Disclaimer: As I wrote this, several friends of mine that sport the shaved head / goatee look came to mind. If you are one of those friends, please feel free to completely disregard this. You're also welcome to tell me to go to hell in the comments. I mean who am I to tell anyone how to look, right?
With that said and at the risk of antagonizing Stone Cold, it is time for this to be declared loud and clear. The shaved head with goatee look needs to die a quick death. Guys, you don't look tough. You don't look dangerous. You look like a guy that's trying to look tough and dangerous. And that never works. You look like an angry high school football coach. Not the kind that loves the game of football and enjoys influencing the lives of young men. No, I mean the asshole that takes pleasure in verbally abusing teenagers that are desperately trying to impress them. The guy that has made a profession out of being a vulgar bully. Of course you don't need to have the scalp goat to qualify as the second type of coach. Take for example, one particular football coach from the greater Salt Lake City area circa 1996ish. For the sake of anonymity, let's call him Larry Wilthon. He had a full head of hair (and back and shoulders and butt) and had no consistent goatee but he was the living definition of the term "asshole football coach that takes pleasure in verbally abusing teenagers that were desperately trying to impress him." I'm just saying the scalp goat points you in this direction. And it's certainly an area to be avoided.
Yes, nothing says "I am angry and poorly educated" quite like the scalp goat. "I aspire to be a bouncer at a strip club." I thought that after Mark Hacking, this thing would have died out. The same way you don't see any Hitler mustaches anymore.
Before I go on, let me make one thing clear. This only applies to white guys. Black guys almost always look good with a shaved head and some kind of facial hair. Jordan, Barkley, Michael Wilbon, post 1996 Karl Malone, Gordon from Sesame Street, Humpy the Bear. Handsome devils, everyone of them. This look works for all of them. But name me one white guy with the scalp goat who doesn't look like White Power Bill from Arrested Development.
In fact, not only does this tandem need to be forever retired, both elements of it need to fade away as well.
Look guys, no more shaving of the heads. Can we agree on that? (Again, this does not apply to the brothas.) A few months ago, I highlighted the ridiculous lie that is the comb over. In that post I praised confident, dignified bald men everywhere that have the defiant courage to trim their sides tight and be unapologetically bald. The same principle applies to head shaving. Now, there is no real comparison between the laughable facade that is a comb over and shaving your head. Going the Bic route is certainly a preferred alternative. But that is only when that alternative is a comb over. Unless you're Bruce Willis or Billy Corgan, you look better sporting what hair you have left than a shiny, shiny, bare skull.
The other half of this combo that needs to die is the damn goatee. Ten years ago I proudly coined the phrase "mullet of the 90's" to describe these things. They were the kind of fashion trend that sure looked good at the time, but would soon become comically dated. Unfortunately, I was premature in my declaration. We're now at the end of the next decade and they're still going strong.
Now I'm not going to go so far as to say that all goatees must go for good. There is a time and place for them. And that place is college. Rather, your early to mid twenties. But unless you're Robert De Niro in Heat, you can't pull off a goatee if you are over the age of 25. I'm talking to you, Kyle Whittingham.
To be able to really make that goat work, you have to be one cool son of a gun. It is important to note, that the goat never makes you any cooler than you already were. In fact, if you try to increase your coolness with such an accessory but lack the foundation to make it word, it backfires horribly. If you are a grown man, and you wear a shirt and tie to work, you should never have a goatee. Ever. It doesn't make you look young or hip. It makes you look douchey.
This goes triple for soul patches or flavor savors or nipple ticklers or whatever you want to call them. Again, when you're a backward baseball hat wearing, quarters playing, roofy dropping college jackoff, the soul patch fits the description of what you are. However, when you grow up and get a job that requires you to wear pants, the soul patch makes you look like that guy who never stops talking about "back in the day" when they were a backward baseball hat wearing, quarters playing, roofy dropping college jackoff. You don't ever want to be that guy.
Perhaps the worst part about this whole goatee thing is that a full, manly beard always looks good. Every time. Without exception. Well , one exception. But he's an ugly bastard regardless. Whenever a guy can grow a stupid looking goat, that means there's a proud, testosterone flaunting, full beard being shackled. (Did this post just turn really gay?) Take for example Kevin Yukilis, the first baseman for the mighty Red Sox. I love Yuke. I love him. (Yes it did.) But look at this picture. Now look at this picture of him during the playoffs when he grew the whole beard out. There's no comparison. The Lumberjack will always beat White Power Bill.
There is one exception to the no goat rule. And that is the academic goat. This is reserved for men who are at least 55 years old, who have a good amount of gray to their beard and wear lots of tweed. For this specific goat to work, it needs to come to a swirly point. It also is nicely complimented with some wire framed glasses. This is the Lenin. Or the George Albert Smith. That's a classy look. But it is one of the few moments where it is acceptable.
So let's all do our part in making this trend go away. The next time you see a guy with a shaved head and goatee, point and laugh. Unless he has a visible swastika tattoo. If that's the case, it's probably best to just leave him alone. Of course, what the hell do I know? I certainly wouldn't advocate the world look like me. "Hey, everyone should have a giant, fat head and constantly look like they're pissed off, even though they're not." Yeah, probably not.
Just for tricks, here is a clip of White Power Bill (a shiny building of a man) from the first season of Arrested Development. There's a lot of other stuff in this clip too. Anyong. I'm not going to bother explaining it. I've said a thousand times already, but you really need to watch this show.