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KATE: Will we ever see the end of the beard trend?

The article appeared in the Sunday Style on 27/03/16 

THERE ARE, I believe, a couple of rules that have to be adhered to if you’re going to give financial advice.

Firstly, you (surely!) need to have some sort of qualification in a financial field, or be clairvoyant, because — let’s face it — at times there doesn’t seem to be much difference.

Secondly, you have to declare any association you have with a company that might be giving you a “rolling commission” (a kickback, as it’s known to us) for recommending their product.

So, allow me to provide full disclosure. I’m spectacularly unqualified in all matters of money, except for spending it.

Also, possibly because of my above self-declared inexpertise, no financial companies have ever expressed interest in retaining my services in a professional capacity.

So you can rest assured that my money-market recommendations are totally untainted by self-interest or any sort of knowledge.

Now that’s out of the way, I’m about to give you some killer share-market advice. Buy razor blades. Yep. Hunt down some Gillette or Schick stock, and sink your life savings into them. Because, to quote that deity of the money market Warren Buffett, you have to “buy when there’s blood in the streets”.

Actually, it might’ve been Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street who said that. Whatever… Blood is what we want, people, and lately razor-blade companies must’ve been haemorrhaging.

Ironically, they’re suffering because our men have stopped bleeding. It’s no secret that those with XY chromosomes have stopped shaving their handsome faces.

Of late, they prefer to cultivate their facial hair, sometimes into a modest ’80s perma-stubble, but often into what appears to be actual metre-long mohair windsocks dangling from their chins.

In fact, if it weren’t for older gents like my dad, who are always impeccably shaven, 15-year-old boys self-consciously committed to removing their sprouting bumfluff, and the ladies of our great continent who (mainly) continue to prize a hair-free leg and pit, razor-blade companies would have gone to the wall. 

But I’m making a bold call here. We’ve surely reached peak beard. Every bartender sports one. Every barista. Every top-knotted, scarf-wearing, bike-riding, social-minded, wacky-rimmed-glasses-wearing, courier-bag-carrying community arts worker.

Waiters, bankers, my postie, tradies — even footballers are sporting the full Ned Kelly.

And though I’m partial to a beard, it’s hard not to shudder when you look into the kitchen of a restaurant and see all those long-and-curlies waiting to garnish your plate, like so much modern alfalfa.

But here’s the thing that really makes me sigh. Men already had it easy in the grooming stakes.

So easy. They’ve never had to use foundation. Or paint their nails. They rarely wax their legs, or their secret gardens.

They never have to squeeze into a Nancy Ganz, get a blow-out or master the application of cat-eye liquid eyeliner.

They don’t have to spray tan before a big event, get acrylics, exfoliate regularly, get their “unruly brows” tamed, slather on hair treatments, swap handbags, endure laser treatment for uneven pigment, delicately cream their under-eye tissue, slap on moisturiser after a shower or go to bed with cotton socks on over a foot balm.

Basically, they’ve had one job. Shaving. And they’ve stopped doing that.

It means they save even the paltry 15 minutes per day they previously spent on grooming.

No wonder they look so pleased with themselves — they think they’re the cat’s whiskers.

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