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Body Issues, the Nightmare of Oversized-Human Travel and TV Shows That Had to Get Worse Before They Got Better

The best of MEL from The Week That Was

What. A. Week. Let’s see what you might have missed:

For tears: Nothing was sadder than Malcolm Gladwell’s extremely low-effort hand-wringing in the New Yorker on the dangers of cannabis. Thankfully, Miles Klee was all over it.

For lols: Don’t sleep on 2019, the year of Big Divorce Energy. Meanwhile, can’t believe I need to say this, but you cannot replace water with milk, no matter how buff you want to get. Oh, and look around your house. Odds are, everything in it is a potential sex toy — even the bath bombs.

For help: Learn how to break the spell of an emotionally manipulative parent. Ask for sex without sounding like the desperate horn-dog that you are. Handle your control-freak boss with the help of astrology.

But don’t stop there — here’s everything else from The Week That Was…

Catch Up on The Body Issue

“The Muslim Guys Getting Swole for the Prophet”
Besides major obligations like prayer, keeping halal and acts of charity, Muslims are also required to find other, smaller ways to express their devotion. And what’s a better way to get closer to God than by getting ripped at the gym? READ MORE

“My Quest for the Perfect Butt”
Lifelong top C. Brian Smith has always been proud of his dick — and he’s got the pics to prove it. His saggy 40-year-old butt, on the other hand, is another story. That’s why Smith sought out famed Instagram butt man, Mister Outdoors, for ass-workout tips. READ MORE

“No Matter How Hard I Tried, I Could Never Get Big Enough to Protect Myself From My Father”
Oliver Lee Bateman and his brothers were always large boys, even at a young age. But no matter how many weights they lifted, or fights in school they won, the psychological and physical hold their bully father had on them was always stronger than they could ever be. READ MORE

“The Skinny Guys Who Can’t Gain Weight No Matter What They Do”
The only thing Americans love more than being lazy is eating — which is probably how this country ended up so obese. There are those among us, however, who suffer from the opposite issue: The curse of never being able to put on any weight at all, no matter what they do (or devour). READ MORE

“Competitive Eating Is Basically Getting Paid to Have an Eating Disorder”
Eating competitions are everywhere these days, from Coney Island to YouTube. Though watching a 170-pound man eat his way through 10,000 calories can be entertaining, the great lengths competitive eaters go to evacuate all those trans fats from their bodies has doctors who specialize in eating disorders extremely worried. READ MORE

“Why Guys Like Me Can’t Stop Eating Their Feelings”
MEL Editor-in-Chief Josh Schollmeyer recently dropped 60 pounds off his 6-foot-4 frame by kicking carbs and cigarettes — despite the comforting way they kept his stress and emotions in check. Yet despite feeling much healthier and looking better, the desire to eat his feelings will never dissipate. READ MORE

“No Matter How Thin I Get, I’ll Always Be the Fat Guy”
At age 14, Ed Zitron was 275 pounds, and he was bullied incessantly for it. The negativity he associated with his weight was so bad that, even after dropping 100 pounds later in life, Zitron was still unhealthy. Not physically, but mentally, because he had tied his self-worth to being thin. READ MORE

Five Things We Learned This Week

  1. Sushi is decidedly not good for you. That was a revelation for many MEL staffers this week after reading about how chock-full of microplastics and other harmful substances most fish at the top of the food chain are.
  2. If you share an address with someone, you also share an immune system. Well, mostly, anyways, which explains why when one family member is laid up with a cold, odds are someone else is going to get sick, too.
  3. Re-lighting the ashy end of a used joint isn’t any worse for you than the first time you spark it. But that doesn’t mean you stoners are off the hook — that’s because the longer you smoke a doobie, the higher the concentrations of tar and carcinogens being delivered to you will become.
  4. Just because you’ve gone dry this January (you’ll never get me to use Drynuary un-ironically) doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious drink. Haley Hamilton, writer/bartender extraordinaire, explains how a temporarily sober person can drink even better than their wet friends, and all without ever evoking the word “virgin.”
  5. You absolutely can be chubby and still be found extremely sexy. Fat-guy sex symbols are definitely a thing, as Tierney Finster found out. I mean, duh — ever hear of Barry White?!?!

Quotes of the Week

Bankruptcy is a debtor’s least-worst option. It doesn’t take you all the way down to the ground, but it takes you to hovering just above it. So what’s that terrifying ride like, and how do you climb back up? We asked three men who’ve been through it.

As airlines design their planes to maximize profits by compressing personal space and cramming more passengers aboard, bigger guys feel the dehumanizing effects of literally not fitting in. This is what it’s like to travel while large.

Quinn Myers interviewed a bunch of guys who lucid dream not to fly, or be invisible, or commune with the animals, but to fuuuuuck. That’s right — lucid-dreaming sex tourism is definitely a thing, and when there are no rules, shit gets weird, quick.

The Weekend Binge

Season Three of HBO’s True Detective debuts tonight, and if the reviews are to be believed, it marks a return to form for a series that began extremely strong in Season One, but was thrashed in Season Two.

Which got us thinking: What other movies or TV shows started off with a bang, only to take a nosedive when the sequel (or next season) came out, only to get good again? Case in point: The Halloween franchise.