Chaps, you may think all a girl wants is a sweaty, muscle-bound, God-like creature who lives at the gym and radiates protein shakes.
However, despite the Hercules of the cross trainer possibly catching the ladies’ attentions, all they really want is a pudgy guy of a certain age, with a big belly and a full on ‘dad bod’.
In fact, an anthropology book claims tubby older dads have the world at their chubby-toed feet – enjoying longer lifespans, being more attractive to women and even more skilled at passing on their genes; making sure their portly legacy lives on forever.
According to Richard Bribiescas, professor of anthropology at Yale University, putting on a few pounds after becoming a dad – due to plummeting testosterone levels – can have surprising benefits.
In his book – How Men Age: What Evolution Reveals About Male Health and Mortality – Professor Bribiescas states how this seemingly un-masculine process can strengthen immune systems, with some evidence even shows these cuddly fellows may well have added protection against heart attacks and prostate cancer.
According to Professor Bribiescas:
The Hollywood image of the swaggering, dashing man dispatching bad guys and carrying the day conjures up a perception of indestructibility.
While men are on average larger and physically stronger than women, men have a considerable weakness.
We have a harder time fighting off infections and illness compared with women, and… men simply do not take care of themselves.
This has a significant negative impact on the pace at which men age.
Professor Bribiescas explains how embracing the tum can mean dads concentrate more on the upbringing of their children than chasing women around nightclubs.
Interestingly, the extra layers of fat make them more attractive to the opposite sex, even if these doting daddies would much rather be at home reading their babies a bedtime story.
According to Professor Bribiescas, loss of muscle mass and increased fat mass, resulting from lowered testosterone levels, can have dramatic changes for a guy:
This change in body composition not only causes men to shop for more comfortable trousers but also facilitates increased survivorship and hypothetically, a hormonal milieu that would more effectively promote and support paternal investment.
Women have long harboured affection for the rounder, older gent, however, the term ‘dad bod’ only entered the public consciousness fairly recently.
Writer Mackenzie Pearson helped to turn a guilty pleasure into the most body-positive must have back in 2015, with her The Odyssey article Why Girls Love The Dad Bod.
Mackenzie helped to explain the appeal of the most unlikely body trend of the 21st century:
The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out.
The dad bod says, ‘I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.’
It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either.
Mackenzie cites some of the appeals of the dad bod as being ‘better cuddling’, ‘good eats’ and the reassuring feeling of ‘you know what you’re getting’.
Great excuse for enjoying a couple of extra slices of pizza this weekend…
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.