I’ve always had a strained relationship with beards, and facial hair in general. I don’t grow much facial hair, barely being able to muster a mustache, but with no hope of growing a beard beyond a pathetic goatee. I can’t even grow sideburns of any substance. Sometimes this makes me sad, even to the point of being a little insecure about my machismo. I endeavored to  grow a mustache during Movember, but the resulting stache was rather weak.

Lately, I’ve been thinking more about beards. The beasts are rather popular here in Little Bay Root, especially among the hipster community. They seem to be some sort of ironic badge of masculinity, like wearing plaid shirts and work boots. The whole look has such a strange romance to it, becoming a kind of blue-collar fetish for young men who work in coffee shops or retail and somehow wish that they were lumber jacks. Interestingly, none of this comes from a desire to do physical labor, but instead to attain the masculine authenticity of the romanticized past.

I joined Pinterest recently and so I have started to browse men’s fashion, which I had been mostly ignoring since moving into the rainy northwest. My tastes have drifted, but most shocking for me is the styling. Men’s fashion seems to have way more full-on Amish beards that I would have ever suspected. Somehow this strange hipster love for beards has traveled upstream and spawned a wave of male models with thick beards. Not only do they have beards, but long hair!

Okay, I’m a bit shocked and offended, but really. A long beard and long hair is bad. I just can’t accept it. It appalls me that people are getting paid enormous amounts of money for these ‘looks.’ So now our faker-jacks have led to high-fashion faux-hemions. Lame.

Now really, this whole beard thing has jumped the shark and it’s taking its pals bacon and mustaches with it. Can we please be done with the lame over-use. Beards have their place. Some men can wear a beard with authenticity and gravitas, but scrawny dudes in their sister’s pants can not. Chubby, balding dudes trying to look more intellectual don’t look any better for the beard. It’s all in their heads, and I for one am not buying it.

Of course, this is why I will never transition from this odd state of crypto-hipsterism to a full-fledged vegan bike mechanic who reads Zizek. I’ll just have to continue being cranky until I get old enough to start waving my cane and telling those kids to get off of my lawn.

There is the possibility that in all of this ranting, I am simply betraying my own insecurity. My own feelings of inadequacy about not being able to grow a full on Quaker beard and sit around in coffee shops and talk about my band or debate which Murakami novel is the better than the others. My inability to grow facial hair leaves me needing to find some other way to fit in with all the cool post-ironic types here in Little Bay Root.

No. I’m just tired of dudes in plaid with beards and glasses. Really, just get a new look already. It’s starting to look like a uniform.