REVEALED: The intriguing scientific reason why more and more women are loving DAD BODS… as Travis Kelce defends his relaxed physique

On a recent trawl around the Bahamas, pop megastar Taylor Swift and boyfriend, Kansas City Chief’s tight-end Travis Kelce were pictured walking hand in hand along the beach. 

Commentators were quick to pick up on Kelce’s soft belly, knighting his physique with the honorable title of ‘Dad Bod.’

The term encompasses a broad range of body types but generally refers to men with bulkier, softer bodies, that are strong but not necessarily buff. 

They can range from athletes like Kelce to actors like Adam Sandler. 

And the body has had a recent surge in popularity among young women.

A 2021 survey from found 75 percent of single people were fans of the dad bod. 

Now, researchers have revealed the scientific reason women like Swift find this body so attractive.

Swift and Kelce were spotted walking along the beach in the Bahamas on vacation after the singer finished her concert series in Singapore 

According to psychologist Joel Wade, a presidential professor at Bucknell University, it conveys to potential mates that a man is a safe paternal option to nest with, he wrote for Psychology Today. 

It’s not the dad bod itself that women are attracted to, but what it represents, evolutionary psychologist James Sherlock, from the University of Queensland, wrote.

Kelce helped the Chief's secure a SuperBowl victory in 2024

Kelce helped the Chief’s secure a SuperBowl victory in 2024

For women who are attracted to the physique, they may find it indicates a partner with a balanced family lifestyle and softer personality traits, Simon Clay, a sociologist at New South Wales University, wrote. 

He said: ‘Mildly “chubby” men might have less testosterone and therefore take less risk, and are thus make better fathers.’

High levels of testosterone have been associated with increased aggression and risk-taking in men, neuroscientists at Trinity College Dublin found. 

Seeing a less toned body could be a subconscious signal to a mate that a man is more relaxed in his environment and comfortable settling down, Clay added. 

Essentially, the time it takes to upkeep a six-pack might eat into the time a man gets to spend at home with his family. 

So a softer body may indicate more willingness to spend time at home. 

Clay also wrote that popular culture could have an impact on women’s perception of the dad bod. With the rise of celebrity beach photos, people have seen their favorite entertainers, from Leonardo DiCaprio to John Hamm, rocking the softer silhouette. 

‘The sexualized commodification and subjectification of the semi-nude, soft, male celebrity body helped to make the Dad Bod culturally legible,’ Clay wrote. 

Many men with dad bods have strong athletic ability. Kelce's teammate, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, was also caught on the dad bod train early in 2024

Many men with dad bods have strong athletic ability. Kelce’s teammate, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, was also caught on the dad bod train early in 2024

Essentially, he means when people see that a celebrity they admire has a softer body, then they may start looking for it elsewhere, Clay said.  

But, all told, Wade said the science is out on whether or not women have pure physical attraction to dad bods.

He cited a study where psychologists tested the attractiveness of men based solely on their bodies that found women rated the more buff men, with shoulders considerably wider than their torsos, as more attractive than men with softer body types.  

However, that same study found women said the people with dad bods seemed more affectionate, nurturing, friendly and likely to be better potential parents.