Nah. This piece isn’t about leather-clad, ball-busting dominatrices. There is, however, a generous smattering of masochism involved, so stick around. Women, and I am one such curious creature, have mastered the art of digging our own graves, tossing in a few silk throws, getting comfy, and then screaming ‘patriarchy’ at the top of our lungs, when we start running out of air. Agreed, we’re chromosomally unpredictable. But, let’s not blame the poor double Xs for our daftness. Like when we let the opposite sex off the hook, and obligingly climb up and dangle from it ourselves. There’s no honour in hara-kiri anymore, ladies. Perhaps, we carry a rogue Brutus gene, which lies latent like a sleeper cell, activated at will, by the opposite sex. Look around at all the gorgeous, smart, independent, empowered women out there, who are killing it in the boardrooms and the bedrooms, in the stock markets and the supermarkets, at the M&As and the PTAs. Now consider why over 70 per cent of these same women (and their daughters) view themselves as overweight, when the scales say otherwise. Why over 60 per cent of these women (and their daughters) are on a diet, every few months. And, why body-image related depression is a worldwide epidemic that targets mostly women.
We did get a ten-second reprieve between decades, when we were given permission to flaunt our curves and exhale. But, even before we could whip off those stifling body shapers, some crazy yells, “Thigh gaps are sexy.” And, we’re off again. Like I said, daft. But, the crown for queen of the daft prom goes to Mackenzie Pearson, for her blog, declaring dad bods the hot new trend. Sweet, naïve Mackenzie, what were you smoking, girl? Whatever it was needs to go right on top of the HazMat list and torched. And, it’s off to quarantine bay for you, until the hallucinogens have left your system. Hope Mr Chubby’s worth fifty shades of torture.
And, as for you of the XY genetic persuasion, don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. Seconds after the dad bod blog hit cyberspace, it wasn’t just the frat boys who a cappella-ed ‘Yessssss’ and slammed down tequila shots and carb-bombs. Male bellybuttons that remained sucked in for months, popped out the world over. And, the few good men, who had woken up from the century-long sloth party and discovered the joys of grooming, swiftly tossed their razors and dumb-bells into the trash. Current status: beer bellies are back. Biceps are out. Gillette stocks have tanked. Booze stocks are skyrocketing. Gym memberships are down. The trusty saviour in the male wallet now isn’t a condom, but an antacid. Simon Cowell’s portly swagger has taken on demonic proportions, as Mackenzie Pearson and her sophomore sisters pray at his feet, because apparently that’s what girls like.
“A guy who’s had a few too many slices of pizza, or a few too many Ramens, and ended up with a little bit of squish on top of his muscle,” giggles Mackenzie in an interview with The Slate, in case her blog wasn’t clear enough. Did she mean the female equivalent of curvy? Nope. “A good word to describe it would be thick. Not a big person, just a thick person.” Seriously, Mackenzie? We’ve struggled too long and too hard to be stuck with sloberonis and their macaronis, who want nothing less than Monica Belluccis as their consorts.
“You don’t have to be a dad to have a dad bod. Can have it even in your twenties,” you said. A 20-year-old jiggly-wiggly with beer breath, that’s the answer? While Sofia Vergara, Victoria Beckham, Salma Hayek, Halle Berry, Madonna, Madhuri Dixit and a million other mothers fight the dreaded battle of the mommy bulge 24/7. Why? Shouldn’t a mommy be allowed to wear her baby pouch with pride, to mark her brave accomplishment? Sort of like the slash on a matador’s face, or a scar on a warrior’s chest. Think again, sweets, ‘coz daddies don’t like chubby, unless it’s on their wee bonny babies.
The truth is, dear girl, that even as far back as The Graduate, mommies were smoking. I don’t mean the cigarette dangling from her red-tipped nails. And, just recently, when The Boy Next Door seduced his neighbour-mommy, she was no lumpy frump. It was hot mama JLo. That penny, is it dropping anytime soon, Mackenzie? Everyone and their bartender want in on a yummy mummy or a MILF. Sadly neither nomenclature reflects the real mom bod, with baby pouch, love handles, giant booty and all. The question that begs to be answered is, why are moms killing themselves to get girl bods, while girls are cosying up to dad bods? What’s that about? And, when these girls turn into moms, will their large dad-bodied men show the largeness of spirit to love their mom bods? Or, will they be chasing down sophomore bods who are begging to be whipped within 50 shades of their lives? In case you missed the lesson on the birds and the SOBs, it ends with a huge crash, as double standards get smashed, along with the glass ceiling.
Priya mirchandani is an independent writer and editor