Join the Factory. Live the original men's lifestyle.

Remember that rooster feather fad from about five or six years ago? You know, the one when girls (and Steven Tyler) would tie a rooster feather into their hair? Yeah, pretty lame nowadays. Women have been subjected to trends like “The Rachel” haircut and those stupid rooster feathers, but men have their share of less-than-photogenic moments when viewed in retrospect. Do frosted hair tips, bushy beards and half-shaved heads, and the almighty mullet ring a bell? Before you buy into the latest, greatest trends of 2018, think before you act.

The Glorious Source

The most compelling argument to stave off another year of soon-to-be regrets is to consider the source of your trends. That rooster feather fad mentioned above grates me in particular. The feathers aren’t picked up from the ground after chickens are done with them; they’re harvested from living animals grown specifically for the feathers. That’s all well and good. After all fly fishermen have been using the feathers of these chickens for years. The difference here is that the demand for fishing tackle is a relatively steady market. The chickens can have their feathers harvested humanely and safely. When the feathers-in-my-hair trend took off supply couldn’t meet demand, and the stock animal suffered greatly for it. And so did the fishermen.

Bit of life wisdom here. Never piss off a fisherman.

Lasting Impact

If the sourcing of the latest trends doesn’t get to you, consider the terrible impact we’re leaving for our descendants. History classes will bear mention to the likes of the Kardashians, Gangham Style, over-sized sunglasses, and the monumental leap forward in human development called “TiVo”. Are your kids going to ask about the most exciting place you planked? Can you imagine a nursing home full of folks wearing Snuggies and flared jeans, all playing with their neopets? “Daddy, what trends of 2018 did you rock?” Good lord, no thank you.

A Higher Purpose

My final reason here is an admittedly hoighty toighty one. Fads can be a fun way of interacting with other people and provide a nice escape from some mundane drudgery, but isn’t there something better to do with your time, interest, and money? Hell, buy the rooster feathers but use them to learn how to tie a fishing fly. Think about where you’re spending your money; these items aren’t grown in the store, they’re sourced from somewhere. There isn’t an unlimited pool of resources for us to gorge ourselves with. Practice a little restraint and self-control and don’t buy into the next fad. Put the resources you’d use on it elsewhere. Learn a skill you’ve always had interest in, get a book you want to read, or help out a charity.

I’m not suggesting you give up any sense of fun, or to adopt an austere lifestyle. Maybe one of the trends of 2018 is something you actually give a shit about and you can be that “I liked that band before they were cool” guy. Instead take the time to consider if you want to be another trendy face in the crowd, or if you’d rather step aside and do your own thing. Stand out. Be happy, and live authentically. And always remember, think before you trend.

Matt Suwak
About the Author

Matt Suwak was reared by the bear and the bobcat and the coyote of rural Pennsylvania. This upbringing keeps him permanently affixed to the outdoors where most of his personal time is invested in bird watching and hiking. He presently resides in Philadelphia and works during the day as a landscaper and gardener, and by night a freelance writer. He can throw a football ten miles from a stationary position and has grappled mountain lions and lived to tell about it. The lions cannot say the same.

His other writing can be found at www.heyplantguy.com

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