Our collective Man Card is on the verge of being rescinded. The number of lonely, single men is rising – and testosterone levels are falling. The causes of our macho decline are myriad, but a quick fix is at hand: it’s time to bring back sideburns.
It seems these days that the only facial hair options most men consider are beard or clean-shaven. Gone is the cheeky pencil-thin moustache sported so dashingly by Errol Flynn and the devil-may-care ’burns rocked by Harrison Ford’s Han Solo. The Lionel Richies and Tom Sellecks of the world still play their part in the strong whisker game, but that’s probably owed to the same reason members of ZZ Top could never shave.
Men, lonely, single ones especially, really should be experimenting more with facial hair – and sideburns are the best place to start. They’re easy to grow and look good on everybody. The subtle stubble is also a simple way to ease into letting the world know you’re civilised (trimming sideburns takes skill), yet daring enough to shirk whatever awful consensus said sideburns were best left in the 1970s.
Rich Cromwell wrote recently that conservative men love Lana Del Rey because she is ‘most definitely still a woman in an age when people struggle to define what a woman is’. I find that we are also struggling to define what a man is. Could part of our gender-blurring be due to the fact that something so definitively manly – cultivating really great facial hair – has been lumped on to the heap of homogenisation that defines so much of our sterile, unimaginative culture these days?
Psychology Today points to dating apps as one reason more men are lonely and single today.