And this is the answer.
There was once a time when having a beard set you apart from the crowd. It was considered the mark of lumberjacks, Hell Angels, Rob Zombie and ZZ Top.
Your dad may have had a beard and you could hear your mom complain 4 rooms over saying “that hurts, stop that”; scarring your little mind with mental images you didn’t need to have.
Then came the goatee, a symbol of defiance and post-puberty facial hair issues where you really wanted to grow one but that bald patch on your cheek was too much to overcome. If you grew a beard you would look like you had mange, so you chose to look like a hipster instead.
Now beards are making a comeback. And they kind of suck at times.
Why do they suck? Not because they look like an unruly mess of thick hair if you don’t trim them every couple days, but because they look like an unruly mess if you don’t trim them every couple days.
You have big ones, chinstraps, designs carved by a barber for an exorbitant fee and the ever-so-cliched Viking beard of deadlift power.
Many a sharp looking cat has made himself look 20 years older by growing out his beard in ways that Eric the Red would say “damn, that is a big ass beard” to.
I admit, I got into the beard several years ago before the stupid beard memes, the “do you even beard” sayings and 20-something women who think a beard epitomizes masculinity when all you need to do is just have the ability to grow one out.
That is like saying “Real men grow beards”, which isn’t always the case.
I have a love/hate relationship with my beard. I have days when I want to keep my cleanly trimmed chin decoration and days when I want to take a laser to my face and remove it forever. All it takes is one day of extra growth and I feel like I crossed the line from debonair and suave into the realms of bum laying on the street.
What’s a man to do when he is surrounded by images of beard memery all over the internet?
Whatever he wants to do, that’s all.
If you are growing a beard to be part of the “cool” crowd, you are losing sight of the beard. If you want to play follow the beard leader while blasting terrible death metal, by all means do so, but your beard is grown in vain.
As for me, I go from chinstrap to clean shaven to areas in between… because a face like this needs a nice frame one day and the others does well being shown in all its chiseled glory.
*** no beards were harmed in the writing of this post ***
And if you take this post seriously, its not my fault you can’t recognize sarcastic humor if it smacks you in the bearded face.
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