Beards be gone?

Written by Jesse Wilkinson

I’ve got a beard.

I’ve had one for about three years now, and I like it.  I don’t plan on shaving it off anytime soon, which is why I’m rather irritated as I sit down to write this.  I’ve got an article in front of me telling me it’s time to shave.  And it’s The Toronto Star of all publications….and it’s the front page!

Why in the hell is Toronto Star so invested in this thing we are growing on our faces? Are there not enough f—ing travesties going on for them to get us worried about, they now have to be the harbingers of cool? Is this the publication that is on the cutting edge of fashion that I need to heed their advice on how I look?

But it wasn’t only that. I have recently seen articles popping up on facebook about the end of this facial hair phenomenon, as well. The focus has been on this male model who apparently started the trend and has now….can you believe it!?……shaved off his beard!

I like to think of the media as a sixty year old man, with a moustache, a spray on tan and aviator sunglasses (picture Bill Hader’s Mr Hollywood character at James Franco’s Comedy Roast) :  “Ok, get the word out – Model McModelson shaved his beard, so now beards are out! Contact all the magazines, newspapers, bloggers; tell them we are all on board. This childish tantrum of hairy indifference is over – it’s time to grow up and look clean again! ‘Can someone tell the Toronto Star? They might even do a front page story on it and Toronto will be beard-free by July!'”

I never considered myself a hipster by any means, but I will admit it has had some influence on my style over the last few years. My jeans are skinnier than they used to be, my haircut is a little hipster-ish now too, but my beard was really just a reaction to the fact that I could finally grow one!  And then this trend came along and swept me up in it and now I have to shave it off.  Well, too flippin’ bad – I would have grown a beard regardless if those skinny jeans-wearing youths had have popped onto the scene.

This ‘decision’ seems way too contrived to me – makes me feel a little uncomfortable.  And how in the hell did this male model start the beard trend?  How can you start a trend for something that inevitably happens to men’s faces?


I mean, if anyone started this trend, I’m going to have to give it to Abe Lincoln, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin….even JC before them was rocking a hefty beard!

Let’s get serious here.

All of a sudden, we’re supposed to end two thousand years of beautiful tradition because some stupid male model shaves his douchy beard off.  Not an eyeball’s chance.

I’m not shaving.  I’m keeping my beard…forever.  Out of spite.

It’s like telling women that the whole long hair thing is over.  When Sinead Oconnor and Demi Moore and Brittany Spears shaved their heads, did fashion magazines and newspapers start declaring that the trend of women’s long hair was over.  It’s time to shave those heads, ladies!  No, they actually ridiculed them a little and downright called Brittany Spears crazy.  I’m not going down the gender politics road, here, but just pointing out how silly it is to make a trend out of shaving or not shaving hair.  People grow hair; people shave hair.  Let it be.

Beards and long hair have always been in fashion and always will be.

So keep ’em, shave ’em, manscape ’em, or grow ’em even longer….do what you want but let’s not let some newspaper think it can treat us like sheep and expect that we’ll just do what we’re told en masse.  And speaking of sheep, the saying goes “you can sheer a sheep many times, but skin him only once.”  I feel I’ve been sheered enough by the media in my life….this sheep’s gonna resist this sheering.



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Jesse Wilkinson

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