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Rupert’s Progonological Prognosis

By Rupert Truscott-Hughes on May 9, 2011 in Other

Whatever happened to the clean-shaven gent? Maybe I have been spending too much time around the über trendy Bondi backstreets rather than swanning about the besuited city but it does appear that every bloke these days is sporting some form of facial hair, whether it be a beard, a moustache or at the very least a bit of rugged looking three-day growth.

While I’m not completely opposed to facial hair (I have been known to sport the occasional manicured shadow on the weekend), the current fad has gone a bit too far. Do these people have jobs? And if so, what the heck do their employers think?

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve closely observed the bearded ones and identified a few particular progonological sub-fads.

The Kiddy Fiddler

By far the worst of these facial hair trends is the seedy little moustaches being sported by skinny, recently pubescent fellows who rarely seem to smile. I’m not sure if these guys are trying to grow beards but only succeeding in cultivating a little bit of fluff above their lip or if they are actually attempting to look like kiddy fiddlers. Regardless, I can’t imagine the ladies of the east are enamoured by them. Then again, maybe it is not ladies that these fellows seek.


The lumberjack style of big bushy beard appears to be the most popular style around the east at the moment. And it seems as though it’s a case of the bigger the better, as if volume directly equates to some sort of increased power a la Samson. My research has found that these big beards are particularly influenced by the likes of musician Angus Stone, actor Joaquin Phoenix and the chubby bloke out of The Hangover. I shudder to think what might be hiding out within those hideous tangles of hair.

Statement Mos

A statement mo offers a little more than your standard moustache. Since the onset of Movember, when moustaches became (sort of) acceptable again, local gents have had to push the boundaries a little, proving their manliness by sporting a mo all year round and adding a few extra tweaks, like curls at the end or a chopped back Charlie Chaplin look (a hazardous endeavour given the similarity of Chaplin’s tash to that of a rather tyrannical German). In my opinion, anyone who takes the time to curl their moustache has far too much of it on their hands.


Is everyone in the east on holiday? No boss that I’ve ever worked for has allowed me to get around looking unkempt yet the vast majority of males around here seem to be harbouring at least three days worth of hair along their jawlines. Is it fashion or just good old-fashioned laziness? Are these people all unemployed actors or ‘freelancers’ working for themselves?

With that said, while some facial hair fashions are clearly ‘in’, others could not be further out. Thankfully lamb chop sideburns, goatees, flavour-savers and chin straps are all largely absent from the scene at the moment, but surely it is only a matter of time before some of these reappear.

And before you start jumping to conclusions, no, Rupert will not be jumping on the bearded bandwagon. I am a bit of a fan of fashion, but a rugged-looking face just wouldn’t go with the pin stripes and Porsche!