming the grocery store for these ingredients – but similar instances have blanketed the blogosphere.
I’ve ranted about this enough, harping on fashion bloggers promoting shopping addictions and financial instability, lifestyle bloggers promoting unattainable perfection, so I’ll spare you more of the same. I clearly just wanted an excuse to publicly call Blake Lively a turd, and I’m happy I finally got the chance.
Do you get annoyed by this stuff, too? Do you think it’s harmful, or just nonsense we should ignore?
Since this blog’s inception, I vowed to keep the content personal and honest, no matter what. This means that when I screw up some dumb home project, cheat on a diet, or don’t change out of sweatpants for an entire weekend, I write about it. I’ve never been able to relate to the air of constant perfection found on most lifestyle blogs, so I wanted this one to be different.
I knew this decision could make me susceptible to negative feedback and criticism, but as a writer, it’s worth it to stay honest. My college newspaper’s motto, “Tell the truth and don’t be afraid,” has stayed with me long after graduation, I guess.
And it wasn’t until Saturday night – in the car with James, on our way to see “Foxcatcher,” which was uncomfortable in that weird way that makes you want to cover your eyes and keep watching at the same time, but I digress – that I realized just how much this would affect me.
Our wedding pictures by 1313 Photography, and yes, there are so many more where these came from
I’m willing to bet that most of you wouldn’t walk up to someone on the street and tell them what you think about their life decisions, whether it’s because you’re a good person or because you’re civilized enough to know that if you don’t have something nice to say, you should just keep your mouth shut. But for some reason, the internet has given everyone the false sense that it’s OK to openly judge everything, from people’s career and relationship choices to their hairstyle and favorite books.
I’m aware that free speech, something I have special appreciation for as a journalist, is a glorious thing that shouldn’t be taken for granted. I’m thankful for the right to voice my opinions about whatever I want, whenever I want. But I’m also aware that some people find pleasure in being vile human beings.
I was reminded of this on Saturday, on my way across town, when my phone beeped with this blog’s first negative comment.
On one hand, I’m disgusted that this person felt it necessary to judge my – a total stranger – life decisions and minimize their importance. Does this person know how long I grappled with the decision to leave my marriage and the circumstances surrounding it? Of course not. And isn’t it sad that the stigma exists in 2015, and people like this make others feel guilty for leaving bad relationships, and ashamed for finding happiness again? Shame on me for putting myself first, and shame on me for writing about my struggles openly and honestly on this blog.
But on the other hand, I’m kind of honored that some internet troll spent his or her Saturday night reading about my New Year’s resolutions, setting up a Disqus account, then taking the time to come up with a perfectly snarky comment. With an IP address from Aruba. I didn’t know I had readers outside the U.S., let alone in Aruba! It’s pretty cool, really.
Let me end this tirade with one final thought: Your life decisions, including who you break up with or who you fall in love with, are entirely up to you. Fuck the haters, and fuck the internet trolls – may they both remain as unhappy in life as they appear to be online.
The Fancykins comment policy (which I never thought I’d have to make, so thanks for visiting the site)
Much like I write whatever I choose, I welcome readers to comment however they choose. Free speech is a beautiful thing, and for that reason, I won’t delete your comments, even if they’re ignorant and snide. However, leaving negative remarks will not only open you up to be the subject of tirades such as these, they will also prove you to be pitiful and contemptuous, and believe me, that’s not a good look on anybody. Hate speech won’t be tolerated and may be subject to deletion.