‘Why Archie? Why?’

I’m sure you all remember my son, Archie.  He was a nice looking boy; clean-cut and shaven.  I was proud to walk down the street with him.

These days I cross the street.

Everything was fine until a few months ago.  We had his 21st, he was working hard at uni, he had a good job and then there were changes.  In his appearance.  And it started when I took a leave of absence and went to New York.

Just a few months ago

Just a few months ago

I came back and barely recognised him.  Where was my good-looking son?

Gen-Y’s have issues.  They seem to think a full face of facial hair is fashionable, alluring, attractive and totally cool.  They’re deluded.  And Archie’s not alone; 50% of the Wallabies are sporting beards.  They used to beat the All-Blacks before they obsessed with facial hair.

I don't mind a bit of stubble

I don’t mind a bit of stubble

His father and I pulled him aside and asked, ‘Have you joined a terrorist organisation?’  When Archie denied it was politically motivated I asked him, because there are a lot of deluded Gen Y’s out there, if he thought he was the reincarnation of Ned Kelly.  He laughed but was rather proud I thought he looked like Australia’s most notorious bushranger.

Just 12 months ago

Just 12 months ago

A few weeks ago his father slipped him twenty bucks and said, ‘Take this to the barber and if you won’t shave it off, at least get it trimmed’.  When I heard Archie returning home my hopes soared.  Only to be deflated.  There was zero difference.  ‘Did you go to the barber?’

‘Yeah, I did’.

‘What did he do?’

‘He trimmed it.’


‘Just under here’, and Archie pointed to a spot on his neck.  I had to go right up to his face with my glasses on to try and see the evidence.  There wasn’t any.  I think he spent the twenty bucks on beers.

Happier times when he was doing a bit of modelling

Happier times when he was doing a bit of modelling

Archie’s put us through a lot of punishing phases and so I asked him how long this phase is expected to last.  ‘I think I might keep it, mum’.

‘You cannot be serious’.

‘Well I thought I’d get sick of it but I’m not.  I’m really liking this look.  And the comments; mum; you should hear the comments I get at work; everyone loves it’.

‘You work in a pub surrounded by drunk people.  People who are inebriated have poor judgement.  You’ve proven you can grow a beard, now go into the bathroom and shave it off’.

‘It’s not coming off, mum; I’m keeping it until November’.  Eight weeks.

‘Why November?’

‘I’m shaving off the beard then, but I’m keeping the mo.  November is Mo-vember’.

Tragedy has struck

Tragedy has struck

‘But the idea is that on the first of November you start growing a moustache’.

‘Mum, I’m going into Mo-vember with an advantage.  Did you see the double curl?’  I had to leave the room.  I can’t look at the double curl.

Archie will finish his degree at the end of this year, (if I pray hard enough) so I’m trying to find things for him to do next year.  In Perth.  I think Archie would like Western Australia.  And we could communicate by text messaging.  Not Skype – I wouldn’t want to see any close-ups.

So…I thought I’d share this with you in case you’re wondering why I’m a little out of sorts; depressed even.  It’s because just when you thought you’d done a good job of raising your son, he becomes an idiot and grows a beard.

Is there any hope?

Is there any hope?

One day soon, I hope to show you a photo of the Archie I raised.

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  1. I’m sorry Charlie, but I actually think he looks rather cute.. 😉

  2. Hahhaah sorry I can’t stop laughing at the phases Archie puts you through, I thought the moustache was because he had a play or something like that required one. I never thought he’d simply want him because. I still think he looks handsome so don’t worry 🙂

  3. beware beards are contagious – my brother sports a bushranger beard and recently another brother has started to grown a rather bushy one – I like the double curl – if that is what we see before movember, I hope you share photos of the beard shapes when he gets there – either that or of the birds nesting in the beard – ha ha

  4. OMG the beards! They’re everywhere! I can’t say that I’m a huge lover of them mainly because all the menfolk are starting to look so alike-too scary.

  5. Great post to come back to after a few weeks off… you really made me laugh. All in all, I think it is not too bad if it lasts for only a two months… but the curls and the double moustache I can do without…

  6. I think that qualifies as a name and shame post Charlie! Too funny – I bet Archie is loving the post dedicated to his beard and TWO moustaches 🙂

  7. Quick … Delete any reference to Z.Z.Top off your computer!

  8. Hi Charlie! Couldn’t help but comment this post, as in fact it is a huge discussion we have amidst my group of friends (we’re all in our twenties).

    I have to say that I am a huge beard lover, it’s something that has grown on me… but many of my friends (both guys and girls) don’t fancy beards/having one. Though… I also like a nicely shaved face anyway.
    The thing with the beard is that it is currently a huge trend… (have you seen Chet Faker – coincidently also Australian – for instance?) but as any trend, I think it will just fade with time… I can assure you it has nothing to do with the way you raise your children. There is a time that it is even good to let them be free to experiment and find their real self while they are young… (young is the time for it, right?) and after all this is basically harmful for him, in the end (I bet) he will eventually just get tired of the beard (most guys do). I don’t know about you, but my family has quite a lot of funny 70s/80s pictures with crazy haircuts (remember the mullet!?) and thick moustaches, that were a trend back then… and no one has kept this crazy ‘style’ so just see it the same way!

    Back to the point, not all men can sport a nice beard, either because they can’t grow it decently (growing a here-and-there beard looks way worse than moustache curls – I don’t really like them, by the way) or because it doesn’t fit their faces. So I think you can see a positive side on the situation, at least it’s neither of these situations 🙂

    All in all, I really think this is a phase and, likely, the more you nag over it, the worse it is. At least that is how my 19-yrs-old brother takes it. So if I were you, of course I’ld let him know that I don’t like it, but I’ld just assume that it is a natural part of growing up and that you all will, one day, look at these pictures and laugh at the memory of it 😉 Don’t worry too much, he’s still the same inside!

    Have a great week!

  9. I swear that I recall us having a blog comment conversation about Archie’s penchant for hair removal. My my how times have changed – I don’t know how you keep up! 🙂

  10. I understand your sadness. He’s such an attractive looking young man but that beard and the double curls … reminds me of Duck Commander. That’s the kind of beard mean grow when they go into the backwoods logging or hunting. Best of luck that he gets tired of it soon. 🙂

  11. Archie’s beard has nothing to do with your upbringing. Young people will go through various phases as they mature but will eventually return to the good values they were taught. I don’t think you need to worry.

  12. Charlie, I am so disappointed in you. You call yourself a mother but have yet to master the basics like manipulation, guilt or deceit. You also seem to be lacking in imagination- eg. depilatory cream patted on when you kiss him goodnight, a candle held just a little too close or for twenty bucks I’m sure you could have bribed Alfie to sneak into his brothers room at night and snip away or colour in with permanent markers, thus forcing Archie to be rid of the facial fuzz. Alfie would of course be severely ‘punished’ with treats, and you could commiserate with Archie with a straight face 🙂 Or just find a cute Gen Y girl who tells him how much she hates beards and moustaches-problem solved! Xox

  13. Btw, I just did a survey with my two Gen Y daughters, and they both liked him better without the beard. Oh, and they’re both single….just saying… 🙂

  14. I’ll take a beard over tattoos and piercings. I think he looks good!

  15. And now I’ve seen it all – that double beard takes some skill!
    But wait – I thought November was dubbed “No-Shave November”? hmmm… 🙂

  16. I agree with Nazneen @ Coffee and Crumpets, a beard is better than tattoos and piercings but I’ve never liked them. The Glam 20 something has a beard which has gradually got more ‘bushy’ as I ply him with expensive after shaves and shaving balms! Archie’s a good looking guy and even more so without the beard. Perhaps it’s one of those things where you have to bite your tongue, say no more and the fun of making you mad will wear off?! You can hope. GG xx

  17. WOW!! That’s all I have to say….just WOW!

  18. The stubble looked good. The beard and double curl…well, it is certainly a look. That said, he does pull it off well. A lot of the Gen Y’s have it here as well. I don’t get it, but my guess is like all fashion trends it too shall pass. 😉

  19. Oh, I am so relieved that only the scruff look is sylish around here. My boys tend to look more unshaven than shaven most of the time, but no full beards or mushtaches yet! All Archie needs is a pretty gal to ask him to shave…too bad pretty moms don’t rate!

    PS I noticed I didn’t get my post emailed to me, either. Feedburner misbehaving again. If I could only get access to my mailing list, I’d change mail providers in an instant!

  20. I can’t tell you how much I can hands-on identify with this, Charlie. My son is 24…and it is the exact same story. After looking so handsome all his life, suddenly there was excessive, untrimmed facial hair…and yes, double curls (but only for a day or so at home). Finally, on his own, he just trimmed it up and now looks quite nice again. Hang in there. It will happen.

  21. I feel your pain. My son can’t quite grow that much of a beard but he sure does try!!

  22. King of the hipsters.

    But don’t worry, according to NPR, our society has reached “Peak Beard”. They’ll be out of fashion again soon and you’ll have your shiny-faced boy back…

  23. Charlie,I’m going to be firm and quite preachy here so prepare yourself……………………. Hes a nice boy with nice parents, As far as I can see he hasn’t lashed out in any other way, A bit of facial hair can be removed in a 1/2 an hour. He needs room to express himself in some way. Lets see, some do it with ice and heroin and others just dress in odd clothes and grow facial hair. Which would you prefer?, Hell mine has dread locks, it’s his choice and he needs to make them. Now again which would you prefer? xx

  24. PS for the record I hate beards too Charlie they are so last month……

  25. Hahaha InTolerant Chef has some wonderful suggestions there Charlie. I’m not a great fan of beards either. Does he know they start to smell? Not good for bringing in the ladies!
    There is one bonus… at least it’s not a tattoo or one of those dreadful ear piercings where they make the hole so big you can see through it. Oh oh or those – I can barely type it without gagging – hole piercing in the chin with the clear bit so you can see through to their teeth. Yuk yuk yuk!

  26. hahah!!!! He’s adorable!

  27. I expect it will come off when the fashion changes again, Charlie. Look on the positive side – at least he’s taking pride in his appearance. And it’s not ink. Yet.

  28. It’s that rebel actor look!

  29. Haha that double curl is pretty impressive!

  30. OMG – that’s a corker! He does look like Ned Kelly. Think of this, think of how much worse it could be. He could get a face tattoo or have piercings. He’s a bit late in rebellion but he’s got to assert his independence. Better you than me!

  31. Hi Charlie, what a great son, he seems to have a great sense of humor. My mom always says, this too will pass!

  32. When I started reading I thought it was something more permanent a problem, like a tattoo. Huge sigh of relief.
    I bet the beard will start irritating Archie before November and he will shave it off. I am ever optimistic for you Charlie.
    Have a wonderful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  33. I laughed and laughed when I saw the photos. He is experimenting with his appearance, with great panache. When I look back at photos of my son’s long hair phase, it was much more revolting than this. At least Archie’s look is tidy, and extremely inventive. Relax, he’ll get over it. But keep the photos, and he can have a good laugh one day.

  34. Lol, they really express themselves differently now. But I’m sure it’s the same Archie just a change in looks to discover more of himself. I agree, he looked cuter with the clean look 🙂

    Gourmet Getaways

  35. My friends and I all agree – 5 o clock shadow is sexy, more beard than that and you start looking… older… :/
    I think Archie was a stud without the beard but he rocks it better than some guys I know!

    Choc Chip Uru

  36. Really funny read! Archie does give you some trials, doesn’t he? He actually looks pretty good (although better without, IMO). Good post — thanks.

  37. Oh wow. That really is a beard!! My sister’s boyfriend has a similarly deluded approach to facial hair – he thinks it’s good – but fortunately for everyone he isn’t actually very good at producing it, so after 6 months he’s still not much beyond stubble. Archie has a talent (sadly!)!

  38. I vote for keeping the (manly) clean shaven baby face, but his mustaches are impressive! You know that takes some effort keeping them perfectly curled! He has the model look either way!

  39. I hate to say my own husband is into this whole beard thing right now too!! Ughhh!!!

  40. Love this post – laugh out loud stuff, glad I wasn’t on the train.

  41. I’m going to agree…I’m no fan of facial hair. And you’re right, he’s such a good looking boy, why cover it up? But it certainly has character! It could be much worse. Kids now are piercing and tattooing everything! He’ll tire of it eventually. I’m so thankful my husband finally shaved his when we moved back to our home state!

  42. Awwww, it is fun to explore and have fun. I was the crazy wild child in my family, LOL:-) I have to admit, that mustache is pretty rockin’! We all go through stages, just enjoy the ride! Hugs, Terra

  43. I laughed from start to finish, Charlie. You sound so much like my parents 40 years ago about my facial hair. And don’t get me started about the weekend I came home with an ear pierced. Not only that — and you’re the first to know — I’ve grown my beard back. It’s nowhere near a long as Archie’s — I’ve too much gray for that. I don’t want to look like a member of ZZ Top. So, put me in the “Pro Beard” camp. 🙂

  44. Oh,goodness! He’s such a handsome fellow to hid it behind all the beard. Perhaps, “this, too, shall pass’!

  45. Words cannot express the joy this post gave me Charlie…. Actually sitting here laughing out loud. 🙂
    WOW…. Archie’s beard is pretty impressive, nothing half arsed about his beard, that’s for sure! All my girlfriends are REALLY into the facial hair, they think it looks sexy. Me however, I am not a fan at all. I vote for the shave, and having words with the barber that took the $20 too.

  46. How funny! At least a beard can be removed. I much prefer a beard on my son than a tattoo. Beards come and go. A tattoo of a dragon (as my neighbor has) is forever.

  47. That is hilarious and yes, ridiculous but he is just having fun because he is creative. It certainly changes him completely.

  48. Your son is handsome with or without the beard. He is a creative person who is following along with a fashion trend. The nice thing is, he is the same good boy behind the beard.

  49. I had to giggle, then laugh out loud at the double ‘stach. These looks are very popular here in the southern states amongst the 20-somethings and especially creative people. The more creative ones, like Archie, are really striking a new wave of facial hair looks. I for one would rather see the facial hair than being completely covered in tats because you can always (and much more easily) change the hair if you get tired of it…but that’s just me. As Karen said, at least the man behind the hair is a good person. 🙂

  50. I was laughing so hard that my husband asked me from downstairs what I’m doing. When I started to read and saw the second photo, I thought, hey he’s not as bad as you think, and I actually like that new scruffy look on Archie more than his clean look (can I still be in young crowd?)…then boom. The last 2 photos were completely unexpected. OMG!!! But remember, he’s “originally” a handsome man (he still looks great despite having that much beard), so be patient till November…. LOL. Oh my gosh… I feel your pain. xD

  51. Oh my goodness! He worked hard to get that, and I don’t think it’s coming off soon, Charlie. He may not look like your little boy, but he’s still a handsome dude! Movember is popular with this age group…I like the way he thinks. He’s just getting a head start. 🙂

  52. My husband who is 60+ went to that 3-day old beard look last year. Thank goodness it only lasted a few months. So hopefully, this too shall pass. 🙂


  1. […] nothing in common with the current apparition standing before him.  I could have slapped him.  I blame the beard; Archie’s been really strange since he became […]

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