From dad bod to Patanjali

Honestly, it is only a coincidence that this Middle has to do something with our midriff. This good chunk of muscles (my biology-trained wife claims they have a value addition – fat) is something we possess without the least sense of ownership, having lost the war to hide it. The more we try to hide, the more visible it becomes.

Well, hiding it is now passe. In case you didn’t know, your executive paunch (the term we used to defend our eating habits and big belly hitherto) and your fat elsewhere has got a new name – “dad bod” – and exhibiting it is now chic. When you meet your buddy who is heavier than before, you can exclaim, “Cool, dude! You have a nice dad bod”. You can, now, really chill out on weekends and fill the beer gut, no holds barred. If you doubt, check out the Internet. Men, married or unmarried, whether they have become dads or not, are posting photos of all their extra flab with aplomb describing it, of course, as “my dad bod”.

Most of us have this American, Mackenzie Pearson, and a friend of hers to thank for. Since she wrote the essay ‘Why girls love dad bod’, we have got a licence to boast our bindaas belly with new spirit, literally! For, she defines dad bod as a balance between beer gut and work out. Binge, and not so regular visit to gym would give that dad bod, she would have us believe.

Guess Ms Pearson has put some of her Indian sisters in trouble. If some uncles have taken her essay a bit too seriously and venture out to test the ‘dad bod hypothesis’, I don’t know if Ms Pearson can be blamed. But she certainly deserves admonition from our women for ignoring the phenomenal mom bod we all adore. I am certain a lot of women with mom bod – though the definition in their case has undergo a metamorphosis to exclude or tone down the beer gut, work out and visits to eateries – have won our hearts.

Our families, you will notice without feeling offended, have many a mom bod and we have received unconditional support and love from them and we all love it. In fact, some believe women with flab are usually wonderful people, though no one seems to have considered a research about it. Or is it time someone wrote an essay ‘Why boys love mom bod’?
But let’s put things in perspective. Whether we have a dad bod or its feminine or third gender version, we may stand to lose if we begin to think what we possess is healthy. Let us not forget that it is we who have given the world the concept of yoga which tells us it is not how we look that is important but how we keep our body, and more importantly our mind, hale and hearty.

Many yoga gurus I have met never told me how we should look. So, let us go back to yoga pioneer Patanjali, leaving the latest fad for dad bod to those who think it is fashionable to give a new name to not-so-healthy habits and celebrate them. Game?

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