The Rise and Rise of the Dad Bod

It’s one of the hottest looks of 2015 — and it couldn’t be easier to achieve: The “Dad Bod.”

At Talent Management, we’ve been watching the rise of the “Dad Bod” with some amusement and seen how it’s been celebrated, discussed and debated by mainstream and online media for much of this year. What’s more, the trend shows no signs of going away any time soon.

The term Dad Bod doesn’t refer specifically to dads; rather it alludes to the appearance of a man who has more going on in his life than endless trips to the gym and trying to bench-press more this week than he did last. The term was coined by American student Mackenzie Pearson, who says “The dad bod says, ‘I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eight slices of pizza.’”

Dad Bod refers to a man who is not necessarily overweight, but who is certainly not ripped like David Gandy or Channing Tatum. While some of those sporting the Dad Bod may be carrying a few extra pounds, others may be a perfectly healthy weight for their height. They may regularly work out or train, but are just a little soft around the edges. There are theories that women prefer this shape as it makes them feel less threatened, it’s more comforting, and, rather more negatively, makes them feel thinner themselves. Whatever the reasons, the trend can only be good news to all those who sport a perfectly natural, fit and healthy but average physique.

Celebrities with Dad Bods

As always, Hollywood has been quick to embrace the latest trends, and many of today’s biggest stars of film and TV sport what can be described as Dad Bods. While women often feel under pressure to attain standards of impossible physical beauty and perfection, it seems the entertainment industry is more comfortable with the idea of leading men looking a little more “lived in” than previous Hollywood ideals.

Leonardo DiCaprio

DiCaprio first hit our screens as a skinny teenager in the 1990s, but his current physique is very different to his earlier looks. The ultimate teen pin-up in his 20s, now that he’s 40 he’s a great example of the Dad Bod. His size and shape has fluctuated over the years, often in tandem with movie roles. But today he’s often photographed with a fit but slightly padded body. The media has often poked fun at his perceived “paunch”, and mocked him for his changing shape over the years, but he’s never been pressured into changing his appearance. DiCaprio has dated many glamorous international models, and his love life has been an endless source of fascination to the media. He’s currently seeing 25-year old US model, Kelly Rohrbach.

Jason Segal

Thirty-five-year old Segal has been hailed as having the ultimate Dad Bod, and he’s only too happy to show it off in his movies, even if only for comedic effect at times. Although his physique demonstrates that he works out, he carries a little extra padding and is certainly not what one would call ripped – something that is the very definition of Dad Bod. Segal has spent time dating some talented Hollywood actresses, including Linda Cardellini, Michelle Williams and Bojana Novakovic.

Russell Crowe

Like Leonardo DiCaprio, Crowe’s physique has changed dramatically over the years. He bulked up for Gladiator, but cut down on his gym sessions when filming less physically demanding roles over the years. Currently looking comfortable at a higher weight than at most points during his career, he’s frequently photographed hanging out at the beach showing off his Dad Bod. Now 51 years old, and still very much a member of Hollywood’s A-list, Crowe is currently filming movie The Nice Guys.

Alec Baldwin

The oldest of the Baldwin brothers, Alec has long rocked a classic Dad Bod. (He’s also the celebrity dad of fashion model Ireland Baldwin.) From being buff and toned in the 80s, over the years he’s gained a little extra padding but this certainly hasn’t been to the detriment of his career. Recent pictures and film appearances show Baldwin looking a little chunkier than formerly, but with the Dad Bod trend being the look of the moment, this certainly won’t do him any harm and may win him a new generation of fans. Famous for looking somewhat younger than his years, the 57-year-old was married to one of the most famously beautiful women in Hollywood in Kim Basinger. The pair were married from 1993 to 2002, and their leggy daughter Ireland is currently making waves as an up-and-coming supermodel.