While the term Dad Bod went viral in March after a blog post by college student Mackenzie Pearson, the Internet exploded in a veritable landslide of opinion pieces debating its merits. Was the Dad Bod empowering? Insulting? Anti-feminist? Amid the hubbub, cartoonist Rebecca Roher quietly released “Mom Body,” a comic strip about what happens to a woman’s body during and after pregnancy.
The attraction of the Dad Bod, according to Pearson, is that you know what you’re getting into: “We can get used to it before we date him, marry him, have three kids,” she wrote.
Roher’s comic is about knowing what’s in store when it comes to reproduction—but more than that, it’s a celebration of the physical changes, both good and bad, that accompany pregnancy.
“We don’t often think of the extreme changes women’s bodies go through every month to be able to reproduce human beings, let alone what happens when they’re actually making a baby,” she told the Huffington Post.
Roher’s comic hit a nerve. “Mom Body” circulated widely online, and many women have written to thank Roher for her work, according to the Huffington Post.
When asked about the relation of her work to the concept of the Dad Bod, Roher noted, “I support celebrating realistic body types for both men and women, but I think mom bodies are way more impressive and interesting to talk about.”
Here’s to the Mom Bod! May it remain a symbol of the strength and beauty of mothers—new, old and in-between—for years to come. It’s not always a fun process, but those who come out the other side all understand one enduring truth: moms “are tough as fuck.”