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 (UK) - - Style -

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.

Get Real: Madrista su­per­star and ‘flop crop’ cham­pion Cris­tiano Ron­aldo makes it work, but it’s not for ev­ery man...

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