So, what’s with the beard thing?

Peter Russell Clarke

Beards, beards everywhere!

You can’t flail around on a busy street without hitting a hipster with a beard. Am I right? I’ve got to be honest with you, I’ve never really gotten the whole beard thing. I’ve just spent the last hour analysing why this might be and I keep arriving at the same conclusion. Here, let me share it with you.

You see, I was born in the 70’s and my formative years were in the 80’s. Child psychologists will tell you that you gather a lot of your ‘baggage’ during from this period because it’s when you are the most moldable. You experience things, they scare the shit out of you, and you ‘live’ (if you can call it that) for 37 years with a fear of ducks. And I should know.

Now the 70’s and 80’s were decades of serious facial hair worship championed, in my world, by men such as Peter (G’Day) Russell (G’Day) Clarke (see above photo), Bill Oddie and my math teacher, Mr Baker. All three were amply bearded and super scary so consequently beards, to this day, conjure memories of swearing and cheese, giant kittens prowling the streets of London and never, ever knowing what x is equal to.

Beards are not whimsical to me. They are not an accessory. They are not twee. They are serious business feller and you should be prepared for some cold hard facts before you start manicuring your follicles.

Here are five solid reasons not to have a beard

1. Beards are itchy. And they don’t just itch you; they itch your special friend too.
2. Beards look really hot. As in your face looks like it’s 25 degrees hotter than the rest of your body. Unless you’re in the Arctic. The Arctic is one of two regions were beards are acceptable. The Antarctic is the other.
3. Beards make you look older. Want to age a decade? Grow a beard. Is that your intention? OK then.
4. Beards attract all kinds of food remnants, which in turn attract vermin. When I leave food on my kitchen counter it attracts cockroaches. You don’t want cockroaches squatting in your beard do you? I didn’t think so.
5. Beards make you look dodgy. What are you trying to hide guy?

The end is nigh

The problem with beards is they have gone the way of visible thongs, faux hawks and Rickrolling – they’ve been embraced by the great unwashed. Once any social phenomenon has that kind of uptake you know it’s coolness currency is devalued.

I’m lucky. I know a trend is over when I hear the woman at the deli talking to a random customer about it. She’s my ugg boot wearing, frosted tip coiffing cultural thermometer. And she’s never, ever wrong.

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  1. January 19, 2012

    I was been thinking about it too when I grew my beard over December and January.

    Why are beards so frowned upon when they’re so natural? Why go to such lengths to remove what is meant to be there? It’s purely because of fashion, right? So it’s pretty awesome that fashion has given men their facial hair back again.

    Men can again know the wonderfully liberating feeling of letting nature just do it’s hairy thing, and have a socially acceptable alternative to scraping our faces with shards of sharpened steel every morning.


    Except that nobody really likes to kiss you anymore. So I’m back to daily follicle scraping.

  2. I’m still deciding on the whole beard thing. It is when they get too long and different coloured bits that it all starts to go wrong.
    I’m a fellow Perth writer too, still dealing with the rejection of my first novel but the only way is up.
    Nice blog. Good luck with your novel.

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