11-11

Woods Porn, Engagement-Ring Shaming and When Actors Get the ‘Aunt Viv’ Treatment

The best of MEL from the Week That Was

Another week in the books. Personally, I couldn’t be happier that our long, national nightmare is over. I’m talking about the midterm elections, of course. That shit was turning my hair gray. Thankfully, we churned out a bunch of great stories over the last seven days to give you a brief respite from politics. Such as…

For tears: Three fathers told us what it was like for them to lose their own father. Then, for further waterworks, there were these men whose marriage proposals were rejected.

For lols: Get to know the two candidates who ran for U.S. Senate in Montana, and the incredible flattop haircut they both share. For the “most badass satire” award, check out this interview with the guy who sold $30 bottles of “hot-dog-flavored water” outside of a GOOP event.

For help: Thinking of buying into r/investing’s infamous “White Girl Index”? Here’s why financial analysts think you should reconsider. Do you think speeding to work gets you to your cubicle faster? Slow down there, chief. Can’t decide whether to sit next to or across from your date at that fancy restaurant? We asked a bunch of waiters and body-language experts for the correct answer.

For everything else, you’re just going to have to keep reading.

Must Reads

“There’s Massive Drama Brewing in a Private Facebook Group for Engagement-Ring Shaming”
Master infiltrator Miles Klee did what he does best when he found his way into the private Facebook group, “That’s It, I’m Ring Shaming,” a secret society of salty ring-haters made infamous by a recent submission that went viral on Reddit. And now that he’s in, he’s pulling the curtain back on this cabal and the drama that’s sprung up since they became internet famous. READ MORE

“Learning to Be a Man in the World of Drag Kings”
C. Brian Smith reports from the The Lambda Alliance “Slay Bells Ring!” Holiday Drag Show, a pro-am runway show in Athens, Georgia, but he’s not there for the queens. He’s there to learn from the kings — like a “drag king consigliere,” who counsels drag princes on everything from binding their breasts to packing their groins. Not to mention, the many old and new “unshaven” faces swaggering — not sashaying — on stage. It’s a scene. READ MORE

“The Instagram Economy of Phat-Ass White Girls”
Editorial assistant Magdalene Taylor knows a thing or two about Phat-Ass White Girls. After all, she’s a self-described pawg herself, even curating a social persona around it. Who better then to report on the growing Instagram economy based on the big butts of white girls, where women pay men anywhere from $10 to $100 per image to post pictures of their posteriors, all in the name of growing their social following? READ MORE

“The New Economy of ‘Pot Stock’ Day Traders Are Taking a Beating in the Market”
Since Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, a new class of investor has emerged: The online pot-stock trader. While there are some big names in the pot market — like Peter Thiel, for instance — most of the trading comes from small fish playing penny stocks. And since Canada decided to legalize back in September, the money’s been good — real good. In the last few weeks, however, the bull market has given way to a bear, leaving those small fish panicked. READ MORE

Five Things We Learned This Week

  1. If you’re not posting pictures of your girlfriend on Instagram, buy her some flowers, stat, because she is low-key pissed. Why? Because she probably thinks you’re dating someone else, you want to get back together with your ex or youre doing something else super sketch.
  2. “Are you going to get a real job now?” is just one of the many shitty questions pregnant bartenders get on the regular. For some reason being knocked up and serving drinks really freaks some people out, people who then try to rationalize that dissonance by asking extremely personal questions.
  3. Hiding porn in the woods was a rite of passage for many young people in this country, but since the internet, that phenomenon is all but dead. Chris O’Connell looks wistfully back on his own woods porn days, and the chain of events that made the need for it obsolete.
  4. There’s a way to eat cheesy mac without breaking the diet bank. We asked a dietitian to help us rank the boxed comfort food, and Kraft Mac & Cheese isn’t the answer — sorry, my drunk and college-aged friends. But one brand did stand head and shoulders above the rest.
  5. That viral Nextdoor post about the “perfect little soup boy” was a little too perfect to be true. Miles Klee dons his Holmesian deerstalker yet again and uses his keen deductive skills to blow the perfect little doors off this hoax.

The Week in Quotes

Bohemian Rhapsody is a by-the-numbers biopic in a long line of by-the-numbers biopics. Still, it has something going for it: It knows you know everything that’s going to happen, but it’s among the rare rock biopics that actually has a sense of humor about itself. We only wish it hadn’t glossed over Freddie Mercury’s sexual identity.

Want to save a ton of money buying your first home? No problem! Just find one that was the site of a brutal murder.

There’s breaking off an engagement because of cold feet or infidelity, and then there’s breaking off an engagement because of his crippling terror of dogs. But that’s exactly what happened to 30-year-old James in this Hussein Kesvani piece on men who suffer from dog phobia. It’s wild.

The Weekend Binge

On the surface, The Girl in the Spider’s Web doesn’t look that much different than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Even its star Claire Foy, at first blush, more or less seems like she could be Rooney Mara, the actress who played Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher’s 2011 film. She’s also in a long line of replacements who have Aunt Viv’d the original performer. (So named after the matriarch of the Banks family in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the original actress of which — Janet Hubert — was cast aside when finding herself on the wrong side of the the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith.) In fact, everyone from The Joker to Captain Kirk have been Aunt Viv’d at one point or another.