The Heartwarming Reason Hilarious #Dadbod Photos Are About To Start Trending

Photo: Courtesy of Kim Carroll
Are you noticing half-naked photos of dudes beginning to pop up across social media this month? (If not, you’re about to.) It’s The Dadbod Challenge: a self-deprecating social media campaign to raise awareness and funds for men’s health that creator Matt Villano describes as a mashup of Alicia Keys’ #NoMakeup movement and 2014’s Ice-Bucket Challenge for ALS.

The Healdsburg, CA father, journalist, and travel writer dreamed up the idea with his photographer buddy, Kim Carroll, after shooting some silly snaps at a local hotel. The two brainstormed with Carroll’s marketing-minded wife, and three words and phrases kept coming up: “imperfect” (a reference to Villano’s self-proclaimed dad bod), “ice bucket” (a reference to the 2014 viral sensation), and “charity.”

“I turn 41 this month. I have three kids. I work a full-time job. And I’m lucky if I get more than 15 minutes to myself every day. This is my life,” Villano says. “We wanted to inspire dads to celebrate their bodies… We’re not ashamed of our love handles or bellies or moles or whatever. We’re proud.”

When it came to the charity component, “linking [it] to Movember was a no-brainer,” Villano says. The Movember Foundation is a global charity focused on men’s health — it's famous for challenging supporters to grow out mustaches for the month of November to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, suicide prevention, and mental health. “From there, it was pretty easy to connect the dots. Thankfully, Movember was excited to let us run with it,” Villano says.
Photo: Courtesy of Kim Carroll
Here’s how The Dadbod Challenge works, should you (or a guy in your life) be so inclined:

1. Don a Speedo or another outfit that shows off your dad bod.
2. Snap a pic (it can be a selfie, or you can have someone else take it). Need inspiration? Check out Villano’s Twitter and Instagram.
3. Share the photo on social media with the #dadbod hashtag.
4. Tag other people you want to challenge to do the same.
5. Donate to the Movember Foundation. This is the important part, and you can do it whether you share a #dadbod photo or not. Since 2003, the Movember community has raised more than $710 million and has funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects in 21 countries.

So yes, The #Dadbod Challenge is all about a great and charitable cause — but Villano hopes the campaign has a more individual impact as well. “I hope that the act of taking pictures, sharing them, and challenging other dudes to do the same inspires dads to recognize that none of us should take himself too seriously, and that our bodies are something to celebrate, no matter what they look like,” he says.

Raising money for a worthy issue and celebrating body positivity at the same time? We’re here for it.
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