Video games and videos of destruction can scratch an itch humans don’t even know they have, by bringing order to a disordered world

I have perfected my bedtime routine. I do my skincare, spritz my pillow with a lavender spray, put my phone on Do Not Disturb, and dim the lights so I can hunch over my laptop watching oddly satisfying videos until I fall asleep.

The description “oddly satisfying” has gained such…


Do-it-yourself genetic DNA testing kits could be exploiting our curiosity to build the world’s largest surveillance system

When Alex* decided to use a DNA testing service in 2018, her motivation was clear: Like many African-Americans, she was hoping to discover something about her family lineage that predated the trauma of slavery. “It was an itch I’d wanted to scratch for a long time, and one I wouldn’t…


Social media is shaping a new global beauty aesthetic, and we’ve never looked more alike

Carefully cradling my head in latex-gloved hands, the doctor asked me what my ethnic background was. After replying, the jigsaw that is apparently my face fell into place and became easier for him to fix. My chin needed a lot of work. …


YOUTH NOW

Fueled by support from the Korean government, sheet masks and glass skin have taken over the world

Kimchi, K-pop, and K-dramas. Welcome to Hallyu 2.0, in which everyone in the West is losing their minds over all things Korean.

Playing a starring role is a glorious onslaught of Korean beauty products, with the K-Beauty market now valued at over $13 billion, and $7.2 billion of which is…


A broken heart hurts like hell — but is outwitting it really so wise?

A friend once told me I was addicted to heartbreak. I’ve been annoyed ever since. How could I be addicted to something that has led to terrible haircuts, spur-of-the-moment vacations paid on credit cards, and an evening in the drunk tank? Then there are the myriad ways I’ve had my…

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