“Foam head lady” is a rather odd search that you’ll likely see turning up on Google Trending sometime in the near future. That’s because of the runaway smash viral sensation that one unnamed woman sitting in a waiting room has become since spreading across the web Wednesday afternoon.
The stories also all parrot each other on the circumstances behind it. A woman, believing that she’d picked up a can of hair mousse was in reality picking up a can of polyurethane foam — often referred to as “builder’s foam” — and instead of styling her hair the way she intended, ended up with a makeshift helmet that no doctor in the world could possibly look at with a straight face. (Hence “foam head lady.”)
The question: is it a real photograph or staged?
What is so troubling about these viral stories, usually, is that they take off so quickly and so many people want to jump in on the action, that no one pauses for a moment to think if this could be from a future Monty Python successor.
What has caused many commenters to pause and wonder if it’s real is the fact that virtually no details have been given by anyone to corroborate. Furthermore, with this being a real medical event, records are likely sealed so if the person involved doesn’t come forward to say, “Yep that was me,” you and your Facebook friends are pretty much going to have to decide for yourself.
What this does have going for it: it’s become so popular on sites like the Mail and social media that you would expect any fakers responsible to step up and take credit by now. (None have.)
Furthermore, there is the look on the face of poor “foam head lady.” She is adequately mortified to be sitting there with half a house growing on top of her head. It’s exactly the way most people would likely react to doing something so absent-minded. The picture also has the feel of authenticity, like someone in the waiting room got up to “get a drink from the water fountain” while they just so happened to have their phone out and pointed discretely in the woman’s direction.
To date, the photo snapper, the woman, the hospital, and even the country of origin, are all a mystery, so whether this is real or not ultimately depends on whether you want it to be.
Judging by some of the numbers, many of you do. The Mail showed 457,000 shares as of Wednesday night, and the story continues to dominate social sharing for other popular sites like the New York Daily News, which at this point is up to 2,000 after having just been posted a short while ago.
One thing is for certain if it does turn out to be authentic. It wouldn’t be the first time that people have done really dumb things to end up in a hospital.
A reddit thread popularized through BuzzFeed in 2014 shared the responses of 16 different medical professionals, who weighed in on their dumbest patients.
Here were a few of the responses.
“Had to explain to a 27-year-old female that this bleeding she was having for a week every month was normal and why. She had two children.”
“Had to explain that Band-Aids do not cure anything, but just cover up a wound. The patient in question had tried to cure her recently diagnosed Type-II diabetes by sticking Band-Aids all over herself.”
“Patient comes in with her boyfriend. They are indignant, as if somehow I could’ve prevented the pregnancy. The problem? Well, the pills were bothering the girl’s stomach, so, being a gallant bf, he decided to start taking them instead.”
Do you think the foam head lady is a real thing or staged for the laughs?
[Image of foam head lady, source unclaimed]