Thinking Zac Efron has a ‘dad bod’ is warped and unhealthy

Apparently people think Zac Efron has a dad bod and, quite honestly, I am baffled on so many levels.

Baffled. Levels. So many of them.

But that’s not the only reason I’m currently looking like the math lady meme, trying to join all the complicated dots that brought people to this ridiculous conclusion.

Frankly, dear reader, aside from the fact this is a grossly incorrect use of the term ‘dad bod’, I’m kind of pissed everyone seems to have forgotten for a hot minute that women have been dealing with this kind of body-focused BS for eons longer than Zac has been hairy.

For a refresher, this latest Zefron palaver all began when viewers gazed upon the sparkling Adonis that is the actor in his latest series Down To Earth With Zac Efron.

One wrote on Twitter: ‘Zac Efron has turned into a total Daddy and I’m here for it. Dad bods get me hot.’

They were far from alone, as a whole heap of thirsty punters also described Zac as a ‘daddy’, and soon the internet was broken.

I get everyone is still admiring the lad, but the proverbial well and truly hit the fan after an article was published that seemed to refer to the star as in possession of a ‘dad bod’, albeit, I’m going to assume, with a tongue-in-cheek intention.

But Zac has nothing of the sort (frankly, ‘dad bod’ is an absurd term I don’t care for at the best of times) and it’s dangerous and offensive to all sexes to suggest this man has ‘let himself go’. This is how we spiral into disorders and warped expectations, people!

Complimentary or not, the description of Zac has opened up a Pandora’s box around body image, with the internet arriving to bat for the actor and share their horror and anger on his behalf.

It’s fair to say the 32-year-old looks a far cry from his High School Musical days when he was, like, an actual teenager, but the internet chatter about his ‘dad-ness’ had many citing the unhealthy expectations placed on men to look a certain way, or maintain a certain physique. Like, a lot of talk about about that.

There’s no denying there has long been an issue with the way people speak about celebrity bodies, and I’m glad Zac’s fans are there to set fire to these silly standards.

But the chatter around Zac got me thinking about the way we talk about female bodies verus male and it irked me because, at its very base, there is no ‘dad bod’ term for women – they’re just lashed with offensive remarks about any kind of change, no matter the context.

Case in point: the comments thrown at Molly-May Hague when images of her in a bikini emerged last week only bolster the idea of imbalance between ‘debates’ about bodies.

In my mind, there is no point in trying to debate whether or not Zac Efron has a ‘dad bod’ when bangin’ females in bikinis are being trashed for having bodies full stop.

I sure as sh*t did not see the same level of defense for a lot of female stars who are exposed to heaps more social media body chatter that Zac has been.

The thing is, ever since women opened their eyes they have been bombarded with ads, music videos, fricken t-shirt designs, dolls, everything, showing us the ‘ideal’ body type – which we now know was more than likely super-duper photoshopped and downright anatomically impossible.

While we’re making (slow) strides towards illustrating more inclusive bodies in the aforementioned advertising, in my silver linings playbook, I at least hope this ‘dad bod’ *controversy* forces people take stock and realise that it’s not healthy to hold any celebrity body on lofty pedestals and wonder why you don’t look like that.

Nor feel it appropriate to share your negative opinions from the couch, no matter the sex of the person in question.

I’m not saying you can’t admire Zac, or your celebrity of choice – that is almost the opposite of what I’m trying to say. Zac is delightful and I’d very much like to watch his abs travel around the world without feeling guilty.

But we have to use this polarising moment to correct the imbalance of how we speak about male bodies versus female, and how seemingly affected we are by them, and make a change.

2020 has to be good for something.

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