Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Everything old is new again. When I think about the resurgence of canning and preserving or Michael Keaton’s performance in Birdman, I can get behind this.

But the lumbersexual isn’t content with honoring the past; he has to turn it into some artisanal, curated preciousness. Authenticity is swapped out for hipness. It’s not enough for a lumbersexual to find a favorite barbeque joint and lick his fingers in spicy bliss. He has to amass a carefully curated collection of regional hot sauces and a deep well of knowledge on the best way to smoke a pork shoulder. And then create a YouTube video demonstrating the process using his GoPro and Final Cut Pro.

How do you spot a lumbersexual, a subset of the modern hipster male? Well, if you live in Portland, just walk to the nearest corner. But for other regions of the country, a primer:

Above the waist, it’s all 1871 up in there. Looking at the lumbersexual, I’m transported to the Big Woods, tapping maple trees with the Ingalls family. Beards are so long that they look like levers. Just pull on one and watch the lumbersexual turn into a human nutcracker, one that could, in his facial hair, actually store nuts—organic roasted nuts dusted with curried sea salt, obvs.

Then there’s the plaid. Don’t get me wrong; as a former Catholic schoolgirl, I cotton to plaid the way Taylor Swift seeks out high-waisted swimsuits. But I don’t want to wear it six days a week, only swapping it out on laundry day for that graphic tee that says “I shot the serif”

Below the waist, the lumbersexual is completely of the moment, outfitted either in spendy jeans so skinny he had to channel his inner teenage girl, laying on the floor to get them zipped, or in saggy-ass Goodwill denim that gives his suspenders a raison d’être.

Either way, it’s not attractive or alluring. I don’t want to get wit you or even hang with you; I just want you to direct me to the nearest barn raising or the best creek for gold-panning. So get on your fixed-gear bike—the one with no brakes—and head for the hills. Find someone else to talk to about your Whiskeytown bootlegs. Roll up your flannel shirt sleeve and show off your forearm tattoo of the butcher cuts of a pig to someone who cares about the difference between hocks and trotters, because I’m way too busy plucking, shaving, and waxing. Hair removal never gets old.


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