Point – Counterpoint : Grooming in the Zombie Apocalypse

Guest Writers: David Miller and Michael J. Miller

Zombieland 2
Photo Credit – The Walking Dead

A few weeks ago, Kalie began her “Walking Through The Walking Dead” series and in her first article, she briefly commented on how the characters in the show have a surprising amount of mousse/hair gel for a post-apocalyptic dystopia.  There’s also a lot of shaving of the face for men and legs/armpits for the women too.  Basically, there’s an odd amount of modern grooming happening in a world gone to hell.  This has generated a great deal of heated debate (particularly between my brother and I).  So, below David and I have written short, opposing opinion pieces about grooming in the zombie apocalypse.  Please read and please, please, please (yes, I’m begging but sibling debates will generate this) leave your opinion in the comment section about whose side you’re on!  We are seeking some Internet aid in settling a debate that has filled too much of our free time already.

ABANDONING MODERN GROOMING – Michael’s Side

Essentially, I am advocating the point Kalie put forth in her original article.  It makes no sense to maintain the modern approach to grooming in the zombie apocalypse.  The zombie apocalypse causes a world to essentially regress and default to a survival of the fittest scenario.  When your daily concerns comprise food, clean water, shelter, and steering clear of (or killing) rotting corpses intent on consuming your flesh, hair gel isn’t important anymore.  Like our shared ancient history, life becomes a struggle to survive in the zombie apocalypse.  And, to be blunt, if you’re worried about how you look doing it you’re going to die (most likely quickly).  You only have so much time to scavenge safely for supplies and you’re not going to waste that time at the Garnier rack at a burned out, abandoned Target – especially when hungry zombies may be roaming the store.  Values transform in a new world and there’s no place for our superficial or culturally constructed rules.  Gone are the days of makeup, hair product, random/pointless shaving, and concern with your appearance.  Hair would most likely be cut off, as short as possible, to avoid being caught by a pursuing zombie and clothes would be chosen for functionality and environmental appropriateness, not for designer styles or how they flatter your figure.  Now, I’m not saying bathing is out the window nor am I advocating the end of basic hygiene.  You’re still living with others so, when you can do so and do so safely, basic hygiene is essential (and polite).  But even that becomes secondary to survival.  The only logical (and natural) approach to living in a zombie apocalypse would be to abandon modern styling needs and focus on survival.

Zombieland 3
Photo Credit – The Walking Dead

MAINTAINING MODERN GROOMING – David’s Side
I’ll keep this short because there should be no debate here, but since there is…here are four points to get this side rolling. There is no reason to throw self-respect out the window in the face of the zombie apocalypse. First, there would not be zombies chasing you around all day every day like depicted in Hollywood so you would have plenty of time to do your own personal upkeep. Go out in the middle of nowhere and stay quiet and get yourself some time. Second, working out is almost a must in this situation. If one is fit and in shape one has a much better chance at surviving (rule #1: cardio). Third, and some might view this as shallow, but at some point repopulating the Earth would come into play and that also involves personal maintenance. Wichita would have looked right past Columbus if he had let himself go and looked like a zombie and vice versa. Fourth, giving up on caring about yourself, whether it is shaving your face or armpits or legs or fixing your hair, is basically giving up in general. In a zombie apocalypse you would have already lost so much: family, home, friends, guitars, photos… why would you willing lose yourself? Maintaining yourself would be the last aspect of a regular life that you can hold onto. To give up on yourself would be giving up on hope and I cannot nor will not give up on hope.

Zombieland 1
Photo Credit – Zombieland

Okay, there you have it!  What do you think?  When the world goes to hell as a result of a zombie virus infecting most of the population, are you still caring for how you present yourself??  Are you still going to be concerned with frizz, fly-aways, and bad hair days?  Or are you diving into the scruffy and gritty gutter?  We’ll gladly beg once more for your comments so please, please, please post something below to let us know where you’re and why!

If you’d like more zombie fun, here are Kalie’s other pieces on The Walking Dead:

Walking Through The Walking Dead – Season One

Walking Through The Walking Dead – Ethical Quandaries

Walking Through The Walking Dead – The Characters

Kant Get Enough of the Apocalypse?

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Point – Counterpoint : Grooming in the Zombie Apocalypse

27 thoughts on “Point – Counterpoint : Grooming in the Zombie Apocalypse

  1. Anonymous says:

    I vote team Mr. Mike! If I had Zombies trying to kill me I would not be worrying about my hair being done or my legs being shaved. Although Mr.David has a good point.

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  2. Ponytail says:

    I am on michael’s side not only because this brother’s argument doesn’t make sense (especially the second point), but also because michael proposes only valid and pragmatic content. +1 michael

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  3. Adam says:

    I agree with Michael’s argument. David’s argument makes sense but I feel grooming would become of little importance compared to surviving.

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  4. Nick Woll says:

    I feel that I would go with Michael’s point and not necessarily worry about grooming and things of that nature. If I have time, I’ll most likely brush my hair or possibly shave if given the opportunity, but I would not make that my main focus. Point Michael!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Michael in saying that you must not waste time and spend the time you have trying to survive. However, David has a good point in saying that in the time you have, you should not lose sight of who you are and let the outsiders change you.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I feel as if Michael has a point, when survival is on the line personal hygiene is the last of ones worries however, when you have time in which you are safe then you should definitely clean your self up. Also David had another good point, cardio and strength is also key when fighting off zombies.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    When I started off reading Michael’s side I 100% agreed with him however, when I read David’s side I saw his point. I agree that if your life is on the line and zombies are everywhere you’re not really going to be worried about what your hair or makeup looks like. But, giving up on your looks is almost giving up on your life. You can’t lose hope in a situation like this. So both people have valid points but I am siding a teeny-tiny bit more with Michael.

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  8. Okay, I have to go with Mike’s opinion and here’s why. For one thing, David bringing up exercise is completely irrelevant; exercise is personal upkeep, not grooming. You have plenty of time to do personal upkeep sure, but wouldn’t anyone who wanted to survive spend that time scavenging for food, hunting, or keeping watch? The fundamentally overlooked point in David’s argument however would be that by the time survivors had a good amount of time and relative safety to start making razors and shaving cream and mascara again, it would no longer be an apocalyptic situation. Plus, people did happen to copulate before the invention of mascara, hair gel and razors. For that matter, given the amount of time that most people during the apocalypse would go between amorous connections, I don’t think anyone would particularly care about shaving and makeup and would probably found those spending valuable time on grooming repulsive as opposed to those who were acting to prolong their lives in that time. Beauty standards would change, and living comes above all else.
    (Plus not everyone’s beauty standards are intrinsically tied to the amount of grooming they do, bathing yes hair gel no.)

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  9. Madi says:

    I guess I can see both sides of the argument. I think it would depend a lot on each individual person’s situation. If a person is in a place where there are not a lot of zombies, then they may have the time and ability to try and take care of their appearance, and to hold onto that last shred of their old lives. But if a person is trying to survive in an area infested by zombies, they would probably abandon old routines in favor of trying to survive.

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  10. Francesco says:

    I’ve seen enough of The Walking Dead to see a lot of grimy clothing and uncut hair. When the zombie apocalypse happens, I’m not going to focus on modern grooming. Vote for team Michael.

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  11. Adaven36 says:

    David’s point of view all the way! It is disgusting to not shower, shave or anything. Like David said its like giving up. It’s not superficial to have self respect for your looks. Just lock your house after a security check and shower in the locked bathroom.

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    1. That assumes that house has running and uncontaminated water, and that you have enough food to not spend the time showering looking for food. Mike said that bathing when possible is good, but bathing is bare minimum soap and water, not hair gel and shaving.

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  12. Mary Ingaldi says:

    I agree with Michael because I agree that if zombies are coming for me I’m not styling my hair. However, I also agree with David’s point on not giving up hope and that bathing is essential to living through the apocalypse.

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  13. Tyler says:

    At the end of the day the thought that haunts everyone day by day is the fact that there is a legitimate zombie apocalypse occurring. Therefore, the idea of personal hygiene no longer serves as significant of a role that it does in a normal, zombie-less setting. I would have to agree with Michael in the fact that hygiene would be virtually unnecessary, but if I were to be presented with the opportunity to groom myself then I would indeed take advantage of the opportunity.

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  14. Olivia Newport says:

    I agree with Mike, except David makes some good points. The only argument that I have with David’s case of maintaining cardio is that if you’re frequently going all out sprints as to avoid zombies, I think that would take care of your weekly workout routine. It’s not like you will have time to just sit around and veg. Other than that, the idea that keeping up with your physical appearance helps you maintain some regularity makes sense.

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  15. Joseph Scrimenti says:

    Although David pulled out an excellent argument that I never thought about, I’m going to have to whole heartedly side with Michael. To be superficial in this situation, is to be selfish. In the zombie apocalypse, selfishness leads to death.

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  16. I have to agree with David. First of all, there are numerous advantages to being the best looking (and the best smelling) in your group of survivors. Not only would that elevate your appeal towards potential partners, but also if you look as though you are the most put together, you can seem as a better fit for a leadership role, which would most likely come with certain perks. In addition, historically speaking, ancient people in very bad situations would often go to great lengths to beautify themselves, from ancient tattoos and piercings to extravagant jewelry. It has even been found that people during the Ice Age bothered to give themselves tattoos! They survived well enough worrying about looks, and we could too.

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    1. They also didn’t shave, and wouldn’t be doing any tattooing during times of active danger (which the zombie apocalypse is always dangerous until you find a sanctuary with others in a remote and secure location, which can still be dangerous e.g. the Governer). No one will be looking for romance until you’ve secured your next meals and shelter.

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  17. Nick says:

    I support Michaels position. In this situation if you were groomed and looking healthy/more put together, your group would have a target on their back. Other groups or stragglers that saw your group looking groomed would think that your group or just you in general have plenty of supplies and a nice place to stay. This would attract the idea of them killing you and/or taking your supplies. Being groomed makes you a bigger target for being attacked and therefore is not worth the time or danger.

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  18. Courtlynn says:

    I feel like grooming shouldn’t be a priority. I mean yeah, if you have the option to shave and clean yourself definitely go for it, but if the choice is between food or a weapon or something vs some toiletry, one should definitely go for survival over lookin pretty. Besides, I wouldn’t want someone that’s only into me for my looks, that’s really superficial. Point for Michael

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  19. Thrawnisthebest says:

    In my opinion I would like to wear khakis and a button down shirt for when I fight hoards of the undead while I look awesome. And if I’m going to be a killed an be a zombie I’ll look Awsome as a zombie, so double win. One vote for David

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  20. MrsTatarsFavoriteStudent says:

    Michael is right because why would you care about how your hair looks why you’re just trying to keep the blood, sweat, and dirt off of you. Also at some point repopulating the earth will just go ba to animal instinct, so it doesn’t matter what you look like. Point Michael

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