2-20-19

The Problem With Telling Men to ‘Ask For Help,’ Massive-Head Anxiety and Guys’ Bizarre Bath-Towel Habits

I have a huge head. At least, I think I do.

When I wear a snapback hat, I use the last hole. My fitted size is 7 3/8ths. When I had long-ish hair — a little less than shoulder length — my friends all referred to me as “Dark Helmet.”


So I, too, know what it’s like to have anxiety around an oversized head. You can’t take photos without it becoming the dominant focal point; you can’t go more than three weeks without a haircut, or else your big head gets even bigger; and don’t even think about wearing a beanie in cold weather — it just doesn’t work, trust me.

I’ve learned to appreciate my ginormous dome, though. Like, when I go to concerts and the guy behind me invades my personal space, I take comfort in the fact that his view will be obscured. Or when I rattle off obscure trivia and someone asks how I knew that, I just point nonchalantly to my globe-sized coconut and say matter-of-factly, “My big brain.”

The point is, you need to find the silver linings in whatever your perceived flaws are, you know?

Must Read

“The Problem With Telling Men With Mental Health Issues to ‘Just Reach Out’”
Mental-health campaigns, especially those aimed at men, are often centered around the theme of “reaching out,” based on an understanding that mental-health problems are stigmatized, and that a key barrier to treatment for men is a belief that it isn’t masculine to ask for support. But as Madeleine Holden writes, that’s a reductive way to look at the reasons why men are significantly less likely than women to seek mental-health treatment. Because, given the crumbling state of our underfunded health-care system, when men do reach out, there’s often no one there. READ MORE

Club Fed

Even by the standards of the American criminal justice system, with its deeply embedded race and class biases, the mere existence of white-collar prisons seems outlandishly, cartoonishly unfair. But it’s not the fact that they exist as soft landings for the privileged that’s the problem. Instead, the real unfairness in the system has more to do with sentencing and how offenders are processed in the first place.

Bad Math

It’s likely not news to you that calorie counters — including fitness trackers like Fitbit and the Apple Watch, as well as exercise machines like treadmills and ellipticals — aren’t perfectly accurate when it comes to, you know, counting calories. But how bad are they, really? “It’s a ballpark guess within a ballpark guess.”

Absolute Head-Unit

When Miles Klee read about Alex Chu, a star lacrosse goalie forced onto the bench because his head is too large for any of the sport’s standard helmets, he found the situation all too relatable. He also suffers from an abnormally large cranium, a debilitating affliction that often manifests itself in not being able to wear hats, and comically bad selfies. But, as he found out, head-size anxiety is far more of a personal-perception issue than how our giant noggins are perceived by the world around us.

In Praise of ‘Office Space’ (With One Tiny-ish Caveat)

It happens to be the 20th anniversary of Mike Judge’s cult classic Office Space, a near-perfect send-up of the boring monotony working in a corporate cube farm. Near perfect, Tracy Moore argues, because of the film’s bit-too-tidy happy ending.

Pro Wrestling’s Got a ‘Evil Boss’ Problem

After the end of pro-wrestling’s 1980s-era golden age, it wasn’t until 1998 that the WWE resurfaced as an entertainment powerhouse on the backs of a “feud” between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and WWE owner Vince McMahon — wrestling’s biggest star versus his evil boss. Up until that point, McMahon had been known mainly as a good-guy announcer, but he thrived in his role as a heel. And it worked so well that the WWE has gone back to it time and time again ad nauseum — and therein lies the problem. Because beating the “evil corporate overlord” horse to death has conditioned fans to increasingly blame management for what they don’t like about the product.

Ooh Ooh That Smell

In the U.S., to admit you wear Axe Body Spray is to admit you’re a specific kind of basic bro who likes smelling like an undersexed teenager, is too cheap to shell out for something better, wouldn’t know high-quality if he bathed in it or a combination of the three. That’s in the U.S.; in the U.K., there’s a similar specie of basic bros, except they’re not wearing Axe — they’re wearing Lynx Africa, a deodorant so ubiquitous among a certain set of lads it’s practically a meme.

So what makes this seemingly innocuous, blandly branded, and for the most part, fairly mundane smell such a cultural landmark in Britain? And why is it met with such vitriol? Hussein Kesvani — a Lynx Africa-wearing lad himself — attempted to find out.

Terrible Towels

If you’ve been on Twitter the last few days, you may have noticed a lively discussion around men, bath towels, bath sheets and our general misunderstanding around what to do with them.

Which got us thinking: How do other men dry themselves? Is there a commonly understood guide to towel behavior, or have we been inventing our own deranged towel rules? To answer those questions, we reached out to a whole bunch of dudes on how they use their towels and why.