Maddy Calls ‘Game Over’ For Beards

February 1, 2015

Ladies and gentlemen of Melbourne, I’m calling it now.  We have reached ‘Peak Beard’.

In the interest of specifics, my quarrel is not with the lush, long, full Viking beards that many of my friends and partners of friends sport. May those beards reign in undisputed power until the day they are set off down river on a funeral pyre and majestically set alight by a burning arrow.

The facial fuzz on the receiving end of my ire is the hipster beard. You know the one, and if you’re not sure what I mean head down to your local cafe and take a look at the barista. Just above the Sailor Jerry-inspired tattoos, possibly touching the collar of the meticulously chosen vintage Hawaiian shirt, you’ll see it. Perfectly manicured; usually incorporating a moustache; trimmed, conditioned and combed into follicular splendour.

The history of the hipster beard is a hazy one, but my own observation is thus: the beard popped up after the traditional tattoo revival of 2009. This itself popped up after the Interpol-led movement of men in razor sharp suits armed with glossy, suspiciously straight reverse bobs.

The hipster beard was originally sported by model-attractive men, perhaps as a way to differentiate themselves from other model-attractive men, or perhaps as a way to rugged-up their increasingly glossy look. Spreading faster than an STI raging through Pony Bar, the beard seemed here to stay.

As ‘hipster’ became a dirty word, and hipster rites were swallowed up by the mainstream, the beard gained further traction.  This hairy facial accessory began to adorn the visages of tradies from Frankston to scene kids. Men who otherwise dressed like toddlers began passing  as ‘quirky’ when teamed with a beard and a Puffin paperback.

Female supporters were worse. The ones that coldly turned away from me during my moustache enthusiast years (2007- present) were suddenly all aboard the beard train. They swooned over Ricki Hall and the Canadian bobsled team; they devoted Pinterest boards to fuzzy men and they scoffed when I called beard bandwagoners lame. Those ‘Whiskey & Coffee & Beards & Tattoos’ t-shirts screamed out from chests as I walked down the street. I suppressed the urge to yell, “You all look the same! Every one of you”.

In a move that surprised no-one, guys who couldn’t get a date suddenly started growing beards – usually in lieu of a personality. The trickle-down effect raged on.My male friends started to grow beards with varying degrees of success. At best, they looked like a carbon copy of the next guy standing at the bar. At worst, they looked like the types usually found holding a cup aloft begging for stranger’s change.

Then it happened. The last straw, the one that broke this camel’s back. Beard flowering.

Beard flowering – the practice of poking flora into one’s beard, taking an obligatory selfie (chest tattoo optional) and posting it on that playground of casual narcissism Instagram. Beard flowering was everywhere, and come Christmas time the blooms were replaced with baubles. Understandably, though disappointingly, the beard menorah never took off over Hanukkah. The real and present threat of Hanukkah-candle-fire-danger was one of the few things that even the hipsterest of beard wearers couldn’t get down with.

As the clock waved goodbye to 2014 and counted down to 2015, all I could hope was that the beard would be left behind with the rest of 2014’s sins.

It is now February and I am bearded out. The previous year has gone and I am still stalked by hipster beards. As I write this, there are a dozen designer beards dotted around the train carriage. We have reached Peak Beard! Surely it is time for baby soft faces to be liberated from under these follicular follies?

Until such time as The Great Baby Soft Face Liberation begins, I have had enough and you should have too. I’m tired of sitting in abject boredom while my male friends discuss the very best in beard maintenance. I’m tired of being confronted by an indistinguishable wall of beards after six beers. I’m tired of being looked at weirdly by beard enthusiasts.

It’s time for the beard to take its place in fad history; next to the candy-coloured butterfly clips and button-up tracksuit pants.

If you need me I’ll be lurking in Fitzroy with a can of shaving cream, a razor, and a determined expression.

See Maddy’s other posts here.

3 Comments

  1. Mahmuwd

    February 27, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    How do I read more of Maddy’s writing?

  2. Matt

    May 24, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    She’s a cunt

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