Dec. 21, 2021
Greetings, MindSite News readers. When ‘Boys Will Be Bugs’ came on the car stereo one day from her 14-year-old daughter Leila’s Spotify playlist, Founding Co-Editor Diana Hembree was amazed by the song about the vulnerability of teenage boys and the masks they so often wear. She looked up the lyrics later on YouTube and realized it would make for a great MindSite News story. We’re delighted to bring that story to you.
We’re also sharing the stories of a writer coming to terms with the deaths of two people who were important to her, and another about the powerful impact of a hit rap song about a call for help – courtesy of Logic.
Sleeper Hit ‘Boys Will Be Bugs’ Delivers a Unique Message About Teen Boys’ Angst and Vulnerability
Luke “Skycraper” James grew up in England, where he was a foot taller than all his peers (6’ 9’ by his high school graduation). A thin, painfully shy boy, he suffered derision, taunts, humiliation and being called Frankenstein and a freak to his face almost daily.
That was decades ago, but his painful teen years help explain why he feels a special kinship with the song “Boys Will Be Bugs” by Cavetown. “I really love that song,” he says. “It highlights what many people don’t seem to know: Teenage boys feel a lot of pain and torment and misery they’re expected to keep inside.”
“Boys Will Be Bugs,” in fact, may be the most important song about teen boys that most adults have never heard of. Recorded in 2018, it revolves around a lonely 14-year-old who confides his problems about acting tough to beetles, spiders and bees. Like many boys his age, he pushes parents and peers away while longing for closeness. The song is a lament, but it’s also a witty, soaring lyrical challenge to toxic masculinity.
The song was written by English singer Robin Daniel Skinner, aka Cavetown, when he was 19. Now 24, he has more than 321 million views on his YouTube channel, and judging from the comments there, “Boys Will Be Bugs” may be helping shape the conversation about the mental health of teenage boys (and girls).
“Boys Will Be Bugs’ is wonderful,” says Dr. Barbara Greenberg, a clinical teen psychologist in private practice in Fairfield, Connecticut. “I think it really resonates with teens because the singer makes himself very vulnerable. He’s singing out loud about teen boys’ inner conflicts and the fact that boys would be taunted terribly if they showed their vulnerability… The song has sparked a conversation among young teens and youth that is really important.” Read the full article on MindSite News.
On a one-year search for answers to two inexplicable deaths, our writer stumbled on solace by talking through private pain.
When Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” – the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline – was performed at three high-profile events, it was linked with a measurable drop in suicides, according to a new research study.
Long-term study of child health and brain development shows big benefits to the brain from learning a second language. Plus public mental health workers are under serious stress from what is called financial precarity.
Everyone loves Ted Lasso. His fans include Diane Sawyer, Dolly Parton, and Ryan Reynolds — no small feat for a fictional football coach who finds himself running a British soccer team.
If you’re not subscribed to MindSite News Originals, click here to sign up.
Support our mission to report on the workings and failings of the mental health system in America and create a sense of national urgency to transform it.
For more frequent updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
The name “MindSite News” is used with the express permission of Mindsight Institute, an educational organization offering online learning and in-person workshops in the field of mental health and wellbeing. MindSite News and Mindsight Institute are separate, unaffiliated entities that are aligned in making science accessible and promoting mental health globally.