Doughy dudes the world over have been enjoying their lager a little more lately, and rubbing their squishy bellies in self-satisfied delight, following a recent college Instagram account that went viral.
Clemson University sophomore Mackenzie Pearson couldn’t have known just how much of a positive impact her essay on Dad Bods would have on the psyche of slightly insecure men everywhere, of all ages and beer belly levels.
Pearson’s essay prompted the birth of the Instagram account College Dad Bods, which showcases photos of less athletic bodies. These are the beer swilling, regular guys who many women prefer over those intimidatingly muscular gym-addicted dudes.
The rationale is that the teddy bear body is less intimidating to a woman: She won’t feel the need to measure up to some ripped Adonis, and she avoids the anxiety over the possibility of said Adonis parading off with any number of untold females just waiting to steal her chiselled man.
Furthermore, Pearson points out that, many women instinctively picture a life-partner in each man they date. A preemptive Dad Bod in his 20s allows a woman to know and love the body her man will have later on, so there won’t be a whole lot of disappointment down the line. Don’t worry, young singletons, you don’t need to be a dad to have the recently coveted body type; all you need is a paunch, and you’re all set.
In fact, famous single men like Leonardo DiCaprio – proudly wearing a beer gut these days, yet still surrounded by a bevy of beauties – have stood out in the media as the archetypal Dad Bod owners.
The Dad Bod hashtag went viral within days of the Instagram account’s birth, with everyone from college students to comics having fun with the theme; talk-show king Jimmy Fallon even received a little surprise when cuddly comedic actor Seth Rogen popped out of a giant cake on the show, essentially proclaiming himself “King of the Dad Bods.”
But these ten other celebrities are close contenders for the crown. They have all, fathers or not, rocked the Dad Bod at one point or another.
10. Leonardo DiCaprio
Leo’s got a belly and he knows it. Does he care? Hell no! Truthfully, this mega-star could probably inflate to the size of a zeppelin and still be attractive to women, thanks to a heady combination of talent and all the mega-bucks he has stashed away in his back account.
But that wouldn’t be the true mark of a “Dad Bod.” It’s not an obese slob that women are attracted to, but rather the man who still has the visible makings of an athletic body, simply endowed with the added touch of a cuddly beer paunch. Leonardo DiCaprio fits the bill!
In some roles, like his tough undercover cop character in The Departed, Leo has appeared to be downright chiselled, causing women to swoon. But when he’s between roles, and letting it all hang out, DiCaprio is still swarmed by the babes, all thanks to the zest for life that led to his Dad Bod.
9. Mark Wahlberg
He may have once been the chiselled poster boy for Calvin Klein underwear, but “Marky Mark” has grown up to be a relaxed, sexy Daddy. Sure, Mark Wahlberg still beefs up for the occasional role, but in between, the real-life Dad lets it go, showing his full dedication to chilling out in the name of the “Dad Bod.”
Wahlberg is typically a self-confessed work-out fiend. Having graced the covers of Men’s Health and other fitness magazines many times over, the star has often employed a strict training and diet regimen for roles.
He told Muscle and Fitness magazine that to prep for his role in Pain and Gain, he put on 40lbs of pure muscle eating ten meals a day, and working out feverishly, sometimes heading out to the gym at 4:30am, crossing paths with all-night clubbers.
If gym-nut Wahlberg can practice backing off the workouts in favour of lifting the pints, he’ll be well on his way to maintaining that Dad Bod. Really, he just needs to get into his “Ted” film character more often and he should be all set.
8. Gerard Butler
This Scotsman has caught the attention of men and women alike for his typically Adonis-like physique; why else would women happily sit through the gritty, graphic novel action flick “300,” in which Butler plays the incredibly sculpted Spartan Greek warrior? Of course, the boyfriends and hubbies won’t admit it, but their women know they secretly have a man-crush on Gerard Butler as well.
Not only do they aspire to the incredible physique he flaunts in some of his films – they also connect with his admission that it’s impossible to maintain such buff-ness when you’re not actually a perma-battling warrior in ancient Greece.
Butler has famously let himself go in between film roles, most notably when seen taking a vacation in Barbados in 2010. The public was unkind about his portly appearance, but no one should have been that surprised about the actor turning to the comfort of the Dad Bod on his own, personal time; Butler had repeated over and over in media interviews that his 300 physique was not at all representative of his lifestyle, telling reporters he really preferred not to have to work out at all, and liked to drink beer and eat pizza. Now that’s the attitude, Gerard!
7. Channing Tatum
Last year, a decidedly wider looking Channing Tatum told Ellen Degeneres on her show he was “fat and happy” following the birth of his baby daughter with wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum. Earlier, he had told People magazine that “When I’m not training, I get really round and soft”; in other words, all the classic makings of the Dad Bod!
Tatum has admitted he was a male stripper in real life at the age of 19, which helped him prepare mentally and physically for his stripper role in the Magic Mike films that have driven women completely insane for the actor. Tatum is normally a running and exercise-aholic, also telling People Magazine, “‘I like to be lean. If I get too bulky I can’t move well and I like to move.”
Still, the Dad Bod look really suits the actor. Maybe the next film in the Magic Mike franchise could even capitalize on the trend: “Magic Mike 3- Who’s Your Daddy?”
6. Matt Damon
Matt Damon gained so much fame for his role as the super sharp CIA assassin gone rogue in the Bourne movies, that men and women alike were pining for more and more of the star. He gave it to them– at least in between roles.
Damon celebrated the Dad Bod in fine form while vacationing with his wife and kids in the Caribbean, sipping beers on the beach and letting it all hang out as he should be damn-well entitled to.
Dad Bod fans will only get the cuddly star like this for so long though, with the actor probably already back in fighting form filming sci-fi action flick “The Martian” with director Ridley Scott.
The actor will also reportedly be reprising his Jason Bourne role for Bourne 5, planned for a 2016 release, requiring the actor to get into kick-ass killer agent shape once again. Bourne fans will be delighted, but what about the “Dad Bod” nuts?
5. Christian Bale
Christian Bale famously packed on 43 lbs of weight for his role in 2013’s American Hustle. The actor admitted he enjoyed finally being able to relax with his diet regimen for a change, telling People Magazine: “I ate lots of doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburgers and whatever I could get my hands on. I literally ate anything that came my way.”
Like many method actors, Bale has famously played with his weight to adjust to roles, packing on muscle and sculpting himself impressively for American Psycho (2000) and both his Batman films.
So the paunchy look wasn’t exactly what American Hustle co-star Jennifer Lawrence dreamed of for her first make out with Bale. She reportedly told director David O. Russell, “I finally get to make out with Christian Bale and he’s a really fat guy; he’s fatman, not batman.”
Still, Russell told reporters that Bale’s podgier physique in no way deterred the ladies, telling US Magazine, “The shocking thing is that Christian can charm ladies even with the comb over and the belly because it comes from confidence and heart.” Little did Russell know it was just the ladies being hypnotized by his Dad Bod.
4. Paul Rudd
The promising Hollywood stud seemed to fall off the map for awhile, making his next big impact playing a reporter in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and playing a supporting role to Steve Carell in the monster comedy hit, The 40-year-Old Virgin– looking decidedly pudgier.
The ladies didn’t care; Rudd’s piercing blue eyes and relaxed, “guy next door” quality gave the actor a faithful following that allowed him to find his niche in a special breed of quirky, light comedies. It seemed the cuddlier he got, the more attainable he seemed, following true Dad Bod form.
His last “cuddly” role had him addicted to cupcakes as the 40-year-old Dad struggling to keep his business and family together in This is 40, alongside Leslie Mann. The film could have as easily been titled, This is the Dad Bod.
3. Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler has known for years how to truly own the Dad Bod, exuding relaxed confidence with every bounce of his well cushioned belly.
Sandler did once venture to the dark side, beefing himself up to brawny form for his Israeli soldier/gigolo role in the comedy Don’t Mess With the Zohan. Of course, the comic actor has also been to the other extreme, getting super flabby in 2012 to prepare for another role.
Sandler clearly knows the Dad Bod is where it’s at, always returning to his relaxed and comfy body type. And while the wives in Sandler’s 2010 comedy Grown Ups all fantasize about the chiselled hottie they meet at the poolside, they would really probably prefer to cuddle up at the end of the day to the Dad Bods of film hubbies Sandler and Kevin James.
2. Chris Pratt
Chris Pratt of Guardians of the Galaxy fame definitely has the right attitude required to achieve the Dad Bod look. Of a rapid weight gain in 2013, the actor told US Magazine: “I gained 60 pounds in about four and a half months. I just did it the old fashioned way: eating and drinking my face off.”
He also told GQ magazine, “I just feel like, if I drink, I want to drink a case of beer and not two beers. Two beers doesn’t do anything for me.”
Pratt gained all the weight for a comedic role playing a lawyer in 2013’s Delivery Man, alongside fellow Dad Bod king, Vince Vaughn.
At the time of his weight gain, on a beach getaway with his comedic actress wife, Anna Faris, Pratt hammed it up to allow the scrutinizing paparazzi trying to capture his unusually doughy figure. He needn’t have been so self-deprecating; the Dad Bod fans actually liked it!
Sure, Pratt later publicly tackled the flab by reducing carbs, exercising intensely, and cutting out alcohol to get buff for his Guardians of the Galaxy role. But what fun is that?
As the newly buff Pratt told GQ of the prospect of eating a stack of pancakes for breakfast, “That sounds so goddamn good.”
At least now, despite whatever muscle-bound role he’s committed himself to, he knows he can comfortably go back to his cuddly, en-vogue Dad-Bod – with the full support of his wifey and female fans everywhere.
1. Jason Segel
He may have played the physical trainer who gets Leslie Mann fit in This is 40, even hooking up with sexpot Megan Fox thanks to all of his cool confidence, trainer attraction. But comedic actor Jason Segel normally plays slightly more vulnerable characters, with a physique as cuddly as they come – and that’s what the ladies like.
This is a guy you just know would happily share a six pack and pizza with you, and still have a couple at the pub afterwards.
The actor has often “let it all hang out” in film roles, most notably in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and in the more recent Sex Tape alongside Cameron Diaz; in both films he actually went full starkers, revealing more than just his Dad Bod.
Segel’s apparent comfort with his less than perfect bod, achieved by simply remaining laid back and enjoying life, is what makes him irresistible to women, and what gives him the number one Dad Bod spot in Hollywood.
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