Screengrab: Chicago Tribune

What the #DadBod Teaches Us About Us

The dad bod has taught us more about the human condition than we may ever know.

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May 8 2015, 3:20pm

Screengrab: Chicago Tribune

Thanks for visiting this linked webpage. You may be here to learn about #dadbods, but what if I told you that this piece of content will not only inform you about the dad bod trend, but more importantly, give you a unique cultural perspective on internet trends. You will consume the trend, but also keep a safe distance that keeps you 'above the trend.' This will make you 'the most culturally connected person in the office' with the ability to have the most nuanced take on a trend that does/doesn't matter.

Dad bods belong to regular dudes who are fat-but-not-too-fat, like dads. They are 'proud' of their bellies and take pride in ingesting too many calories [via beer and pizza]. The #dadbod creates a cultural narrative of tolerance and acceptance. There is no more #shaming of any one--we should accept all men and women. We all know a fattish dude. We can say that they have a dadbod. It is 'funnie' that it is a trend, yall!

The dad bod is spreading like wildfire across content farms that 'report' on alleged cultural happenings. For a seasoned content farmer like me, a trend like this represents 'low-hanging fruit' with the ability to cater to a niche of internet prosumers who like their internet-centric view of culture to be reaffirmed. The #dadbod is a way to 'take pride' in the beauty of internet zaniness, watching it get 'bantered' about by talking heads who need to fill time on TV.

If a 'trend' starts on the internet, then the internet reports on the trend with a media cycle that mainly focuses on questioning whether or not is an #offline trend, is it actually trending?

Maybe if we made thinkpieces mandatory in high school, 'the discussion' would evolve into something that created the framework for world peace.

If you accept the internet as being representative of reality there is no need to question the existence of the #dadbod trend. However, since there is a deep demand for content, I will try to identify the range of content narratives necessary when covering body image / health / fashion / superficial trends.

1. Touch on body image issues

It is important for trends to promote 'acceptance,' or at least serve as a 'starting point' to have a discussion. Normcore promoted 'being normal/yourself.' Healthgoth promoted 'hittin' the gym.' The Kylie Jenner lip challenge promoted accepting your morphed body. Forget the superficial elements of these net trends that are meant to segment the population--the lesson is to always be yourself. That's the message we need to tell the kids in order to solve the global cyberbullying crisis.

The dad bod promotes 'accepting men who are above their recommended BMI.' Good for them! Whether you are on TLC for being a half a ton, or you are rail thin, why can't we just accept everyone and find everyone beautiful? Society is messed up, yall. Maybe if we made thinkpieces mandatory in high school, 'the discussion' would evolve into something that created the framework for world peace.

The #dadbod presents many opportunities for backlash articles. Mommybloggers can write "I love my body" blog posts. Male vloggers can recap their fitness journeys. Men with dad bods can reflect on their dad bods, or what is has been like to be trapped in a dad bod since age six. These pieces can pull KILLER numbers on Facebook.

2. Find 'the origin' of the trend.

Sometimes, recapping a trend just isn't enough when there are so many sources who are already winning the SEO game for a trend. You have to 'dig deeper', which means #reporting. Google harder, go deeper on the web. Look closely at the dates on blog posts. Look at the hashtag on Instagram/Twitter. Send emails, ask for phone numbers. You can gather an 'oral history' of a 'trend' that is just some one typing a word on the internet.

Reporting is asking questions. How long have men been fat? How long have dads had bodies? How long have internet users typed in the string "dadbod?" Who was the genius behind #dadbod? When did they know they had captured magic in a bottle? Did they have a father who was stuck in a body?

From what I understand, 'reporting' is an art that is taught in journalism programs across the country. It is much more valuable than freeform blogging and 'thinkpiece generation' because thinkpiece generation is just a roundabout way of recapping. 'Reported' stories give your content farm a better brand with deeper content.

The dad bod has taught us more about the human condition than we may ever know.

3. Give examples of celebrities who are 'on trend'

Celebrities are the major validators of trends. Dad bod pieces mention Seth Rogen, Jason Segal, Chris Pratt, and Leonardo DiCaprio as the poster_dads of the dad bod 'movement.' Women just want real guys. Real people just want real things. Real people just want celebrities to be real people.

Attaching the label to celebrities will make the trend more interesting to people who just use the internet to look at celebrity gossip anyways. It will allow them to build an 'intelligent' take on celebrity culture instead of feeling guilty for consuming superficial content.

4. Create a slideshow of content that allows readers to 'lose themselves' in the trend.

Remember--every piece of content that you generate is not for cultivating readership--it's mainly to get people to click around on your page and hopefully get them to return. If a random person clicks on your website, they will 'engage' with the content more if it is in slideshow format. This can also give your content farm the opportunity to monetize with referral links to dad bod products, dad bod monthly subscription clubs, and dad bod mailorder razor services.

5. Write a piece about 'our times' that 'questions' the trend all together.

As much as I'd like to think I have a 'unique perspective' or a 'big picture' view on the trend that may or may not exist, I'm still a slave to the dependency on trend commentary. So what if dad bods don't exist and internet trends don't actually exist in Middle America? Life is just a discussion, yall. All we can do is label things that are popular, marginalizing them into buzzwords. Then we can get mad about how language is so limiting.

'At the end of the day,' 'we' are all humans who have bodies--and no matter what, we are all trying to morph/change/better/accept/reject the bodies that we were born with [via genetics]. Call it what you want, but [at the end of the day], I am going to just be me, because [at the end of the day] that is all I can be. The dad bod has taught us more about the human condition than we may ever know.

Trends are just temporary distractions to make us feel like 'our' times are 'important' and that what we are consuming will have an eternal/historical significance. Say what you will about dad bods--but if you ask me, I have a feeling that dads will have bodies for years to come.

Carles.Buzz is a fallen content farmer. Read More Life on the Content Farm here.