Illustration by Alana Hackman

Take a man to the barber shop for the first date. 


by Alana Hackman

If you were alive in 2016 – which I hope most of you were – you are probably familiar with the meme, “take her swimming on the first date,” in reference to the glam makeup that was trending at the time. Makeup-wearers were showing up to third period Pre-Algebra in Anastasia dip brow, matte semi-permanent liquid lipsticks, false eyelashes and the glitter cut creases.

Mainly men — young boys I should say — weaponized this sweet and fun makeup against women at the time to birth the meme. It alluded to the idea that if women swam on the first date, their makeup wouldn’t stay on and you would see their bare faces for what they really are. Many used the meme to reference that you could finally see she was actually ugly? I don’t really know. Just another way to criticize nothing but some girly fun! It doesn’t really make much sense either cause the majority of women aren’t hiding behind their makeup. For most, it’s just another method of self expression. 

Anyways, nearly seven years later from the birth of that insulting meme, I believe it is time for another. In reference to the mullet and mustache madness that has taken Humboldt County and artsy Californian men by storm, I propose we start taking men to barber shops on the first date. 

Why, you may ask? It’s literally impossible to swipe on any dating app without getting harassed by some man and his sorry excuse for a mullet and ‘70s porn-stache. These days the mullet has been snatched away from the grips of Bowie’s killer androgynous looks and into the dirty (actually, suspiciously clean) hands of trust fund, wanna-be, Ventura County fake cowboys. 

I miss the days when the mullet was exclusively for lesbians, the nonbinary folks and good old country bumpkins. I don’t wanna see a mullet on you unless you have a long family lineage in Arkansas, or pair it with some array of facial piercings. 

The mullet and mustache combo being adopted by vintage Carhartt resellers and BMW drivers is not only unrealistic, but also can be qualified as the wig and makeup for most straight men. The combo is used to really sell the whole “working man” look that’s trending for straight guys. When in reality, the most hard labor they’ve done is hash it out with Depop’s buyer support after moving to Humboldt county from the most suburban Bay Area neighborhood ever. 

Shave that furry lip adornment off and BOOM – top lip is nowhere to be found. All of a sudden, that so-called sexy rugged man you thought you were seeing is back to a Bitcoin-selling Twitch streamer that yells way too aggressively at his mom. 

What’s a girl gotta do to find a real authentic mullet-wearing straight man these days? The whole liberal cowboy thing is hot, but can only go so far. I’m gonna start asking these mustached men to show me proof of them driving a tractor or a forklift certification if they really wanna get to know me – just so I know they aren’t fakers and actually deserve their mullet and mustache privileges. 

So ladies, next time that Tinder man with the Pabst Blue Ribbon obsession (bordering on alcoholism), vintage Marlobro hat and mullet/mustache combo asks to take you out on a date to the vintage reseller market, may I recommend the barber shop?

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