World, meet the “lumbersexual.” Forget the sweaty, spandex-wearing gym-goer, and the fashion-forward metrosexual. The newest trend in hyper-stylized looks for young men around the world is the super-hairy Man vs. Wild look, reminiscent of mid-1900’s lumber workers.
This newest of trends has its origins in hipster-rich neighborhoods like Bushwick, Brooklyn, Portland, and Austin, a few years ago. At this point, fashion-forward men with a desire to be of-the-moment (and perhaps too lazy for daily morning shaves) are buying flannel shirts and beard oil by the tonne.
The trend has gained enough momentum that the Internet has responded with dating sites like “LumberMatch” and “Bristlr,” which cater specifically to bearded men and the women who love them.
What exactly does a lumbersexual look like? He’s 30 years old or younger. He might work as a barista, artisanal beer brewer, or graphic designer. He resembles a man who has been living in the woods for a number of years; a refugee from civilization. While he carries a MacBook in his backpack, he looks as if he should be carrying fire-wood back to his cabin.
What is behind the fetishization of the rugged-outdoorsman look? Is it a desire to escape the hyper-digital reality of our world? A hearkening back to the simple, close-to-the-earth values of the past? Are women subconsciously seeking the physical strength associated with the jobs that are evoked by the look? Do men seek to distance themselves, albeit mentally, from their dreary work cubicles where the physical strength they exert on a daily basis climaxes with a mouse-click? Who knows. What is clear is that the phenomenon is gaining momentum, both online (see blogs like “Your LL Bean Boyfriend”), and in Hollywood. Stars like Leonardo Dicaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Reynolds, and Chris Pratt have all started sporting serious beards.
If you’ve ever dreamed about throwing out your razor and being desired by women and accepted by society as a loveable savage, now is your chance.