Australia has always been the butt of the fashion world’s jokes. Up until Chris Hemsworth cut his surfer’s locks, it may have been deserved.
Times change though; now the ‘bogan aussie’ quips ring more and more hollow, mustering a laugh more out of stereotype.
That was until everyone was forced into lockdown and the (sartorial) apocalypse was predicted. As the hashtags ‘quarantinebeard’ and ‘lockdownbeard’ reached 3,937 and 489 respectively (at the time of writing) on Instagram, many fashionistas feared the rise of hairy troglodytes.
But to assume this, would be to forget an ongoing revolution.
It would also be to discount Australian men’s evolving attitude to grooming – and the impact Instagram has had on it.
Though men have always had sartorial icons to inspire them, in previous decades this has come from far-flung celebrities who, as you would remind yourself in those hairy existential moments, had an army of stylists and dollars at their disposal.
Now we are closer to those we look up to than ever before. An avid follower of Chris Hemsworth can probably tell everything from how often he shaves to exactly which of his baritone syllables makes men and women alike weak at the knees (so we’ve heard).
Not only that but your own grooming and style choices are now on permanent show to your mates, co-workers, ex’s and upcoming Tinder dates (doubly so if you are the daily protagonist of your friends and families Instagram stories or amateur Tic Toc theatrics).
Because of this, we’ve finally seen Australian men, much like they ditched their ‘board shorts or three-piece suit’ attitude about ten years ago, also ditch their ‘full on beard or nothing’ attitude to grooming.
It’s 2020 and, though everything else has gone to shit, the world of grooming has been left seductively ajar. Nothing better epitomises this in our eyes, than Chris Hemsworth’s take on the ‘quarantine beard,’ which he has nailed in the form of designer stubble – something he showcased recently in an Instagram video promiting his health and fitness app Centr.
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As the Thor star was rocking this look pre-lockdown too, Australian stylist Jeff Lack (one of the most influential experts in the local scene) hopes Australian men will continue jumping on board and realise that, even once lockdown ends, if you get your sartorial shit together, facial hair is still an option (and it doesn’t have to be a huge beard either).
“Men have definitely had a come to Jesus moment with grooming and brands are more actively marketing in this huge growth (pun intended) sector,” Jeff told us today. “Barriers have been knocked down to the point where men will talk about their routines more openly.”
“It’s almost frowned upon if you don’t look after your skin and have a decent fragrance as a signature.”
“Instagram’s influencer marketing is at top speed in men’s grooming, from clippers and haircuts to skin routines – even cosmetics are advertised through the ‘gram. This platform’s reach means that men are much more familiar with the range of products available and can follow sports stars and out of work actors’ product endorsements,” Jeff added.
As for growing your ‘quarantine beard’ or ‘lockdown locks’ Jeff says: “It’s the perfect opportunity to try home dye jobs, DIY haircuts, face masques and grow in the patchy bits best you can.”
“Godspeed oh hairy one.”
While we can’t guarantee your ‘in-between bittie’ will look like Hemsworth’s designer stubble, at least no one’s around to see you cringe internally every time you look at it. And who knows: maybe when lockdown ends you’ll be ready to rock it.