Saturday, 23 April 2011

Beards (inspired by a recent trip to Williamsburg where I suspect I was refused entry to an ‘indie dance party’ not because I was ‘roaring drunk’, as was stated, but because of my naked cheeks)


Beards: we’ve all got one. But how do we know which variety to cultivate? A sad truth about existence is that, unlike sea monkeys, we can’t bring facial hair instantly to life (unless your face is magnetised and you have access to iron filings but this probably creates more trouble than it’s worth).
Indecently fierce beards demand a decent amount of thought. And as you were busy in your checked shirts, talking soccer and rolling your own cigarettes, I did the thinking. Ever notice that the pals with nice hipster girlfriends have beards? No? Well, read on and ponder. I’m here to empower your face.
(Facial hair comes in a myriad forms, there follows merely a sample of those observed in the wild.)

Underpass chic

Mad, Rasputin locks that descend fully to your chest and surround your mouth in wiry joy.
As seen on: ‘E’ from the Eels, the guy that shouts at cars from the side of the freeway.
Pros: You’re too cool to fiddle with scissors and razors. You let your hair do as it wills. Often works best with a short haircut – it’s all about the juxtaposition, brother. You may well collect enough spare change to buy the new Animal Collective lp.
Cons: You may be refused entry to dubstep clubs for fear you’re homeless. You will lose possessions in your beard. Doors & beard = chin hurt.

RAF moustache

Although not technically a beard, it’s present on the upper lip of those determined to be more eccentric than their brethren/can’t grow hair anywhere else. Proud and bushy.
As seen on: My grandfather, Tom Selleck (a bit).
Pros: You can twiddle your moustache when deep in thought. It also soaks up beer otherwise spilt.
Cons: The effort (probably) of shaving your cheeks. It adds twenty years – not a problem if a teenager, major calamity if thirtysomething and hanging onto youth by the skin of your teeth. Nazi fighter pilots will attempt to shoot you down.

The AJ

A thin line from ear to chin and around mouth. The form of beard you may doodle on a photograph of a celebrity/mistake for a chinstrap.
As seen on: AJ Soprano, 1990s RnB artistes.
Pros: N/A
Cons: You’re a knobber and this is confirmed before your mouth is opened or gold chain necklace noticed. The thin lines of hair need precision shaving. Not good if you’ve got the DTs or a degenerative muscular disorder. Your face may ruin the final series of ‘an American landmark’ (cf the New York Times).

Pencil moustache

It’s thin. Like it’s been drawn on BY A PENCIL. Again, not a beard but let’s not be bound by semantics.
As seen on: Inter-war pimps, Vincent Price, the guy from Sparks.
Pros: Indie cool. Lovers don’t get their hands stuck in beard. Can be easily disguised, if so desired, by a finger over your top lip. It serves to underline your nose, making sneezing more profound.
Cons: You may be mistaken for an inter-war pimp. Will still have to shave the majority of your face. It serves to underline your nose, making sneezing more profound.

Indie Rock

Full beard. From ears to mouth. But with beard-hair kept short. The logical progression from stubble.
As seen on: The indie band de jour. Carpentry teachers.
Pros: You’re unable to grow a full beard, but are pubescent enough to have hair appear on your face.  Can be grown in a few days (with sufficient testosterone). Not hairy enough to put off lovers, but sufficiently hirsute to be mistaken for the bassist in that band Pitchfork awarded a really high score.
Cons: Patches – there’s LITERALLY nothing worse than an incomplete beard. Your beard may be mistaken for a ‘five o’clock shadow’ – a feature that famously cost Nixon the 1960 presidential election - ergo your beard may cause you to lose a presidential election. Your girlfriend may complain that you appear ‘scruffy’. Mark these words - there is a thin line between ‘indie rock’ and ‘bum fluff’.


We need an app that adds beards to face images. More so, we need fake beards of premium quality. Although shaving is a drag, it takes more effort than you might imagine to successfully carry a beard (like keeping a dog). Inventors of America! Heed our call! Give us bogus beards of premium quality (mind you, they don’t have to be too realistic - the darker the bar, the hipper it is). Everyone wants to be trendy nowadays – the demand for fake beards will create a new industry and the stimulated economy will carry the Western world out of recession. We’re talking heavy shit here.
Failing this, ask your mother what she thinks about your face.