Wednesday, 12 June 2013

GQ's Comprehensive Guide to Body Grooming

How to clip, shave, and tweeze every inch of your body, from the chest to (yup) way, way down under
For most men, body grooming involves walking a delicate line between looking like a caveman on the beach, or a member of One Direction. Then there are the more...nitty-gritty aspects of grooming, involving places where the sun don't shine, and even some you've probably never considered before. To help strike that balance, we consulted top grooming experts on how to prepare your body for the summer. That said, body hair is a matter of preference—both yours and your partner's. In other words, don't buzz without asking her how she likes it first.

Dear Leader Dreams of Sushi

North Korea is a mythically strange land, an Absurdistan, where almost nothing is known about the people or, more important, their missile-launching leaders. There is, however, one man—a humble sushi chef from Japan—who infiltrated the inner sanctum, becoming the Dear Leader's cook, confidant, and court jester. What is life like serving Kim Jong-il and his heir? A strange and dangerous gig where the food and drink never stop, the girls are all virgins, and you're never really safe. We sent Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Adam Johnson to meet the man who survived all the craziness
The sushi chef was leaving his apartment when he noticed the stranger outside. He could tell by the man's suit—black and badly made—that he was North Korean. Right away, the chef was nervous. Even in his midsixties, the chef is a formidable man: He has thick shoulders, a broad chest; the rings on his strong hands would one day have to be cut off. But he'd long since quit wearing his bulletproof vest, and the last time a North Korean made the journey to visit him in Japan, a decade ago, he was there to kill him.

10 Essentials: Rainn Wilson

No longer Dwight Schrute, The Office star talks about sexy custom vans, sad men with guitars, and Vitamix

Rainn Wilson's tastes tend toward the moody: indie singers, burnout actors, film noir. Not what you might expect from the man who for nine seasons starred as Dwight Schrute, the nitpicky, egomaniacal assistant manager on The Office. Or the funny guy whose media website, SoulPancake, hosts a talk show where he asks actors things like, "If you had a magic bus, where would you go?" and, "Draw a picture of your soul." Wilson's site is also home to the Internet's favorite child politician, Kid President—the black third grader who met Obama in the Oval Office—and a slew of other original content. So Wilson's creativity will clearly outlive Dwight…but in what form?

Wilson is reticent to say. Now is a fresh phase, and he's excited to do something new. There are indie film projects he's involved with, and he starred in a pilot for the CBS crime drama Backstrom, as an offensive criminologist whose only commonality with Dwight is that he's also a curmudgeon. He'd also like to get back to New York theater, where he got his start in acting at NYU. But in the meantime, the former Mr. Schrute told us about Orson Welles, swaggy custom vans, and his mini-guitar.

1. 1970s Custom Van
"When I came up with the idea for Metaphysical Milkshake, it was mostly an excuse for me to make a custom van. I've been in awe of them ever since I was a child in the '70s—there's such an air of mystery, like, 'Wow, anything could go on in the back of one of these things.' We're not completely done, but I love it. It's an awesome feeling to tool around town in this mysterious, sexy custom van, and we use it for the talk show."

The 3 Best Sparkling Wines for Summer

In the June heat, even the crispest Riesling can feel a little flat. So we're seeking relief in sparkling wines—they come in every color and flavor, and the best ones can cost less than a movie ticket. Behold the most unexpected, thirst-quenching booze of the season.

 Picture a summer afternoon. It was hot. I was poor. The bearded sage at my local wine shop handed me a surprising remedy—a Vinho Verde, gently fizzing with tiny bubbles, that clocked in at (wait for it!) nine bucks. Nine also happened to be the percentage of alcohol. Which meant that an hour later, on my roof with a friend, I was in the Happy Place: pleasantly buzzed (bubbly, you might say), but not blitzed.

8 Essential Shorts for the Summer

Chalky Chinos

At GQ, we're into wearing bright hues that are all washed-out and faded. It's the low-key way to rep more color.
Chalky Chinos

The Retro Hiker

Good riddance to a lot of '70s style, but we do dig the return of patch-pocket cord shorts.
The Retro Hiker
A Muted Plaid

Take madras back from the Nantucket set with dark, muted colors instead of garish plaids.
A Muted Plaid
Camp Shorts

The diagonal pockets give these their workwear appeal; roll the legs up for a personal spin.

Warning: You Might Be an Insta-Dick

When it comes to social media, share too much and you're boring everyone with Instagrammed appetizers. But the opposite's just as bad: Share too little and, as Mark Byrne found out, it's really easy to look like a shallow, self-aggrandizing jerk.

I joined Instagram on Memorial Day of last year, several beers into a long, boozy evening, after watching four of the people at my table use their phones to photograph the three-tiered oyster tray that had just been the table next to ours. By the time I'd downloaded the app, the oyster pyramid was gone, but I'd acquired three followers (all at the table) and the groundwork for a new way to misrepresent myself to the masses. The first picture I took, later that night, was of a bottle of wine. I don't even like wine, and it wasn't my bottle. But no one needed to know that.

Admit it: You've done the same. Maybe you don't outright lie about drinking beyond-your-budget Syrah, but a quick flick through Instagram shows mostly beach pics, fancy drinks, fast cars, and group shots of beautiful friends. (And dog photos. So many goddamn dog photos.)

Which falls in line with the general social-networking M.O. The whole game is rigged to favor the witty and the cool. Your tweets are all humblebrags, and your Facebook photo albums oscillate between Party and Vacation—or parties while on vacation. Cancún! Fourteen-dollar Manhattans! But the other six days a week, you stay in with a six-pack and Netflix rom-coms even your girlfriend is too embarrassed to watch. There are two yous: Real You and Insta-You. And there's, like, six income brackets between these people.

Welcome to your new social-media neurosis: You're undersharing.

Remember when everyone was afraid of the opposite, of giving away too much? It's why your Facebook page doesn't have your phone number and why your Twitter handle is a reference to a song lyric instead of your real name. But all that time spent trying to obscure your identity created this new problem: No one knows the real you.

I can tell you who Instagram Mark is. Instagram Mark is a man who lives on espresso and aged Manchego and spends more time with his feet dangling into pools than he does working. (Does he even have a job?) He's never eaten fast food, and his apartment is always crowded with friends. Truth be told, Instagram Mark is kind of an overcompensating dick.

Ask yourself: Would you be embarrassed for Insta-You if he were real? Would your girlfriend think he's a stooge? If the answer's anything more than "maybe," get to work evening out the dickishness. Salvation is only a few self-deprecating photographs away.

Look, I'm not telling you to skip shooting all the cool stuff you normally would. Go ahead—snap that vintage Volvo P1800, that expensive watch, or someone else's wine. Don't hold back. But the goal here—as in seesaws or a good martini—is balance. And the only way you're going to hit the sweet spot between under- and oversharing is if you constantly take stock of what you're putting out there. Consider it an Insta-audit.

Say your last three photos were from a twelve-course tasting menu with square white plates and molded orbs of foie gras. Offset the swagger with glory shots of the ham and Swiss on rye you eat for lunch every day. Last week you were in Palm Springs? This week: the subway. If the celebs-are-just-like-us tabloid staple has taught us anything, it's that everyone likes seeing photos of other people doing realistic, relatable shit. A little bit of reality goes a long way.

And hey, if your feed's beyond saving, you can always nuke your account and start over. A less dickish Insta-You is only a shiny new username away.