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The Beard Transplant — Prepping for the Selfie

williamthomasw

The trouble with trends today is that you can’t kill them with pesticides before they get started and you can’t quarantine them once they do. Now, I know this makes me sound hopelessly untrendy, but I prefer to eat Smarties rather than smoke them or snort them, which some kids are doing today. I would rather pour a shot of vodka into a glass of Spicy Caesar rather than poor it directly into my eyeball so that the alcohol enters the blood stream through veins in the socket, keeping me from having it on my breath. (Honest!)

And I prefer windsurfing to car surfing because, although you can get hurt while windsurfing, you’re not likely to get run over by a car.

So yeah, if trendy is fashionable then I’m as outdated as clam diggers and galoshes and might I add, I never wore them together. Okay?

Never mind those current social trends. It was the headline “Baby-faced hipsters sign up for beard transplants” that caught my interest.

Recently this facial fad began in Brooklyn, New York, among trendy young men who do not like the look of their spotty beards, so they are paying on average $8,500 to have plastic surgeons perform hair transplants. (Is there nothing a plastic surgeon will not transplant, tuck or tighten for a few thousand dollars? So far, only toenails and ear wax have been left off the menu of cosmetic surgery.)

The hirsute switch is pretty straightforward: The surgeon simply removes hair from another part of the body — like head, chest and other regions — and implants it into the unhappy face of a man who has way more money than whiskers. I’m guessing there could be complications.

As the years go by, wouldn’t both his head and his face start going bald at the same time? Or he could get confused and although his chest hair keeps on growing, for some reason he continues to wax his chin. Or one day he looks at himself naked in a full length mirror and screams out loud because he thinks he now has two noses. Have they really thought this procedure through?

The only upside I see in beard transplants is a huge economic boom among Amish men. I can imagine the ad already: “Take all the hair you want from us. Me and Ezekiel will grow more!”

The article I read claimed that facial hair transplants are also quite popular with female-to-male transgenders, Hasidic Jews as well as baby-faced dudes. Sorry, but I wouldn’t have a clue as to what wine to bring to that party.

The transplant procedure, which costs just a little less than a new Hyundai hatchback, ranges from filling in a few bare spots to whole beard construction. Covering the entire spectrum, this trend serves both a guy from Brooklyn named Avi wearing a flat fedora to a fresh-faced Navy Seal about to go undercover with the Taliban.

One transplant patient claimed the surgery saved him from filling in the holes in his scrawny beard with eyebrow pencil every day. Really? Except for the bright green colour, wouldn’t gluing some of that indoor/outdoor carpeting to the bare spots work a lot better? It’s guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Occasionally, patients bring in photos of celebrities and male models they want to look like. The cool beards of George Clooney, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt are most popular. Justin Bieber’s facial hair is not highly prized but they expect it will be as soon as he grows up.

Let’s hope beard transplants remain a male affectation, because if women start coveting the facial skin of celebrities and models, those L’Oreal girls will have to appear in TV commercials wearing ski masks.

Suddenly Hans Langseth, that Swede who’s in the Guinness World Records for sporting a 17’ 6” beard … he must think he just won the lottery! Seriously, that guy could fill every bare patch of male facial skin in Brooklyn and still have enough left over for two five o’clock shadows.

And that woman, Vivian Wheeler from Bakersfield, California, who holds the record for world’s longest female beard that’s 11” long and still growing — she still can’t get a date, not even when Sadie Hawkins Day falls on a Saturday.

If we’re looking for a name to label this decade, of which we’re quickly approaching the halfway mark, “The Span of the Selfie” works for me. The era of the forged self-portrait — fake it, take it and send it around the world. Do you get the feeling that if the world ended tomorrow in a nuclear holocaust, people under 30 years of age wouldn’t realize it was all over until they noticed their mirrors were broken.

I think the great … I’m not sure who the guy is … Chris Jami summed it up best when he said: “Any fool can do something cool and look cool, but it takes skill to make something uncool cool again.”

Exactly, man. Exactly.

For comments, ideas and copies of  The True Story of Wainfleet, go to www.williamthomas.ca

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