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We don’t like to use labels
There’s nothing wrong with calling your significant other ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend,’ but it seems that our society is becoming increasingly dependent on what things are called, rather than what they are. This may likely be a side effect of a culture based so much in appearances that we almost entirely lose sight of the true essence of a thing, and then with a nasty dose of brand-intensive consumerism piled on top. Things apparently aren’t unless they have the right name.
The reason for bringing this up is a new trend, which has seemingly found some footing among some people somewhere, called Lumbersexual. Exactly. What the [expletive]? From what we’ve read, the trend is comprised of guys wearing longer beards, flannel shirts, quality denim and well-crafted boots. More or less, it’s just dressing for most of Michigan’s year round weather, but doing so with an appreciation for those items that are made to last by people who care, and, of course, growing long, majestic beards because they can. So, it’s apparent how close to home this one hits for us, and we want to make something clear, and attempt to do so without coming off sounding overly critical or like so-incredibly-hip-we-have-to-reject-this-obviously-unhip-thing-because-of-its-blantantly-contrived-nature kind of guys.
We encourage everyone to grow their beards to their heart’s content. And, above and beyond that, we advocate for the grooming and maintaining of those beards so that they look the best that they can. Similarly, we are hugely supportive of the little guy, the small business set up to create a superior product for the keen, appreciative eye. There’s plenty of crap out there, but we’re glad whenever someone decides not to settle, but rather to raise the bar. That being said, wrapping all this up in a trendy new package and giving it a silly name so that people can look in the line at an independently owned coffee shop and say, ‘well, hey, would you look at the beard on that lumbersexual!’ Come on! Reducing a man who makes a series of choices into a label like lumbersexual denies that man the dignity and responsibility attached to each of those individual decisions. This and similar catchalls describe a cookie cutter lifestyle package that is almost assuredly not how a man in a beard and a flannel shirt came to look the way he does. We cannot sit quietly while men’s decisions, their very identities, are reduced to one general label by people who likely don’t fathom the passions and philosophies that often lead other people to become the people they are.
Whew, sorry. Had to get that off of our chests. And, to be clear, it’s not that we don’t want beards to become a popular trend and appear on more and more faces (preferably men’s) all over the place. It’s just, well, I think you might see our point of view by now. Let’s not beat a dead horse. There are plenty more grievous offenses being perpetrated at this very moment. We just want to look out. Thanks for listening, and sorry that this one didn’t quite deliver in the humor department.
- Jacob Smith