INVASION OF THE BEARDS!!
I blame Devendra. Devendra Banhart is a great folk musician: but from the get-go, most of the media attention he got centered on his beard.Nobody could give a flying folk about his music, they were far too distracted by his face fur.
His 2007 beard (yeah, I follow it -and what? We all need hobbies!) was a game changer. Before then, you got your Tom Ford-esque designer stubble, sure, but nobody who enjoyed showers was going to cultivate full on face-fuzz.
Of course, it definitely helped that back in 2008, he started to step out with the exquisite Natalie Portman. The press loved it: barely a day went by without reports of Natalie Portman being spied with a homeless guy - or wait - is that actually her boyfriend?
Despite all the mean homeless guy related journalism, the beard caught on. And now, this full beard, channelling both Norwegian fishermen and 1970s San Franciscan hippies, has reached its apex. Rush hour on the tube has become more of an adventure than ever as you travel with your face pressed up against at least three beards at a time on the Circle Line. We're guessing East London's drains are clogged up to the max with beard trimmings - because don't be fooled. These beards may look carefree, every hair is carefully considered...
Sure, it goes nicely with that whole pared back 1950s Stalinist Russia communist factory worker thing that every boy in East London seems desperate to channel these days: minimalist jackets, tough boots, those little woollen hats, but it's a bit trust fund grunge. It's one thing if you're a folk singer struggling to make it, but if you're on 50k a year, your straggly beard just seems a bit...contrived.
In a neat 360, the Huffington Post did an interview with Devendra this year (citing him principally as "Natalie Portman's ex boyfriend" - stay classy Huffington Post!)and he's hacked off the beard, cut off his beautiful hair (weep!) and is working some stubble. He looks good – young and happy despite being Portman-free, and suddenly he’s been snapped up by a major label. Let's hope his de-bearding proves as much of a trend as his vast beard...
FOR MORE BEARDS: http://100beards.tumblr.com/
FOR MORE DEVENDRA: http://www.devendrabanhart.com/