Soul Patches (aka ‘Clit Ticklers’), Goatees & Lamb-chop Sideburns – or any other combination of facial hair that wouldn’t look out of place on a sound-engineer mixing an ‘Alice in Chains’ song, for the soundtrack to the movie ‘Singles’, in a recording studio in Seattle circa 1992 – are all still weirdly popular with a large percentage of modern day, Kiwi men.
New Zealand can be remarkably forward thinking on occasion, in technology, politics or fashion. Sadly, the rest of the time it is trapped in a roughly decade-old time warp – not as socially retarded as, say, the very medieval Afghanistan, but always just a few years out of date.
Other popular fashion mistakes from the not-too-distant past, still breathing their last gasps on our far flung corner or the world, include: skirt over trousers; double denim; dreadlocks; boot-cut jeans; and ‘that surfer look’.
But it is our dudes who really carry the torch for slightly-out-of-date-grooming. It is a hairy torch, it is neatly trimmed, and they wear it on their faces. And if they had girlfriends (and their girlfriends didn’t wear skirts over trousers) they would tell them to shave it off, or grow it out.
But they don’t. And so we are constantly reminded that, nearly 20 yeas ago, New Zealand was the one country, outside of the USA, that really – and I mean really – embraced Grunge.
So hard, it seems, that we’re still covered in it’s well-edged whiskers.