Sunday, 23 March 2014



= Trendy boy

The thing that's interesting about the latest male look is the extent to which its composed of uber-masculine cliches; in a post-industrial society dominated by service jobs that have male strength is an irrelevance, to be trendy and attractive is to reassert the "butch".

As with any fashion, as it percolates down from the hip to the office worker to the point where you're almost disappointed the blerk serving you premium priced American craft lagers doesn't have a hairy face, it's well on its way to becoming a cliche, I mean heck if I'm aware of it, it already is.

What's different here though is how it's ready made for social media. Haircut'n'product aside, tattoos'n'beards offer fantastic scope to render being trendy a personal achievement with Facebook, instagram, tumblr etc., stages on which to present each new tattoo endured and every inch of facial hair grown as somehow meaningful accomplishments; this is more than just looking the part on a Saturday night, this is trendy being presented as an ongoing commitment.
What's also noticeable is how it rejects notions of the clean cut; in an era of mass graduation and declining social mobility and job prospects, it constitutes a cult of the self and the self-absorbed to be sure, but also a middle finger towards traditional lower middle class/respectable working class notions of how being suited, booted and clean shaven is the way to get on. Is this fashion as critique? Yes, but only in a wholly apathetic sense that says more about gender insecurity and dumb notions of gender. Rather, as with the "shopping riots", it's another example of how the mass response to the damage inflicted on us all by an increasingly abusive rentier class is to focus purely on the self and self-gratification.

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