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Men's Health

Men are sharing the best 'unmanly' things they do that make them feel good

gender roles
Photo by We-Vibe Toys on Unsplash

There is nothing unmanly about taking a bubble bath.

As society rethinks and reshapes the use of gender roles, both sexes (and everywhere in-between) are finding more opportunities to explore previously repressed aspects of themselves. It often feels like the Wild West of gender identity—an exciting new time to break through tired paradigms in search for something that is a better fit. We can see this on both a macro and micro scale, from something as widespread as more countries legalizing same sex marriage to something as simple as a man rocking a pencil skirt and heels. Each are radical in their own way.

A Reddit user asked men to name some “unmanly” things they did that they weren’t ashamed of. Their answers, though fun to read, also have an interesting through line, one of embracing sensitivity. Or, rather, their femininity. From self-care, to arts and crafts, to crying during Disney movies, each of these activities challenges the long accepted—and often problematic—belief of what makes a man a "man."

Psychology Today contributor Tyger Latham, Psy.D. writes that “Most of us immediately identify with the adage that to be a man often means: being tough, staying in control, never crying, working through physical pain, providing for your family, and never backing down from a fight. While such roles provide men with an operational model in which to exist, they can also be extremely restrictive.” He even described a condition known as alexithymia, quite literally meaning “without words for emotions,” that many male clients encounter while trying to express what’s happening on the inside.

But what if the pursuit of happiness includes the pursuit of wholeness? Some would argue that the latter is more important altogether. Men—and women, for that matter—should be able to go fishing, knit while they wait on the pond, come home and throw on an exfoliating face mask while watching a rom-com. So yes, while these answers do serve as a lighthearted digital romp through the internet, they are also symbols of small, yet significant victories.

Without further ado, here are 18 “unmanly” things that are good for the soul, no matter the gender:


1. Sewing

“I think it is helpful for spatial reasoning, attention to detail, and creativity. It is basically construction out of a very thin, flexible material that requires the builder to create the object inside-out."

2. Bubble baths

“I don't take baths much but if I do you best believe there's gonna be bubbles galore in that bath.”

“Bath bombs rule, my favorite one turns the water black and sparkly and smells like peppermint.”

3. Cute voices for animals

“In high school there was a video shown in class, and when puppies came on screen I yelled 'PUPPIES!' in a ridiculous falsetto. I still have that reaction regularly when I see puppies.”

“I do this with puppies...kittens...cats...any cute animal…”

4. Prioritizing fashion … to the point of indecision

“There are literally a few minutes where I am stressed out wondering 'I wore that a few days ago; this is too similar to what I wore yesterday' and so on. This is mostly when getting ready for work, which is business casual. I have a dozen or so button-down shirts, but I still can't make up my damn mind.”

5. A love of all things hygge

“I love fuzzy socks, fuzzy blankets, fuzzy anything.”

“I love blankets. My birthday, Christmas, valentines day; just give me more blankets. Let me make a cave of blankets and hibernate straight through until spring.”

hyygesocks GIFGiphy

6. A fondness for stuffed animals

“I sleep with two stuffed animals. It would be three, but Pete the polar bear is now with my girlfriend in the Netherlands.”

“I still sleep with a teddy bear I got when I was 4. I'm 30 now. I hope to give it to my daughter when she is born/old enough.”

7. Checking out other guys

"I can tell when a guy is attractive, I have no sexual desire for dudes but I can tell if I find one good looking, i'd even go as far to say I have a type."

8. Enjoying domestic chores

"I love looking doing things for my wife...coffee and breakfast in bed everyday, I wash up, I pack her a lunch to take to work everyday, spoil her with little surprises a few times a month etc. Turns out my friends and my father all think I am whipped. They think she has me under her thumb. I guess they don't know that we split house chores in a number of ways but I chose to do extra things as I have some extra time since I don't have to commute - it feels fair to me.They also don't understand that when I lost my job my wife encouraged me to do my own thing and that she supported both of us for a long time to allow me to follow my dream. In short, my mates and father just don't understand or want to be with a woman who is a partner and equal in the relationship.”

9. Being the little spoon

"I'm nearly a foot taller than my girlfriend, but if we're cuddling in bed I like to be the little spoon, it's hilarious and comfy."

"I once was sitting on the floor and my girlfriend at the time was sitting on the couch giving me a back rub. She eventually wrapped her arms around me from behind and asked how it felt. 'Like this room is the only thing in the entire world.'"

“Sleeping as the little spoon is really nice because it makes you feel needed on a physical level which is really comforting."

10. Crying

“Personally, I think that it takes a lot more bravery to open yourself up to something special, such as love for a pet, than to keep everything around you at arms length to numb your own sensitivity (or vulnerability if you will) to anything. You display a willingness to express yourself, knowing full well that it could get you hurt, and then bear any resulting pain, ultimately overcoming it. What the hell could be more manly?”

“I will cry at any movie where a dog dies. Every, Single. Time. A Dog’s Purpose was a very unpleasant movie for me.”
men showing emotionsCry GIF by MasterChefAUGiphy

11. Gardening

“It’s great being able to grow things from just seeds."

12. Therapy

“Everyone needs a little bit of therapy. Even if you’re perfectly fine, everyone needs someone to talk to.”

13. Sharing feelings with the kids

"Hugging my kids, apologizing to them when I’m wrong ('sorry I accused you of making a mess outside, I just learned it was the neighbors’ kid'), and showing them it’s okay to have and express feelings. Yes, daddy can get teary eyed too when watching a sad movie. Also as an extension of apologizing for having done wrong, being able to back down. When in an argument and find out you’re wrong, it’s not weak to say 'I didn’t know that. Sorry, I was wrong.'”

14. Complimenting guy friends

"A lot of people feel it's not manly to do so but I think it's important and it feels great having a group of guys that doesn’t just bash each other all the time."

15. Interior decorating

“I spend a ridiculous amount of time looking up furniture/wall art/etc. just fantasizing about how I'm going to decorate it when I finally get my own place.”

16. Baking

“I just donned a pink apron with strawberries on it to help my girlfriend make a pie. Her family razzed me about it... but hey, no pie for them.”

“I bake and listen to Adele. Sometimes at the same time.”

17. Afternoon tea

“I don't care who you are. You haven't lived until you've eaten tiny cucumber sandwiches and scones off a three-story silver party platter.”

18. Self-care

self care for menChristian Bale Face Mask GIF by PeacockTVGiphy

“Manicures and pedicures, obviously no nail polish, but my hands and feet are usually a horrendous pile of dead skin and callouses from working out and my job. It makes me feel a little better about people seeing them, they don’t get all of them, but it definitely makes them look closer to normal.”

“I love doing a facial cleanse, tone and moisturize, makes your face feel awesome."

“I go full-on Bateman. Have multiple face masks, skin creams and hair products. Started as a way to bond with my sisters, ended up being something that centers me in the mornings and a comforting ritual a couple of times a night.”

Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.


The actual event occurred in a nano second, but the camera has the ability to slow it down to twenty seconds.

time, science, frames per second, bounced light

The amazing camera.

Photo from YouTube video.

For some perspective, according to New York Times writer, John Markoff, "If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years."


In the video below, you'll see experimental footage of light photons traveling 600-million-miles-per-hour through water.

It's impossible to directly record light so the camera takes millions of scans to recreate each image. The process has been called femto-photography and according to Andrea Velten, a researcher involved with the project, "There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

(H/T Curiosity)


This article originally appeared on 09.08.17

Health

Her mother doesn't get why she's depressed. So she explains the best way she knows how.

Sabrina Benaim eloquently describes what it's like to be depressed.

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother."

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother" is pretty powerful on its own.

But, in it, her mother exhibits some of the most common misconceptions about depression, and I'd like to point out three of them here.

Misconception #1: Depression is triggered by a single event or series of traumatic events.

empathy, human condition, humanity

Depression isn’t just over sleeping.

Most people think depression is triggered by a traumatic event: a loved one dying, a job loss, a national tragedy, some THING. The truth is that depression sometimes just appears out of nowhere. So when you think that a friend or loved one is just in an extended bad mood, reconsider. They could be suffering from depression.

Misconception #2: People with depression are only sad.

family, parents, mom, anxiety

The obligation of anxiety.

Most people who have never experienced depression think depression is just an overwhelming sadness. In reality, depression is a complex set of feelings and physical changes in the body. People who suffer from depression are sad, yes, but they can also be anxious, worried, apathetic, and tense, among other things.

Misconception #3: You can snap out of it.

button poetry, medical condition, biological factors

Making fun plans not wanting to have fun.

The thing with depression is that it's a medical condition that affects your brain chemistry. It has to do with environmental or biological factors first and foremost. Sabrina's mother seems to think that if her daughter would only go through the motions of being happy that then she would become happy. But that's not the case. Depression is a biological illness that leaks into your state of being.

Think of it this way: If you had a cold, could you just “snap out of it"?

No? Exactly.

empathy, misconceptions of depression, mental health

Mom doesn’t understand.

via Button Poetry/YouTube

These are only three of the misconceptions about depression. If you know somebody suffering from depression, you should take a look at this video here below to learn the best way to talk to them:

This article originally appeared on 11.24.15

Representative image from Canva

Because who can keep up with which laundry settings is for which item, anyway?

Once upon a time, our only option for getting clothes clean was to get out a bucket of soapy water and start scrubbing. Nowadays, we use fancy machines that not only do the labor for us, but give us free reign to choose between endless water temperature, wash duration, and spin speed combinations.

Of course, here’s where the paradox of choice comes in. Suddenly you’re second guessing whether that lace item needs to use the “delicates” cycle, or the “hand wash” one, or what exactly merits a “permanent press” cycle. And now, you’re wishing for that bygone bucket just to take away the mental rigamarole.

Well, you’re in luck. Turns out there’s only one setting you actually need. At least according to one laundry expert.

While appearing on HuffPost’s “Am I Doing It Wrong?” podcast, Patric Richardson, aka The Laundry Evangelist, said he swears by the “express” cycle, as “it’s long enough to get your clothes clean but it’s short enough not to cause any damage.”

Richardson’s reasoning is founded in research done while writing his book, “Laundry Love,” which showed that even the dirtiest items would be cleaned in the “express” cycle, aka the “quick wash” or “30 minute setting.”


Furthermore the laundry expert, who’s also the host of HGTV’s “Laundry Guy,” warned that longer wash settings only cause more wear and tear, plus use up more water and power, making express wash a much more sustainable choice.

Really, the multiple settings washing machines have more to do with people being creatures of habit, and less to do with efficiency, Richardson explained.

“All of those cycles [on the washing machine] exist because they used to exist,” he told co-hosts Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson. “We didn’t have the technology in the fabric, in the machine, in the detergent [that we do now], and we needed those cycles. In the ’70s, you needed the ‘bulky bedding’ cycle and the ‘sanitary’ cycle ... it was a legit thing. You don’t need them anymore, but too many people want to buy a machine and they’re like, ‘My mom’s machine has “whitest whites.”’ If I could build a washing machine, it would just have one button — you’d just push it, and it’d be warm water and ‘express’ cycle and that’s it.”
washing machine

When was the last time you washed you washing machine? "Never" is a valid answer.

Canva

According to Good Housekeeping, there are some things to keep in mind if you plan to go strictly express from now on.

For one thing, the outlet recommends only filling the machine halfway and using a half dose of liquid, not powder detergent, since express cycles use less water. Second, using the setting regularly can develop a “musty” smell, due to the constant low-temperature water causing a buildup of mold or bacteria. To prevent this, running an empty wash on a hot setting, sans the detergent, is recommended every few weeks, along with regularly scrubbing the detergent drawer and door seal.

Still, even with those additional caveats, it might be worth it just to knock out multiple washes in one day. Cause let’s be honest—a day of laundry and television binging sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

To catch even more of Richardson’s tips, find the full podcast episode here.


This article originally appeared on 2.4.24

Pop Culture

A comic about wearing makeup goes from truthful to weird in 4 panels.

A hilariously truthful (and slightly weird) explanation of the "too much makeup" conundrum.

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

A comic shows the evolution or devolution from with makeup to without.

Even though I don't wear very much makeup, every few days or so SOMEONE...

(friends, family, internet strangers)

...will weigh in on why I "don't need makeup."


Now, I realize this is meant as a compliment, but this comic offers a hilariously truthful (and slightly weird) explanation of the "too much makeup" conundrum.

social norms, social pressure, friendship, self esteem

“Why do you wear so much makeup?"

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

passive aggressive, ego, confidence, beauty

“See, you look pretty without all that makeup on."

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

expectations, beauty products, mascara, lipstick

“Wow you look tired, are you sick?"

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

lizards, face-painting, hobbies, hilarious comic

When I shed my human skin...

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

Not everyone is able to turn into a badass lizard when someone asks about their face-painting hobbies. Don't you kinda wish you could? Just to drive this hilarious comic all the way home, here are four reasons why some women* wear makeup:

*Important side note: Anyone can wear makeup. Not just women. True story.

Four reasons some women* wear makeup:

1. Her cat-eye game is on point.

mascara, eyes, confidence

Her cat-eye game is on point.

Via makeupproject.

2. She has acne or acne scars.

acne, cover up, scarring, medical health

She has acne or acne scars.

Via Carly Humbert.

3. Pink lipstick.

lipstick, beauty products, basics, self-expression

Yes, pink lipstick.

Via Destiny Godley

4. She likes wearing makeup.

appearance, enhancement, creative expression

Happy to be going out and feeling good.

Happy Going Out GIF by Much.

While some people may think putting on makeup is a chore, it can be really fun! For some, makeup is an outlet for creativity and self-expression. For others, it's just a way to feel good about themselves and/or enhance their favorite features.

That's why it feels kinda icky when someone says something along the lines of "You don't need so much makeup!" Now, it's arguable that no one "needs" makeup, but everyone deserves to feel good about the way they look.

For some people, feeling good about their appearance includes wearing makeup. And that's totally OK.


This article originally appeared on 05.28.15

Joy

Adorable 'Haka baby' dance offers a sweet window into Maori culture

Stop what you're doing and let this awesomeness wash over you.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.



The intensity of the haka is the point. It is meant to be a show of strength and elicit a strong response—which makes seeing a tiny toddler learning to do it all the more adorable.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

Danny Heke, who goes by @focuswithdan on TikTok, shared a video of a baby learning haka and omigosh it is seriously the most adorable thing. When you see most haka, the dancers aren't smiling—their faces are fierce—so this wee one starting off with an infectious grin is just too much. You can see that he's already getting the moves down, facial expressions and all, though.

@focuswithdan When you grow up learning haka! #haka #teachthemyoung #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp #foryou #kapahaka ♬ original sound - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

As cute as this video is, it's part of a larger effort by Heke to use his TikTok channel to share and promote Maori culture. His videos cover everything from the Te Reo Maori language to traditional practices to issues of prejudice Maori people face.

Here he briefly goes over the different body parts that make up haka:

@focuswithdan

♬ Ngati - Just2maori

This video explains the purerehua, or bullroarer, which is a Maori instrument that is sometimes used to call rains during a drought.

@focuswithdan Reply to @illumi.is.naughty Some tribes used this to call the rains during drought 🌧 ⛈ #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp ♬ Pūrerehua - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

This one shares a demonstration and explanation of the taiaha, a traditional Maori weapon.

@focuswithdan Reply to @shauncalvert Taiaha, one of the most formidable of the Māori Weaponry #taiaha #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

For another taste of haka, check out this video from a school graduation:

@focuswithdan When your little cuzzy graduates and her school honours her with a haka #maori #māori #haka #focuswithdan #fyp #graduation @its_keshamarley ♬ Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Ruanui - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

Heke even has some fun with the trolls and racists in the comments who try to tell him his culture is dead (what?).

@focuswithdan Credit to you all my AMAZING FOLLOWERS! #focuswithdan #maori #māori #followers #fyp #trolls ♬ original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!

Unfortunately, it's not just ignorant commenters who spew racist bile. A radio interview clip that aired recently called Maori people "genetically predisposed to crime, alcohol, and underperformance," among other terrible things. (The host, a former mayor of Auckland, has been let go for going along with and contributing to the caller's racist narrative.)

@focuswithdan #newzealand radio in 2021 delivering racist commentaries 🤦🏽‍♂️ #māori #maori #focuswithdan #racism DC: @call.me.lettie2.0 ♬ original sound - luna the unicow

That clip highlights why what Heke is sharing is so important. The whole world is enriched when Indigenous people like the Maori have their voices heard and their culture celebrated. The more we learn from each other and our diverse ways of life, the more enjoyable life on Earth will be and the better we'll get at collaborating to confront the challenges we all share.


This article originally appeared on 01.28.21