Berlin is teeming with life! It’s constantly growing and evolving, not just regarding urban sprawl and architecture, but it’s citizens, too! For years, and, quite frankly, for too long, the hipster brigade has ruled over Central Berlin and Prenzlauer Berg. Hipsters clothing – skinny jeans, horn-rimmed glasses, Club Mate everywhere I look! Slowly but surely, though, the hipster generation is changing.

bärtige Mann


Changing, like larvae, slimy, hungry and wriggling about, they’re now gestating in a cocoon, only to reveal a bizarrely hairy and weird looking hybrid between butterfly and moth.

In the early days, when there were only a few butterflies around, I often confused them with hobos. But at the Bon Iver gig I suddenly realised I was caught up in a swarm of them, constantly procreating like rabbits. This butterfly existence isn’t practical, I heard: their ‘wings’ get in the way when cycling and sometimes bees’ll get caught up in them. It takes a lot of effort to look after them, too, and stop them from degenerating.

I’m talking about beards. Recently the entire male population of Berlin is starting to look as if they’ve just crawled from a muddy hole in the woods where they just broke free from their larvae cocoon. They’ve formed a symbiotic relationship with hipsters and have now become a part of mainstream culture. But where did this sudden urge to throw away their razors and embrace wild hairiness come from? Are they all part-time Santas this year preparing for work? Are they trying to hide their double chins or divert attention away from their receding hairlines?

I increasingly catch myself finding facial hair fashion, um, attractive for some strange reason. Frankly, I blame my anticipation for Christmas. Of course this is partly only a pretext…

To all the guys out there contemplating crawling into the ground, forming a cocoon and bursting forth as a hairy butterfly after gestating for a while, here’s a pro and con list of going beardy:


  1. Hides physical imperfections (spots, ugly chin)
  2. Keeps you warm in Berlin’s freezing winter
  3. Demonstrates your masculinity
  4. You can skip the annoying shaving regime
  5. Travelling to Pakistan is just so much easier


  1. It makes you look ten years older
  2. Kissing you makes your girlfriend come out in a rash
  3. It’s a great breeding ground for insects and retains leftovers from meal time
  4. It doesn’t really go with your horn-rimmed glasses anymore
  5. Beards are expensive – you’re going to have to invest in more shampoo and a good conditioner

So, to beard or not to beard? Remain a hipster forever or metamorphose into a moth? Berlin, make up your mind!

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