Dancing With The Stars ended last night. Simon Barnett won.
That’s all Newsworthy has to say about the show, because it has been spoiled for us. It wasn’t anything to do with the dancing, which was impressive, or the costumes, which were a delight. It was ruined by Dom Bowden’s repeated, egregiously false references to Simon’s so-called Dad Bod.
Dom’s claim, levelled dozens of times during the show’s 15 episodes, has been echoed in every major news outlet across this country. Stuff, Yahoo, NZ Doctor: they've all been guilty. The descriptor even made it into our paper of record, the New Zealand Herald.
I like Dom, but he is being either careless with the truth or willfully deceptive on this issue . Simon doesn’t have a Dad Bod. If anything, his sexy, chiseled physique is a rebuke to men with real Dad Bods.
Mackenzie Pearson, in her seminal paper on the Dad Bod phenomenon, defined the physique like this:
“The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, "I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time." It's not an overweight guy, but it isn't one with washboard abs, either.”
Simon is not a man with a Dad Bod. His rippling musculature makes him something different: a Fit Father.
This is a Dad Bod.
This is another Dad Bod.
Here’s Chris Pratt’s beautiful Dad Bod from Parks and Recreation.
This is not a Dad Bod.
Dom must retract and apologise. How can New Zealand respect him, Dancing With The Stars, or any of the 46 shows he hosts, when these errors are not only left unaddressed, but allowed to spread unfettered, like fingers rushing across Simon's oiled torso.
It is time for some honesty on this issue. This is not a criticism directed at Simon - Newsworthy wishes him nothing but the best as he basks in the glory refracted by his disco ball trophy. But real dads don’t get trophies for their unrefined bods. Let’s not set such unrealistic goals.