Let me start with a disclaimer. I’m not beardist.
To the contrary, I have a number of good friends who sport beards of all shapes, sizes, and colors. But I do have a personal problem growing a beard—at least anything beyond the patchy mess of peach fuzz that might accumulate if I forego shaving for a week or more.
Granted, there are some benefits to my predicament. For instance, I spend less time shaving and less money on razors than most other men. But there are some pretty serious downsides to being beard-impaired.
Consider that I’m occasionally turned away from a club or bar because I appear to be underage. Presenting a valid form of ID only does so much to convince the bouncer that I’m actually in my thirties.
All right—being mistaken for a minor is not the end of the world, but going sans beard does leave me out in the cold and without much street cred on the mean streets of Brooklyn.
But hope springs eternal for my beardless brethren, even if their whiskers don’t. This city’s questionable paper of record-spinning hipsters, the New York Post, reports that men in the city are paying up to $8,500 for “facial hair transplants” that promise to thicken and balance their beards.
The Post quotes one Jeffrey Epstein, a plastic surgeon who regularly performs two or three such procedures a week. Says Epstein, “Brooklyn is probably the nucleus of the trend, it’s the hipster ‘look’ guys want. If you have a spotty beard, and you let it grow out, it looks sloppy.”
Ironically, the “I-could-care-less” look so many are after requires a good deal of effort and coin. Besides, I get squeamish at the mere thought of needles. So, I for one will express my own brand of casual apathy by refusing to play this game.
Fight the bearded man, I say! Power to the baby faced. Sure, for now we may have to pull our scarves up to hide our true colors when we’re walking through Williamsburg, Bushwick, or Park Slope. But it’s all worth it for the child discount I get at the local art house theater.