This Empowering "Mum Bod" Challenge Is Way Overdue - Women's Health

This Empowering “Mum Bod” Challenge Is Way Overdue

The challenge comes in response to the wide acceptance of the "dad bod".

Let’s be real, everyone knows the Dad Bod. The term, which is defined as “a physique characterised by undefined muscles beneath a light layer of flab, usually topped off with a beer belly” by The Cut, popped up around 2015, when a (very 2015) Odyssey article about it went viral. When you refer to the Dad Bod, it’s positive, it’s promoted as the normal way a dad appears, and conveys happiness and health.

So why, is the mum bod not a thing?

That’s the question Rachel Whipple, a 32-year-old real estate agent and Etsy shop owner from Eugene, Oregon, asked herself when she decided to call out the hypocrisy of the widespread acceptance of dad bods on TikTok.

“Do you ever think about how society is so accepting of dad bods,” Rachel says in the video, “and yet, it’s women who literally carry and birth the child. And the second they do, they’re bombarded by society about how to lose the baby weight. Because their ‘mom’ bod that literally birthed a human is not accepted, but a dad bod is.”


“Ever since the dad bod trend started a few years ago, it’s always rubbed me the wrong way. I love that it allows for body acceptance and confidence, but why only for men? I couldn’t understand how ‘dad bods’ achieved this cultural acceptance while society was still preying on women’s insecurities with such intensity,” Rachel told Buzfeed.

When asked why she decided to share this perspective on TikTok, Rachel responded, “I was teased about my body growing up, and still deal with body dysmorphia. I’ve gone back and forth about having children for many reasons, but a huge one is the societal pressure placed on women to ‘lose the baby weight’ knowing I already struggle with my body image. It’s always felt so unjust to me that a woman will carry and grow a human for nine months, have their organs rearranged, go through the physical and mental trauma of childbirth, and then be expected to look the same way they did before it all happened.”

“I met up with a friend who opened up about struggling with body image during her pregnancy, so the topic was on my mind. I decided to speak up, not thinking very many people would see it or care.”

Rachel’s video quickly gained over a million views, and thousands of women flooded the comments to agree. Not only did plenty of women agree with the sentiment, but mums on TikTok began showing off their “mum” bods to the sound of Rachel’s commentary, to prove that not only are their bodies beautiful, but they deserve the same kind of representation and acceptance as dad bods.

Here are some of our faves.

Nikolina Ilic

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the new web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men\'s and Women\'s Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she has a mean punch inside and out of the ring. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.

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