After a 5 week absence, I am finally back in New York, and have a message for my favorite (read: least favorite) faction of city folk:
Hipsters... Bless Your Heart.
I'm speaking exclusively to the male variety tonight. Listen gents, you are absolutely entitled to your own sense of style... but what I just can't wrap my mind around is how you can pay buckets of money to look like a dumpster. Like.... that's the ultimate goal. Look like a dumpster.
When my brother and I were in preschool, every year around Halloween all the kids would parade around the school yard in their costumes and all the parents would come watch. My greatest hits were Princess Jasmine (complete with a nude colored turtleneck leotard my mother made me wear underneath the signature crop top), and The Pink Ranger. My brother on the other hand was much more creative. One year he conceived a superhero, inspired by the 90's animated series Toxic Crusader, called "Trash Man"; a young boy who falls into a dumpster and emerges looking like trash. My mother made him his costume. It consisted of a black trash bag from under our sink turned into a poncho, onto which my mother hot glued pieces of trash. He was topped off by an empty 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke, cut into a hat. He achieved dumpster-chic for the reasonable price of ZERO DOLLARS. Unfortunately for hipsters, their specific kind of dumpster-chic requires them to be a lot less economical.
Urban Outfitters and American Apparel, the two clothing stores here in New York that I would equate to Hipster Mecca, can charge $40.00 for a distressed T-shirt, upwards of $50.00 for normal button down, and upwards of $70.00 for a zip up hoodie. The material? One would think it must be homespun by Ghandi himself, or perhaps unicorn hair woven together by fairies but no, my friends. Cotton. Just plain cotton. The fabric of our lives. Show me the Hanes. And as if this wasn't enough, they've taken it a step further. Dare I say, a step too far.
There was an article on The New York Post website back in February 2014 that only recently came to my attention. It was called "Hipster Wannabes get Facial Hair Transplants". I've linked it here, but will summarize it now. Apparently, there are more and more men in New York who are going under the knife to achieve the facial hair component of the hipster dumpster-chic look. Dr. Yael Halaas, a plastic surgeon specializing in beard enhancement, even confirmed that the majority of her clients come from the more "beard-centric" neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Park Slope. The price tag for such an enhancement? $8,500. Dr. Jeffery Epstein, a Midtown based plastic surgeon who also specializes in facial hair transplants apparently does 2-3 beard implants a week, quite a jump from the "handful" he used to do each year just a few years ago. Here are some before/after shots of a client, courtesy of Dr. Epstein to prove that yes, this actually DOES happen.
There's another fella named Danny who said having the procedure was the best decision he ever made, as before the operation he was having to fill in his patchy facial hair with eyebrow pencil to achieve his desired lumberjack look.
Danny... live your truth. But to other hipsters considering the operation, I want you to think about how many locally brewed craft beers could be purchased at your favorite Brooklyn bar with $8,500, I want you to think about the dent $8,500 could make on the yearly rent of your Williamsburg apartment, I want you think about all the flannel shirts that could find a home inside the chest of drawers made from a repurposed refrigerator that you purchased last weekend at The Brooklyn Flea. And then think about how in approximately 700 days, a new trend involving a return to the clean shaven baby face men of the 1920's is bound to take over, and then where will you be? Think friends. Just think. But for the Danny's of the world, bless your hearts. I guess it's like my Aunt Dolly always says:
Or in the Hipster case... it costs a lot of money to look like you don't give a shit.