I have been thinking a lot about body shaming, our reactions to aging bodies and the reality of weight changes with aging. Ever since my “dad bod” epiphany (Dad Bod) I’ve been on a quest to work on my own judgmental body thoughts both in myself and that I push on others. I’ve been speaking with my friends and realizing every single female I asked has her own body shaming and insecurities about her weight. EVERY ONE. In the 20+ women I spoke to, NOT ONE was content and happy with where she was. Everyone was working on something about her body and quick to point out what she didn’t like. But what surprised me most in this quest, was as I really listened, it wasn’t just the women shaming their bodies.
I was at my muggle gym running on the track when a guy came in. Good looking. (ok, so I mainly go to the muggle gym in hopes of meeting men since where else am I going to meet them?!) Tall, like 6’4”. Had a linebacker build so not super skinny but more bulky. Had some extra tummy weight, probably could classify as a dad bod but on him it looked good. He had a gorgeous smile. But the thing I noticed most (beside that he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring) were his calves. He had super sexy defined calves. So me being one who feels hard work should be rewarded went over to him and said “I just need to tell you your defined calves are killer, awesome work”. And he said “Thanks, they have to be carrying all this around” as he gestured to his mid section. I followed with “hey, we all have that, celebrate the good” and he laughed. But man was I surprised. Here’s a guy I’m blatant checking out and finding cute as and he is sitting there with his own body weight insecurities that are strong enough he verbalized it to complete stranger who was complimenting him. I totally would expect a woman to react that way but I was surprised a man did.
Then I’m talking to a male friend about dad bods and aging. He is in his mid forties and has a nice body from what I can tell. I know he prioritizes fitness because he works out and does Jiu Jitsu. So I’m surprised when he comments that he thinks he has a dad bod. I say no, you don’t have a gut. He says no he doesn’t have a beer belly, but he no longer has his six pack. To him loosing that means he is squishy. For all intense and purposes, this guy is still pretty lean, but like every single one of my female friends when he looks in the mirror he is comparing his now self to his self from 20 years ago and is unhappy.
So as we all navigate finding body love in a world that spends over 60 billion a year telling us to hate our bodies so they can sell us things, it’s really important to realize, this isn’t a woman issue. This is a human issue, Men and Women are feeling this displeasure of aging and it needs to combated this for both genders. We need to create a culture together where aging bodies are beautiful.