Grow a Sac You Bearded Hipsters!

by Nate "Chops" Johnson on October 10, 2014


nate johnson bearding champion Let me start this article by saying, I realize having a thick beard is socially acceptable right now. A lot of guys are growing them that never did before, and I completely understand why most men have not been able to grow them out previously…work environment, what women want/expect. Men’s appearances are very much driven by these factors. But beards are no longer seen as a sign of social rebellion, being homeless, laziness, or terrorism, and this is allowing men to FINALLY express and experience their facial masculinity without backlash. In short, they get to see what their natural, raw, manly self looks like when given the chance to be set free.

This article is not about them. I’m by no means calling out the men that used to be clean-shaven but have let the caveman out because it has become more socially acceptable and are feeling out their masculine appearance. I’m calling out the bearded hipster. The quirky dressing guys that didn’t grow a beard to express their masculine abilities, but who literally grew it out because he sees it as trendy and is trying to be cool.

I can spot them a mile away. Usually wearing their mothers’ oversized cardigan (and it’s 90 degrees outside), inside-out shirt, rolled shorts, purposely mismatching printed socks, and Ray Ban type glasses with the lenses removed. Looking like they showed up naked to the laundromat and took one item randomly from each dryer while blindfolded and put them on for the day. These are the guys that use disposable cameras for ironic appearances, but then immediately take out their smartphones to take a selfie (but never smile, and always looking thoughtfully off in the distance for some reason).

Having been in the pro-bearding world for a while now, I’ve gotten accustomed to both receiving compliments from complete strangers and giving them to passersby. I have no problem seeing a stranger with a beard on the street or in the grocery store, making direct eye contact, and giving ‘the nod’ (every man knows exactly what that is and what it means…if you’re a lady reading this, ask a fellow), a thumbs-up, or sometimes, if it’s a stellar beard, I’ll even tug my beard and say “nice beard man”.

Because I am heavily bearded, and clearly acknowledging their beards and manhood with respect, men’s faces light up, especially when I hand out a card for the beard club I belong to (Los Angeles Facial Hair Society), or a flyer promoting a beard related event. I can see the pride in their eyes no matter what type of beard nature has given them, whether wispy or thick. They own it, are deeply and personally proud of it, and I, as a bearded gent, guarantee you they say a “hell yeah!” to themselves when they see their reflection. These are the men that want to show what they grow and have that aspect of their manhood appreciated, much the same way the gym-obsessed want their bodies and hard work appreciated by both genders, though for different reasons obviously.

But when I approach hipsters with facial hair, they just stare at me like I’m from another planet. When they see me, their already in place, well practiced, air of snooty self-righteous coolness becomes amplified.

It took me a while to figure out why and I think I’ve got it. I interrupt their social posing, and put a spotlight on a fashion piece they are trying to be quietly ironically cool about, but are ultimately insecure about. To them, the beard literally is the latest got-to-have accessory. Not an exploration of their masculine nature.

nate johnson bearding champion

I’ve also realized they are threatened that my 20 inch porno-cock-of-a-beard (insert sound fx: thud!) standing by their 2.5 baby inches (at best) that took them a whole year to sprout, might “out-cool” them. It does. I’m aware if it. I love it.

I’ve gotten to where I don’t even address them any more. I don’t compliment them. I don’t give them ‘the nod’. I don’t even validate them and look their way when I notice they are around, nor show any sign of respect. Their ironic “oh, I’m like so over everything” posing attitude annoys me beyond belief. To the point where I roll my eyes because “like, I’m so over it” and am embarrassed for them. Their beards will be gone the second it’s suspected they may be deemed socially uncool (or too trendy to be considered ironic any more). To them, the beard is easily disposable, like fashion, or their cameras.

So if you’re a man who isn’t afraid to unleash the beast and show what you grow now that it’s socially acceptable for you to, grow on brother! Grow on!

But to you hipster types, I have one simple thing to say, quit posing with that air of high-school bitchiness only teenage girls can pull off, stop being such a pussy about your masculinity, own your sac, and man the fuck up! Beards are for real men.

As I crack open the hipsterest of hipster beverages in all of Hipsterdom…a PBR.

nate and pbr

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Nate Johnson (Sr. Contributing Editor, Los Angeles)

Nate “Chops" Johnson currently holds more than a dozen competitive bearding titles, including 6, 1st place victories, and 2 for Best In Show. He lives in Los Angeles, and enjoys Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mark Brophy October 11, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Enjoyed your article, especially the last two paragraphs, couldn’t agree more! Consider this a long distance nod from a fellow beardsman up here in Canada.

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