Beards

I read an article on beards today titled What Your Beard Says About You.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/fashion/what-your-beard-says-about-you-the-mirror.html?_r=1

It’s an excellent topic of discussion when you really think about it.  Some people see facial hair as a sign of manliness.  You can always spot a young teen letting the peach fuzz grow out.  For me, I never attempted to grow anything until after I was out of high school.  I played football and our coaches had a policy of no facial hair.  I never really thought about the why, but they also made us wear dress shirts and ties for away games.  They were trying to instill a little respect and dignity in us.  I also know how to tie a tie very well.  There’s a life skill some people could use some help with.

So what does your beard say about you?  For me it definitely made me look more badass in my younger days.  I’m not very tall, but I have gigantic shoulders.  Combine that with a shaved head, awesome beardage, and a black duster (yes, I wore one of those for about 8 years) and people were afraid of me.  Most of the time I found it hilarious, but sometimes it was just a nuisance.   I would often find myself getting profiled late at night when stopping to fill up at gas stations.   A couple times clerks pulled out weapons and didn’t want me to get close to the counter.  It wasn’t until after I had gotten them to take my $20 bill and left that I realized why they had acted so weird.

Some of my friends try their very hardest to grow a goatee, sideburns, or what have you and it just looks pitiful.  I really do feel sorry for them.  For me, it’s just a hobby really.  I can have a perfectly respectable beard in a week so I often cut it off and start over when I feel like doing something different.  I wouldn’t say it was every about rebellion for me, more of a frugal/laziness thing.  You see, by the time I started high school I was already noticeably going bald (it runs in the family), and when I got to college I didn’t want to pay for hair cuts.  That’s when I started cutting my own hair, and what’s easier than cutting it all off?  I quickly switched up to a razor and have never gone back.  I also hate shaving my face so having a beard was just another path of least resistance for me.  At times I’d even let it get long enough to shove pencils into or even braid.  Ok, so the braiding thing only happened once, but I used to put my goatee in pig tails from time to time.

There are definitely a few iconic beards out there.  If you need some help deciding what to grow, here are two resources you might want to look up.

Ol General Burnsides is one iconic bearded dude along with ZZ Top, The Dude, Sam Elliott, Zach Galifianakis and Chuck Norris.  Some people prefer just the mustache, but I’m kind of afraid of it.  Still too many connotations with child molesters for me.

So what about you?  Can you grow a beard?  Any kind of beard?  Are you stuck with one style due to how it looks?  Do you think a beard really says something about you?