Beards are in; beards are out. If there’s one thing people love to proclaim, it is well, both. Truthfully, the cycle never ends. Year after year, those types of stories always seem to gain plenty of attention.
However, the attention isn’t always positive or in praise of beards.
In reality, those types of statements are aimed at playing on the insecurities of men, making them question just how well they really fit into society.
I can tell you now; the shaving industry probably loves it almost as much as the news media outlets do. When cash is king, the culture and rich history behind beards isn’t much of a concern at all.
In today’s times, beards have become more of a fashion statement, which is incredibly unfortunate. They shouldn’t be lumped in 80’s clothing styles of the past, nor considered “trendy,” nor “out of style.” Truthfully, beards are much like a fine suit. They never go out of style.
And you’ll know exactly why in a minute here.
Let’s face it
Beards are a birthright. They are a part of you. No man nor woman can ever take that away from you.
They are a symbol of your own maturity as you make the transition from a young boy through puberty until your reach manhood. As a man, you are given the gifts of a deeper, more commanding voice, the ability to reproduce and of course, the ability to grow a beard among other things.
It brings up a clear distinction below.
Many argue that long head of hair, which is certainly natural, can fall in or out of style. Even a person’s body weight can follow the same sense of trendiness. Oddly enough, being overweight was a sign of a person’s level of wealth at one point in time.
However, there is something rather unique and special about a beard:
A beard has a waiting period attached to it.
A child cannot grow one, nor can a woman as we all know. Yet, a head of hair can be grown by both children and woman alike. Even body weight can be gained or lost by both genders, at any age.
In a sense, a beard is reserved for the grown man. It is a treasure to be prized, a fascinating mystery and a reminder of the most valuable thing in life: Time.
Now, there’s an old saying you may know, “Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend in his lifetime.” The advice is rather simple, don’t waste it. Perhaps the same can be said for a man’s beard.
Beards symbolize a whole host of things. (I could tell you about each one and it would take me years to cover them all.)
Many of which are up for debate and have intrigued scientists enough to study them, not to mention, encouraged men to actually grow them. In the simplest of forms, beards have been viewed as symbols of courage, strength, power, protection, and most notably, masculinity and manliness and so on.
In reality, a good beard is hard to miss. You notice it. Women do too.
Even the younger males often glance in admiration with hopes of reaching your level of masculinity later on in life. Truthfully, it would be hard for Santa Claus to hold such wonder and wisdom without his signature lengthy white beard. In a way it speaks volumes about his history in life; much like how gray hair gives older gentleman a more respectable look of experience and maturity.
Generations ago, the beard was a symbol treasured to the warrior. It was a badge of both respect and honor, and it followed a man on and off of the battlefield. I could tell you all about the history behind these stories, but I will save that for another day.
Instead, I would like to point out one thing in particular that hasn’t changed over the course of time. That my friends is sexual virility.
When a woman lays her eyes upon a beard, it draws them in like a moth to a candle flame. To understand that, you’ll have to disregard all the nonsense you’ve heard about women not being attracted to bearded men. Yes, I’ve seen the studies on stubble, clean-shaven, and I’ve studied them to death personally, and then some. What it all really boils down to is a man’s terrible grooming habits and her terrible experiences as a result when it comes to the negatives.
Regardless, think about it in a new light, and it will open your eyes.
Imagine a woman walks past you, a brunette, with long, angelic-like hair that seemingly blows in the wind. You can’t help but to look with a sparkle in your eye as each strand seemingly moves with grace. For a moment there your brain goes into overdrive and sends out a reminder: This is what the word “beautiful” has been attempting to describe, yet, it has never been clearer until now.
You are hooked like the prince on Rapunzel’s hair. It’s hard to ignore. In a sense, it’s a radiant symbol of a fountain of youth; something that fascinates all men like.
Now imagine a woman with a completely shaven head walking by. Surely you might stare for obvious reasons, but not for the same ones as mentioned above. That youth has suddenly vanished right before your eyes, and for most of you, so has your level of attraction.
In the opposite regard, what do women look at when they see a man in terms of virility?
His overweight or muscular body, his bald or full head of hair, his radiant or gloomy skin tone, perhaps his eye color.
Below the eyes, a place where most women focus in on, you’ll find something rather unique: His beard.
A symbol of virility, good health, and great genetics, all of which is up front and center.
Truthfully, it’s hard to miss, and it tells quite a lot about the man she’s presented with.
Submission or authenticity
Beards shouldn’t be grown nor cut out of response towards trends. Nor should they be specifically grown to attract women, as you’ll second-guess your decisions every step of the way.
In reality, what a beard boils down to is authenticity. It is after all, a part of YOU.
To grow one is to show the world the realest version of yourself. It is a billboard that announces what you stand for and what beliefs you follow. A beard does not inherently make you a rebel nor homeless as they like to say. Rather it merely states, I am a man. One who has values and principles and follows them with my heart. I am not steered by the quick opinions nor judgments of others. I am patient in my beliefs and remain understanding of those who do not share them.
For some men, growing or shaving away a beard is not a choice, it’s a decision made for them.
One that comes in the form of submission. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. We all have to make scarifies in order to get where we want to be in life. Of course, keep in mind, this is not always true for all men. Some simply have a personal dislike or negative view for beards. Again, no problem.
However, for the vast majority of clean shaven men, the beard must go due to conformity. The environment or workplace expectations can set the tone, as can the boss, customers or even your peers. You can compare a beard to that of short and long hair. In today’s times, having short hair will get you far in the working world, while long hair, not so much. It has its own challenges in a professional setting.
It reminds me of my teenage years. My father wasn’t opposed to my shaggy hairstyle back then, yet he explained the reality of how it would impact me in the business world. It would be harder to get hired anywhere without a short haircut, and well, he was damn right. So I did what any young man who’s faced at a roadblock of job hiring strikeouts would do, I went to the barbershop. The day I got that short haircut, doors started opening up and I found myself in the midst of the working world.
I bring that story up because, in order to get what I wanted at the time, I had to conform to what society expected to see. I had to make a sacrifice, one I preferred not to make at the time of course. Now, there was also one point in my life where I refused to shave my beard and was fired immediately. I learned firsthand as a young adult what happens when you go against the grain. (Understand this isn’t true for being a business owner or going against the non 9-5 route, though you do still have to give the market what it wants in some way, shape or form.)
My point is, it boils down to pleasing those around you if you want their acceptance. If you want to be a part of society, people expect you to well, fit into it, in a way they interrupt it. As a young adult, I viewed this much simpler form: looking just like everyone else. In reality, you announce to the world or your employer that you’re not defiant. You won’t break the rules, and you will submit to what’s requested of you as an upstanding gentleman.
In a world where shaving is expected of certain professional businessmen, you can bet most are playing follow the leader and not follow the heart. In a way, shaving today has become a symbol of submission. You could compare it to that of a college degree, though not as powerful nor influential. However, it does open the door and set the tone as to what kind of man you are. Remember, people often rely on first impressions before they can proceed to get to know you on a more personal level.
Popular and unpopular
In modern times, beards have almost become yet another taboo. (Think politics, financial, law, etc.)
And it’s a lot like other taboos too. Take sex, for example, people love to fear it publicity, but in private they obsess over it and enjoy it. At one point in time orgies were the party of the town, today they’re the complaint of a community when a club wants to open near the neighborhood.
In the world we live in, judgment of others is simply reality. Thought we’d all like to believe and proclaim we shouldn’t judge others, we still do it anyways. It can be both positive and negative, much like in negotiation or strategy during a game of poker when we rely on judging how others will respond or act.
When it comes to beards, some view them as a symbol of aggression, defiance, rebellion, or label them as unprofessional altogether. In contrast, others see them as symbols of honesty, protection, respect, or even as fatherly and so on.
Everyone has their own opinion. And you can’t always predict how someone will respond.
Though, to say beards are in or out of style is misleading. Beards are not fashion accessories nor are they clothes. If you want to compare them to the likes of cars, I can assure you a new model doesn’t roll around every year and eventually get outdated. Beards are forever engrained in your DNA. Society may dictate what is expected and set the norm for those who wish to follow, but ultimately it cannot change the fact that a beard is well, a unique part of YOU.
It’s true that beards may rise and fall in popularity among men, as they have since Alexander the Great, the Middle Ages, and so on. All throughout history in fact. However, statements like “beards are going in, or out of style” are purely based upon foolish speculation. In reality, beards are “always in style,” as they are “always a part of being a man.” If you don’t agree you can tell God or whoever you wish, to stop giving men the ability to grow them when they are born and reach maturity.
You can strip away something unique and special about a man, all because you are caught up in “trends” of the times.
To say having a beard is wrong is to say being born a man is wrong.
It honestly shouldn’t matter
We have so little time in this world be to ourselves, why waste it being someone we’re not?
The popularity of beards among other men shouldn’t be a decision maker for any man. We get so caught up in trying to follow others, that we often neglect our own principles, morals, and sense of character at times.
It shouldn’t matter if beards are on the rise or on the decline. What should ultimately matter is how you wish to present yourself to the world. If a beard holds a meaning close to you, what the critics say should have no value. In reality, no one ever makes statues of the critics.
In reality, some gentlemen prefer to spend their Sundays whipping up a smooth wet shave, while others find happiness and comfort with natural, bearded self. No man is right nor wrong when it comes to making his own personal decision in life.
Though, the real problem stems from anti-beard sentiment. It’s unfortunate that some still view beards as being unprofessional, it’s certainly one-sided and unjustifiably opinionated. In reality, I believe a great deal of men are simply intimidated by them. While those who are unable to grow them often pass judgment out of insecurity.
Of course, when was the last time you heard about a man being refused a job for not having a beard?
In a way, I do and don’t blame those who see beards in that kind of light. Beards lose their respect when the men with them stop putting any respect back into them. The difference between a well-groomed beard and an ignored overgrown one isn’t hard to spot. And it’s not just the professionals who notice; women do too.
When it comes to women, the number one gripe I hear about beards has nothing to do with the attractiveness of a beard physically itself. In fact, most are more attracted to bearded men over clean shaven men. Instead, it has to do with the poor grooming habits men choose to live by. Imagine greasy steel wool rubbing against your face with every kiss. It’s not pleasant for her, and those experiences set the tone for next bearded man.
While beards are a gift to every man, in a way, they aren’t for every man. They require attention, care, and patience, and laziness often spoils the beauty. Perhaps it explains why there will always be a fluctuation between men growing and shaving beards. We all experiment from time to time too, only to discover victory or be met with failure.
With That Said
If there’s one thing that pronounces masculinity exceptionally well, it’s the beard. To see it viewed in a negative light from time to time is rather unfortunate. Truthfully, a beard is a part of every man.
It does not always have to be admired nor praised, however, it should be respected nonetheless; regardless of the trends.
A beard does not sour with the passage of time. It should not sour from the opinions of others either.
A beard should never wait for trends; rather it should wait on only one thing: You.
If you are interested in growing a beard, I greatly encourage you to do so.