Pivot Pool Products greets every swim season with body positivity! This is an appreciation blog for the ‘dad bod’, a term coined to describe males with a little extra body fat who may or may not have children. Dad bods are transcending the poolside goal of ‘hot guy summer’.

What is a dad bod? 

The phrase “dad bod” endearingly refers to a guy who doesn’t have a lean, shredded physique. He might instead have a paunch or visible beer belly, without being hugely overweight. Dad bods evokes a relatable, warm kind of dude who kicks back with a beer and pizza by the pool.

What is the science behind the dad bod? (For men who are actually fathers!)

According to Dr. Richard Bribiescas, professor of anthropology at Yale University, body fat replaces testosterone with estrogen, which promotes a more caring paternal behavior. “Having a dad bod allows you to be a better father, thanks to the shift in hormones that allow paternal instincts to take over. The idea negotiates the link between having a soft body because you’re a father and being a father because you have a soft body.”

Do ladies really love dad bods?

So, having a dad bod makes you a better father, but does it actually make you more attractive to ladies? Yes – because chiseled abs can be … scary? “I have inhabited both types of male physiques — the kind sporting six-pack abs and, more recently, the kind that looks like it should be pushing a stroller and Googling high-blood pressure medications,” said Peter Holley. “The latter physique has always proved more successful for me with the opposite sex. Chiseled abs don’t put women at ease or get them to open up. At times, it even made them distrustful.”

Women used to need men with bodies that could toil in factories, plow field and protect their home from intruders. Today, empowered and independent women value men, but not necessarily for being a macho beefcake. Instead, many women are looking for guys who have good careers, love kids, and offer a soft tummy to lay on after a long day — all things that dad bods promise. A dad bod says I have a job, responsibilities and enough money to nod approvingly when someone says “guacamole is extra.”

Embracing the dad bod.

History shows that society’s idea of the ideal male body has shifted throughout the centuries. For example, in the 1800s, slightly hefty men were found to be attractive, as it indicated that they ate well and had a comfortable lifestyle. Fast forward to the 1980’s when two types of bodies were embraced: “one inspired by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger — tall with bulging biceps and super-defined muscles. And the other — the lean, slightly disheveled look of the Glam Metal bands. They were wiry, quirky, and had a huge following.”

The ideal body is any body. During the pandemic, the stay-at-home experience physically altered many of us while we were all just doing our best! To Pivot Pool Products, all bodies who know how to swim are ready for a day by the pool. People respond warmly to the notion of a dad because it’s a positive descriptor for many body types at a cultural moment when the swole male physique is still experiencing an ascent in media. Thanks a lot, Chris Evans.