What is the "Dadbod"? Let's settle this once and for all.

Is it different than "manflab"? Do you have to like watching Netflix in the winter? Your questions answered

Published April 30, 2015 6:04PM (EDT)

  (Shutterstock via Helga Esteb)
(Shutterstock via Helga Esteb)

At some point during the course of this afternoon, you probably asked yourself "what is this 'dadbod thing' everyone is talking about"? You did a little Googling. Read a few articles. And with each read, you became a little bit more confused about what actually constitutes this body type. Can someone with "dadbod" be an actual dad? Are they 20-somethings who channel dad-like qualities? Are they frat bros? Is this the straight-person equivalent of discovering bears? Do they have to do crossfit? How about triathlons? Is this different than 2006's "man flab" trend? Do they like watching Netflix in the winter? And, wow, isn't the Internet a beautiful place?

Let's unpack.

  • The Odyssey said: "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.'"
  • The Cut said: "The dadbod is a physique characterized by undefined muscles beneath a light layer of flab, usually topped off with a beer belly."
  • Total Frat Move (back in 2014) said: "It's that gray zone in between fit and fat that your dad has been in for your entire life." Adding, "Women love it!"
  • GQ said: "If you can’t see your dick with your shirt off, you’ve probably got a prize-winning dad bod (maybe approaching on unhealthy dad bod)"
  • Complex said: "Essentially, there's dudes who are genetically predisposed to getting six-packs, and then there is every other man. Kanye West? Total dadbod. Will Ferrell? Dadbod as fu*k. Jay Z? Definitely a dadbod jumping into a pool somewhere with Beyoncé."
  • The Frisky said: "The dadbod is the physical manifestation of men waking up, looking in the mirror and saying, 'Eh, I guess I’ll skip the gym this week and eat a Papa John’s pizza for lunch and dinner and I’ll still swipe left on any girl on Tinder that looks like she doesn’t do at least five Barre Method classes a week.'”

While there seems to be little agreement over most of these questions, Salon is giving this its best shot anyway. Below, we've provided you undeniable examples of dadbod, as collectively described by the Internet today. Perhaps, we can finally put this to rest for good.

Chris Pratt, pre-super hero 

Leonardo DiCaprio circa 2014 "Rhianna feud" (this has been disputed at great length)

[embedtweet id= 491220243214528512]

Carson Daly circa 2000 "TRL"

Adam Sandler, even before being named  Coolest Dad Ever

Vince Vaughn 

Seth Rogen

Jason Segel (as seen in Forgetting Sarah Marshall)

And, yes. Ted Cruz.

By Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email cgorenstein@salon.com.

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Chris Pratt Dadbod Seth Rogen Ted Cruz Viral