Viral Video Calling Out 'Double Standard' of 'Dad Bods' vs. 'Mom Bods' Viewed 2.2M Times

A TikTok celebrating the notion of "mom bods" went viral, earning more than 2 million views since it was posted in early November.

"When a woman isn't [stick] thin she's unattractive but when a man has a belly it's quirky," the caption on @sarahinyellow's video read.

A montage of photos of the TikToker, who is a body image coach, wearing a swimsuit cycled through the video, which opened with the text, "girls cmon, leave the dad bods to the men? I don't think so."

Newsweek previously reported in 2019 that a study, conducted by Planet Fitness and Kelton Global, indicated that "dad bods" led to body positivity among men and an increase in self-esteem.

"More Americans say the 'dad bod' is attractive, men with a 'dad bod' are sexy and the 'dad bod' is the new six-pack," the study by Planet Fitness and Kelton Global stated.

However, many commenters on @sarahinyellow's video were just as eager to share the love for "mom bods," and some pointed out that "dad bods" are celebrated while "mom bods" have yet to have their moment in the spotlight.


when a woman isn’t stuck thin she’s unattractive but when a man has a belly it’s quirky🤔 #dadbods#effyourbeautystandards#dietculturedropout#bodyimage

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"Wild that dad bods are commended but mom bods [that literally carry a baby and makes them a mom] are condemned," a pinned comment on the video read.

"The fact that dad bods are normalized when their body literally does nothing to carry the baby but mom bods aren't normalized irritates me," another TikTok viewer wrote, echoing the sentiment.

In a separate video, @sarahinyellow said the pinned comment essentially summarized her thoughts while making the original video. She said there was "nothing wrong" with having a "dad bod," and said men with that body type are not ridiculed for being unhealthy.

"There's no assumption that they don't take care of themselves and there's no pressure or anyone telling them like, 'maybe you should lose a little weight,'" the TikToker said, before asking why "dad bods" have found their way into the mainstream while "mom bods" have not.

She continued and said that even if a person has not had a child yet, like herself, there is no representation of that body type.

"There is no one body shape for either gender that is the best, that is ideal," @sarahinyellow said. "Everybody is made to carry weight differently. Everybody has a natural set point weight, and all I care about is owning your own diversity and loving who you are."

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A viral TikTok sparked a discussion about the double-standard of celebrating "dad bods" versus "mom bods." Above, a picture is taken of a smartphone with the TikTok logo. LOIC VENANCE/Getty Images

TikToker @sarahinyellow told Newsweek she planned to make her video the same day she was going to take a break from social media. She explained she decided to film it when she was thinking about the double standard between men's and women's beauty standards.

"I was shocked so many people had seen it, but not shocked because so many women had felt seen in their own bodies because of it," @sarahinyellow said. "The comments and conversation the video created makes me overjoyed and excited for the future of the body acceptance movement."

Noting that the body positivity movement was initially created by and for people in marginalized bodies, @sarahinyellow said that, although she does not fit into those categories herself, she works on body acceptance and body trust while educating herself on how she can be an ally to those who are marginalized.

"As a body image coach and fellow human being, I know first hand that body image and body acceptance are so much more than liking how you look in the mirror," she said.

Even those who lose a set amount of weight, @sarahinyellow explained, may not feel confident because they don't have unconditional love for themselves. It's one of the points she speaks with her clients about. Her Tiktok viewers have also taken note.

"It's an honor to have so many women—a few thousand of them—voice their own experiences in the comment section, telling me 'thank you' and 'I feel safe here,'" she said.

This is not the only instance people have taken to TikTok to express their frustrations with the "double standard" of the two body types.

In August, fellow TikToker @building_her_legacy posted a video that received more than 630,000 views showing the difference of definitions from Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary when it comes to "mom bods" and "dad bods."

"You're telling me women spend nine months growing human life inside of them, at the end of that nine months, they're either sliced open or they literally push a person out of their body, only to be minimized to a fat stomach, saggy t**s, stretch marks and a double chin?" she asked in her video. "When men have that same body type, they are celebrated for 'earning' their dad bod."

Other commenters, both those who have children and others who don't, celebrated @sarahinyellow's video and wrote that they were glad to see some representation of their body shape.

"Thank you for showing there are other women with any body size! I needed to see this on my [for you page]!" one person commented.

"I don't think you realize I am literally sobbing [because] I have this same body type and I've never felt so seen and so beautiful," another wrote.

Updated 11/23/2021, 5:58 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with comments from TikToker @sarahinyellow.