Saturday, January 8, 2011

To the ladies:

     Many social stigmas are rooted in poor understanding. Negative media portrayal and individual associations become unfair and inaccurate stereotypes which can plague their victims for years. One such victim of social discrimination is the wearer of the full beard. Particularly amongst women, men who grow beards are often looked down upon as hobos or slobs. In the interest of correcting this injustice, I would like to present here the case for the bearded man. I intend to highlight to all the women out there a number of reasons why a man with a large full beard often deserves a second look.
     First and foremost, a beard is the exception rather than the rule. You notice bearded men because they stand out from the crowd, rare individuals in a sea or conformity. Some people enjoy predictability, but if you find yourself bored with dating men who all seem the same, why not try something different? A beard is usually an external physical expression of deeper individuality and independence, so you will seldom find heavily bearded men who are boringly conventional.
     Of course, other physical expressions of individuality exist. Clothing and tattoos, for example, are both prominent ways for a man to show that he is different from the rest of the crowd. Something a beard expresses that clothes and tattoos do not, however, is commitment. Clothing easily varies from day to day, so what a man is wearing only tells you how he wants to present himself right now. Tattoos, due to their permanence, are more of a marker of where somebody was than where they are. A tattoo is often the result of a single impulsive decision, one with which its wearer may no longer feel any connection. In short: the man who got that tattoo may be very different than the man you now see wearing it. A beard, on the other hand, is an ongoing commitment. Each and every day when a man wakes up, he has to consciously make the choice not to shave his face. Anybody can throw on a leather jacket or a pair of sunglasses to change their look, but a man with a year's worth of beard growth has dedicated himself for an entire year to looking the way he does. A man with a really big beard has spent even longer than that. Seems like a pretty good indication that he's not afraid of commitment.
     That leads to another related topic, which is a willingness to work for what he wants. That's right ladies; contrary to popular belief a beard is not for the lazy. In fact, maintaining a beard requires significantly more effort than shaving. For one thing large beards require additional grooming. A beardless man doesn't need to shampoo and brush his face, nor does he need to regularly maintain his facial hair throughout the day to avoid tangles and knots. A bearded man does, though. He also has to contend with zippers, buttons, and all manner of other hazards which snag and catch and tear at his beard. Not to mention the droves of people who have pressured him time and again to cut his beard because they don't like it. And make no mistake on this last point, nearly every man with a full beard has been heckled by family, friends, coworkers, and various women who have all tried to get him to shave. In some cases employers will even have tried pressuring him into removing it, yet if the beard is still there it shows that he has stood firm.
     Pushing past this wall of detractors is almost certainly the single most trying aspect of growing a big beard, and it is also the most telling demonstration of that man's personality. By sticking to what he chooses to be and how he chooses to look in the face of all that opposition, the bearded man exhibits great confidence and determination. He is confident in what he wants and he is not easily discouraged by naysayers. It also shows a lot of patience on his part. Since a large beard takes a fairly long time to grow, it is safe to assume than any man with a really significant mane on his face has not only been willing to wait quite a long time for his facial hair to grow to such lengths, he has also been tolerating repeated opposition to his appearance the whole while.
     On the subject of his appearance, I think an important note should be made. I have never in my life heard a man say he was growing out a big long beard so he could get chicks. Many looks men employ are nothing but cheap ploys to get women to notice them. And if a man is willing to trick you to get your attention, he's probably willing to trick you in order to keep it. But with a man who shows you who he is instead of what he thinks you want to see, you have a much better idea of what you're getting. And that's exactly what a heavily bearded man is. He's a man who displays who he is for the whole world to see.
     So there you go, my case for why bearded men get a bad rap and deserve more of you ladies' attention. Of course no set of rules about human behavior is airtight, and there will be exceptions to any pattern. These are my own thoughts on the matter, though, and hopefully by sharing them I've given you a little something to think about as well.


  1. Patrick, I think I love you. No, no, its not what you think. I was recently a bearded man and had been for quite some time. I thoroughly and completely enjoyed my beard. My wife, however did not. I gave in to her constant pressure to shave and we settled on a goatee. It is not impressive. I just finished reading this to her and have come to a resolution.


  2. Thank you, I do what I can. And I'm delighted to hear that my words have made an impact. Really, after reading your comment I can't wipe the smile off my face.