This was a pretty crazy article with a sensationalist title of course.
How Many Bones Would You Break to Get Laid? “Incels” are going under the knife to reshape their faces, and their dating prospects.
The article is long so I’ll only cover a bit.
Truth4lie was 27, depressed, and living in a student apartment after a year in a psychiatric hospital on suicide watch when a friend showed him Neil Strauss’s pickup-artist guidebook, The Game. Together they practiced lines from the book, planning to use them on girls in nightclubs. “Would you like to kiss me? I didn’t say you could.”
In real life, pickup artistry made Truth4lie anxious. One rule stated he needed to initiate conversation with a woman three seconds after seeing her, which felt like taking an exam. Still, he tried the techniques for a few years, with middling success. Eventually, he stumbled on a forum called Sluthate, where anonymous men gathered to “discredit the effectiveness of pickup art.” In one post, a user described coming to the realization that it didn’t matter what he said because of the way he looked.
The user uploaded a selfie, and other Sluthate posters agreed, mocking the flaws in his face. They congratulated him for “taking the black pill,” shorthand for waking up to the tragedy of being ugly. Ugly people, especially ugly men, they said, are destined to lead unhappy lives and die alone.
Reading this, Truth4lie felt exhilarated. In the mental hospital, counselors had told him the roots of his depression and anxiety were repressed childhood traumas. In therapy, he relived getting in physical fights as a kid with his dad and the time he punched his sister in the head. Cognition determined emotions, the counselors told him. By changing his mind-set, he could change his behavior. But what if his problems weren’t inside him but outside? Looks can’t be changed with a mind-set adjustment; neither can the cruelly superficial world that values them above all else. The realization was awful and great all at once, as if someone were finally telling him the truth about himself after a lifetime of fake validation.
“The difference between a mirror image and non-flipped image of myself drives me crazy,” he typed one night, after spending hours comparing his phone’s selfies to his reflection. “I see all my asymmetries … How can it only be my brain?”
Friends and family said he had body-dysmorphic disorder, a condition the International OCD Foundation says affects about one in every 50 people. Psychiatric manuals describe it as an obsession with perceived flaws in one’s appearance that others don’t see or notice. But Truth4lie’s imperfections were perfectly noticeable to other forum users: weak jawline, feminine nose, small frame, thinning hair. To Truth4lie, their assessments explained why he hadn’t fit in in high school, why his ex didn’t love him, why women he looked at on the street didn’t make eye contact.
Interestingly, the “black pill” leads some men who seem to be unsuccessful with women down the road of “reverse” narcissism. In other words, if looks are everything with women then even if you don’t have the looks you must go the road of getting looks to be successful.
Seems to be the same with women’s plastic surgery: breast augmentation, butt augmentation, lip augmentation, and whatever type of cosmetic the Kardashians are promoting nowadays. Beauty is not one thing but the only thing.
Truth4lie had for a while tried to write a novel about his time in the psychiatric hospital. He read Camus, who said that life has no great meaning. He pondered nihilistic theories posited on the forums he frequented. He discovered terms like “oneitis,” a disease of romantic obsession that enslaves men, and “hypergamy,” an evolutionary principle that pushes women to seek mates above their status. In a post-monogamy society, that means a tiny percentage of genetically superior alpha guys hoard most hetero sex. There were infographics to back it up, Tinder experiments with precise data. Beyond that, there was biology: Genetic wiring controls most everything about life, the forums’ users argued, ensuring the misery of people like him.
The forums’ posters blamed their plight on women’s rising social power. Once upon a time, women without careers married for stability; today they inevitably spent their 20s riding a “cock carousel” of the hottest guys they could land, settling for an ugly or average-looking man only when they were old and used, i.e., above 30. Even then, women could hardly be depended on for loyalty. Showered with attention on dating apps, favored by divorce courts, beloved by HR diversity initiatives, women had become a privileged class. The forums rarely mentioned wage gaps, pregnancy discrimination, or sexual violence, except in jest.
When men get sucked into the black hole of knowledge (especially if they were lied to a lot about men and women and relationships), it’s easy to go down the path of nihilism. That’s where you get your incels and MGTOWs.
That’s part of the big issue that I think Churches need to do better on: discipling single men and women especially those who want to get married. Actually tell them the truth. Help them in the areas where they need to grow and mature and give them advice to be attractive.
However, the broader picture is that Christians have the responsibility to take any knowledge and wisdom captive to Christ. It’s very easy to go down the rabbit hole and lose sight of the mission completely. We’re here to evangelize and make disciples. We’re here to love and serve others. Anything that fosters bitterness, jealousy, or envy is not going to help any Christian be effective for Christ.
In Christ there is the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self control), contentment (the actual context of Phillipeans “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”), and gratefulness.