When I first read Lena Dunham’s book “Not That Kind of Girl,” I felt like blessing it.
Not because she said anything that made me contemplate life like a Joan Didion novel (or, like, the book of Psalms), but because she looked me in the eyeballs —verbally, obviously — and told me my mind was normal.
Before being witness to someone else’s honest inner monologue, normal was a pot roast on Sunday night, not the internal debate over whether your veins are varicose or just really see-able.
These days, normal isn’t a word that we think to associate with key desires. We spend our days plotting how to stand out in such a loud world. We market home businesses, brand our social media feeds, speak from the place of intent and not honesty all because we want to appear different and unique.
Every once in a while, though, someone who has decides to remind us that what we’re really craving is right in front of our eyes.
Take, for example, the dad-bod.
Honestly, I feel like I have been accepting of the dad-bod long before Leonardo Dicaprio and Adam Sandler started packing on the pooch (pretty sure Leo isn’t even a dad, though).
Oh, you can lift, bro? Cool. Here’s the Safeway bags — don’t crunch my Lays.
But that’s beside the point. The point is, this isn’t new, it just so happens today is the day one million people decided to vocalize it.
When the dad-bod trend blew up the Internet this week, I was completely in agreement, but also a bit confused. Like, why, exactly, does this have to be a thing? Why does everything these days need to be a thing? Why can’t we just call a spade a spade and let the sun set on another period of unimportant personal preferences?
So you drink beer, eat pizza and let your metabolism get the best of you — Bravo! I’ve been doing that for seven years and BuzzFeed has yet to write an article about my body. Talk about behind the times.
The dad-bod trend — which was made viral via the likes of BuzzFeed — is yet another example of someone’s generic opinion attracting social and cultural cling-on in the age of desired normalcy. None of us want to be mediocre or standard, but we also want to know that our idiosyncrasies are OK. We want to know that we aren’t alone while maintaining our individuality.
In the times of Insta-everything, we have become very good at accepting our physical differences and this is incredible. It is a huge feat for modern kind to accept the way we look on the outside (except for mom-bods. I don’t want to get started, but I think men need to jump on that train OK? It’s mother’s day week, for crying out loud, someone represent).
But what about our desires? What about the things that make us tick and make us hot?
These will always be taboo, no matter how tame. We burn so brightly for things that never get spoken of. We yearn for things we don’t know if we’re allowed to yearn for. We host anxiety for years in relation to thoughts that the majority of the population has.
When something as simple as an average body type goes viral we scoff at the point. Our boyfriends rejoice, for two days gym sales decline and for a brief moment average men in the world feel vindicated. But it reminds us, in one fell swoop, that life isn’t what we see — it’s what we feel.
Normal isn’t something we’re battling with the latest fashion trend and the indie music scene, it’s something we’re desperately trying to accept in the form of mass production.
I may dress differently, but you and I? We’re on the same team. We both like men who like a lot of peanut butter.
It’s like an unspoken mission. The dad-bod is just another one of the million vessels.
— Andria Parker is a 20-something blogger from Kamloops