By Chris Whan
Recently there has been a surge in the growing of facial hair and as an avid member of the hirsute community, I couldn’t be happier.
Beards are one common denominator that links most men together. It’s an evolutionary piece of our puzzle that seems to serve no actual purpose now as we have long worn clothes for warmth. But I beg to differ that a beard serves no purpose.
A beard is a versatile tool for a man to have. It’s a scarf that you don’t have to buy, it’s a cushion for blows that you may get by fighting various forms of large animal. It’s also super sexy, I myself have gotten many compliments on my beard.
I have had a beard since I was 15, in high school I was the kid with the beard and I received lots of flak for having one. I choose to believe it was out of pure jealousy considering I could grow a way more impressive beard then most full grown men.
I’ve always loved having a beard. It’s my thing and its part of what makes me an individual and individuality is so important. It’s a part of my personality and its how everyone knows me. A large beard makes you instantly recognizable.
Recently, Proctor and Gamble, the makers of the Shick and Gilette brands of razors have seen a 10 per cent decline in their sale of those products. That just goes to show how much of an influence growing facial hair can have. It’s more than just fur on your face, it’s a revolution against both the social idea that men must be clean shaven and the corporations that thrive on that belief. It makes me proud to know that my fellow beard-growers are having an influence on a corporate business.
According to the beardly.com, a website devoted to the awesomeness of beards, “a beard is music from the pores” and I couldn’t agree more. Many men, including myself, have sensitive skin and shaving is a highly painful process. A beard negates all that and looks fantastic in the meantime. You can tell so much about a man from his beard.
A tightly shorn beard shows that the man cares about his appearance but wants to show his masculinity. A full beard is a man who spends time outside and probably punches bears for a hobby. And a man with a long beard probably practices magic or plays a banjo.
A beard is a way for a man to show that he is proud of being a man without coming off as chauvinistic. In today’s world, equality for the sexes is a very important part of a professional and everyday environment and I’m all for that. Everyone deserves to be equal. Unfortunately pride in being male comes off as a bad thing and if you’re too proud then you can come off as a jerk. I grow my beard as a subtle and not-so-in-your-face way of showing pride in being a man.
I don’t think I’m better than anyone and anyone who thinks they are going to be superior if they grow a beard has another thing coming. Equality is of the utmost importance and I sympathize and do my best to fight the social repercussions in a formerly male-led world.
The world is changing, sometimes it makes us feel guilty for being male. Don’t be. Men of the past were assholes and there are still some around now. But we, as men of the future, are way more progressive, but we are still men.
The LGBT community has the rainbow flag, feminists have a fist in the female symbol and the equality movement has the red equals sign. And, as men, we have our beards and I propose that we let our fur flags fly. Be proud that you have your own scarf for those harsh, cold winters. Be proud that you don’t have to go through the painful experience that is shaving and be proud to be a part of a sacred and fantastic fraternity of men who don’t allow the societal expectation of shaving and grooming hold them back.