In a startling break from all we know to be true and real, you and your beard are no longer cool. This is the edict of the country’s foremost arbiter of fashion and soul-crushing mercantile activity, The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal’s reasoning (subscription required) is a bit on the emaciated side. It essentially amounts to lamenting a trend gone stale. "You go to a bar, and all you see are bearded dudes. I don't like it,” declares one follicly unimpressed millennial.
But there is a compelling stat underneath the subjectivity: According to a survey by the German grooming-peddler Braun, 67 percent of New York City men now have beards. If two-thirds of the population is rocking the same look as you – including Todd in IT – there’s a good chance you’re assaulting manifold articles of coolness. A certain exclusivity, after all, is essential to the entire game.
Which leads the Journal to make a depressing pronouncement: “Bearded men have become almost boringly normal."
If the Wall Street Journal thinks you’re boring, surely the days are numbered when you can stroke your chin and hold forth on the intricate complexities of artisanal small-batch bourbon. It was always the beard that lent authority to your 45-minute monologue.
In the meantime, experts are scrambling for a new look to arrest this plunging shortage of originality within the American male.
Some are suggesting the Donald Trump Look – aka The Inverted Raccoon – whereby goggles are employed in a tanning booth to preserve white circles around one's eyes, then surrounded by a field of skin cooked to creamsicle perfection. The look is already making headway in fashion-forward enclaves like Scottsdale and Palm Springs.
Others are seeing promise in The Combover – though not the Trumpian version, which necessitates a 24-hour on-call hairdresser and a structural engineer.
They’re envisioning something closer to the Jerry Who Manages the Dairy Section at Save A Lot Look. It entails napalming the dome of the male skull to ward off follicle intruders, then curating and growing the finest dozen hairs, to be combed aloft and highlighted as a conversation piece.
Vidal Sassoon is said to be recruiting Great Clips stylists in Wisconsin to compose the faculty of a new instructional institute, which will be established in LA.