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E/N, Grooming

We’re Leaving Beards in the 2010s

Brandon Adamson

And by “we’re” I mean me obviously. Everyone else can do what they want. It was a difficult decision for me, because I definitely look better with a beard than without one (just going by my sexual track record here). In my experience, most girls seem to prefer facial hair on a guy, whether it’s a full beard, Magnum P.I. inspired mustache, 90210 sideburns or just plain old lazy scruff/stubble. In fact, I can only remember one girl that I ever went on a date with who said she didn’t like facial hair, and I assumed she was full of shit (but I still shaved anyway just in case).

Anyway, none of that matters at this point. My priorities have evolved, but more importantly, I feel as though the “beard” look has been completely ruined by tech bro normies and trashy nu-hipsters. I get so sick of seeing these trendy airheads larping as urban lumberjacks, clammering on about boutique beard oils as they sip craft beers after a long day of work at the social media marketing agency. Not to mention all the cheesy, bearded MMA douchebags with their ugly tattoos and gross, blaring music. When I look at these people I certainly don’t see the “chad” archetype. I see inexplicably glorified riff raff.

For me, the 2020s will necessitate a more classically groomed appearance, to complement an acquired aura of ice coldness. Call it “white frigidity” if you will. To be clean shaven in 2020 is a subtly symbolic act of defiance… a sanded down, personal antiseptic antidote to the world of garbage we currently inhabit. It is ⁠— in some small, pathetically strange way ⁠— satisfying, to walk through a crowded marketplace with a look that says “almost all of you people disgust me” (perhaps that will be my campaign slogan if I ever run for office). Cold, calculating realism — in the face of a relentless onslaught of petty pests, clueless managers, ostracizing hall monitors and regurgitated bromides — is what will carry us through the 2020s.

In case you’re curious as to what shaving and hairstyling products I favor… well, that’s a worthwhile digression. For shaving I just use Edge Gel and basic bitch Bic razors. I’ve grown tired of seeing all these overpriced and overhyped, huckster hawked grooming products that feature the same trendy “natural” ingredients, slick marketing campaigns and feaux-earthy scents like “sandalwood.” What’s that? “No alcohol. No parabens. No mineral oil?” Cool, then I’m not interested. I want classic, common drugstore grooming products like Vitalis, Groom & Clean and Aqua Velva-—items which were household staples for decades and contained ingredients such as petrolatum, sulfur, pine tar, PPG-40, menthol and lanolin-—ingredients which were often effective for reasons we’re just now beginning to (re-)discover. Brylcreem was good enough for Ronald Reagan to use for 50+ years after all.

I remember about 15 years ago, there was an online philosophical resurgence of “dandyism,” which was propagated by intelligent writers like Christian Chensvold. As a nostalgic person who’s often accused of living in the past, I respectfully found the scene interesting and followed it for awhile. I never participated though, because it seemed too highbrow for my tastes and tended to revere eras and figures I wasn’t particularly interested in (Ivy league WASP styles etc.) My ideal “distinguished” aesthetic would be something along the lines of Richard Nixon’s “slicked back with the receding hairline” look or Cary Grant in Charade -— a far cry from Beau Brummel or the Fitzgeraldian Gatsby.

Bottom line here though is that I don’t really give a rat’s ass if I’m less attractive when I shave. I’m going to do it anyway. It’s a small price to pay for a more astringed, streamlined, razor sharp and aerodynamic existence. Just exfoliate and cut away all the layers of crap and run with whatever dime store topaz is left.

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