NOTHING OFF THE TOP, SIR?
Love Island’s influence on popular culture is growing. Our advice? Don’t let it go to your head
Esquire has it on good authority that this summer, one leading UK high street retailer sold out of super-skinny white denim. For men. The reason? ITV2’s
Love Island. Regardless of your thoughts on the show (Bafta-worthy anthropological tour-de-force, surely), its effect was undeniable.
You’ve seen the lads with the haircut, right? Plastered across the nation’s screens by those in the villa, “the flop crop” (to give it a name) is typified by extremely short back and sides and a tuft on top that’s whipped back into glistening iceberg solidity with a hefty scoop of wet-look pomade.
Like many things in the men’s style milieu tend to be, it is a descendant of am ilitary ancestor. American GIs buzzed their heads skin-close on the sides and squared-off the tops before packing off to World War II. Ever since, variations have permeated civvy society, and most have been relatively acceptable. But now all sanity has been lopped off and swept from the barbershop floor, and the flop crop reigns supreme. It’s just so bloody small, too small for most men’s heads.
And that’s the problem, it’s not an issue of taste, it’s one of proportion. Ears look bigger, foreheads appear longer, and every blemish is there for the world to see, in 4K hairy high-definition.
To be fair, the Love Island lads were only following orders — from Cristiano Ronaldo and his ilk. For many British males, footballers represent the glimmering summit of style. Ronaldo gets away with it because he’s chiselled from alabaster and solid machismo, but others don’t fare so well — Man United’s David de Gea could do with an interventional trim — but at least they’re all fit and young. Robbie Williams should know better, and perhaps, dear reader, you should too.
If this all sounds like an overreaction, ask Joe Mills, of Joe & Co barbershop. He describes the flop crop as “everything he hates about his industry”, and recommends wearers shave the lot into a “suedehead” buzz cut post-haste. Alternatively, Love Island 2018 is auditioning contestants.
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