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Keep Your Shirt On

If You’re Insecure About Your Dadbod, New Research Shows You Have A Lot Of Company

If having a kid caused you to gain a little baby weight — “sympathy pounds” as your wife adorably calls them — and you feel like a walking beer-belly joke without the laughter, guess what? You’re not alone. A new study finds that a lot of guys struggle with body image issues (and those were just the ones who copped to it).


The study asked 111,958 heterosexual men and 4,398 homosexual men how they felt about their bodies and found 20 percent of straight men tried to hide a part of their body during sex (3 guesses as to which one, and “the salami” doesn’t count). By contrast, 39 percent of gay men tried to conceal their flab in the bedroom. More generally, 39 percent of straight men were unhappy about their weight and 21 percent were dissatisfied with their appearance in general. Whereas 44 percent of gay men were unhappy about carrying around a few extra pounds, and 29 percent disliked how they looked all around. So if you’re hoping to get your self-esteem back by being showered in from compliments from gay guys, think again straight dads. They are just as preoccupied with their insecurities as you are.

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Beach season will be here any day now (or, you know, in June), so if you’re already sweating the first time you have to take your shirt off, take some comfort in knowing that roughly 40 percent of the guys around you probably feel the exact same way. In the meantime, you can do 2 things that will make a huge difference. First, tell your wife that you finally understand her struggle. Second, drink a whole lot more water. And maybe eat a few more pizzas.