“But it was not your fault, but mine”, yes Mumford & Sons I do believe it is. The metrosexual is on the back burner, and the beard toting, check shirt wearing, and pulled pork sandwich appreciator has arrived in the newest of male categories, the Lumbersexual. Oh great! A new craze to make the facial follically challenged men of the world to feel inadequate (of which I am one of, much to my distress).
So who or what is this new wave of man that’s slowly become an epidemic, and a source of great pining for some? Gear Junkie coined the two strengths of the term at the end of October, the first describing the Lumbersexual man as, “more concerned with existing in the outdoors, or the pseudo-outdoors, than meticulous grooming habits.
“He looks like a man of the woods, but works at The Nerdery, programming for a healthy salary and benefits. His backpack carries a MacBook Air, but looks like it should carry a lumberjack’s axe. He is the Lumbersexual”.
The second is a slightly more toned down version is the MetroJack. He is slightly tidier; he has clippered stubble, a slim legged jean and a plaid shirt whist holding a craft beer. He is stylishly unkempt.
I suppose you could argue that Lumbersexual has been infiltrating our lives for several years – we just never knew it was happening. I’d like to take you back to 2009 at the early stages of the MetroJack/Lumbersexual.
The band Mumford & Sons burst into our lives waving their banjos, crowd-pleasing choruses and granddad collar shirts, creating a stark contrast against Lady Gaga’s Poker Face and Beyoncé’s Single Ladies of the year. They arrived with their geography teacher inspired looks with an air of facial hair, the MetroJack was in the public sphere, we just didn’t have a name for it yet.
From then on in, the now “it” trend gathered pace. Kings of Leon, actors Chris Hemsworth and Ryan Gosling, models Ricki Hall and Bill Huxley have all adopted this trend (whether intentional or not) and have brought it into the mainstream. Think of the Lumbersexual and MetroJack as, dare I say it, a more ruggedly cool version of the Hipster.
Holly Baxter from The Guardian describes this strain on the testosterone world as “an extra who wandered out of the forest in Game Of Thrones”, so John Snow with a checked shirt and an appreciation of a good moustache/beard, right? Movember for a Lumbersexual must be like Christmas’ and birthdays all rolled into one. For me it’s an attempt to show the world my facial hair growing skills, or lack of.
But the Lumbersexual/MetroJack has a huge social media following and is growing by the day, if you pardon the pun. The newest subculture has profiles on Instagram, devoted to beard appreciation such as @youbeard and @beardsandtats, and has everything for a beard enthusiast to swoon over.
So with a social media following with hundreds of pages devoted to the MetroJacks and Lumbersexuals of the world. It would appear this craze isn’t going anywhere soon. I wonder if the men who encompass the description portrayed by Gear Junkie would identify as a MetroJack or Lumbersexual, or would they firmly deny any association to this new title? For the ones amongst us who can’t grow a beard, I suppose it’s just a case of cursing under our breath, and accepting that the call from the casting director of Game Of Thrones isn’t going to be calling anytime soon.
The men below define the Lumbersexual. Warning: expect beard envy.