Squeaky-clean Disney theme parks could look a little scruffier starting next month: The company has given employees the green light to grow facial hair for the first time ever, according to the Associated Press. Beards, mustaches and other facial hair have been prohibited for theme park employees since the mid-1950s.
Permission to grow beards and mustaches can mean only one thing: Disney theme parks will cultivate hipsters as quickly as bacteria will colonize a petri dish. At least, that’s what StyleCaster thinks: The blog celebrated the fact that blogs such as the Disney Hipster Blog can finally become a reality.
“Just think! Real live Disney memes!” wrote Jessica Rubin.
Disney already has some hipster street cred — if the subculture even still exists — thanks to memes like Hipster Ariel. The photo meme took a still from “The Little Mermaid” where the title character tries on a pair of eyeglasses that closely resemble the big retro frames favored by hipsters and pairs it with all sorts of angstful captions.
This week, Disney also confused and delighted music fans when it began selling a Mickey Mouse T-shirt that appears to have been based on the Joy Division album cover for “Unknown Pleasures.” Update: The shirt has been pulled from shelves.
Associating with the band’s melancholic lyrics and tragic history (lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide by hanging) is an odd choice for the Happiest Place on Earth — but maybe it just needed some new merchandise to go with its bearded look?
But before you start hoping for a Disney theme park in Portland or Pittsburgh, keep in mind Disney isn’t going to go hair wild. Employees’ facial hair must stay trim and neat, and derivations such as soul patches or beards longer than a quarter of an inch are still not permitted.