Beards Gone Wild

Friday, 17 October 2014

As soon as something becomes a trend, fashion insiders declare it to be passé. It’s hard to keep up with, expensive and I avoid trying to be “on trend” and just wear whatever I deem to be stylish. There’s a difference.  If something doesn’t look good on me, I’m not going to wear it no matter what the fashion mags preach. Women are generally better about this than men. Most guys don’t get so caught up in who’s wearing what but when they latch onto a trend, there’s no letting go.

Case in point. The beard. It’s been trendy for about 5 years now, which means it’s gone on too long. Literally. Because I’m not just talking about a little scruff, but a full fledged wooly mass.

What’s that about guys? Love it or hate it we all have a personal relationship with our hair. A short, sharp cut on a woman screams cutting edge and confident while a long healthy mane is a statement of femininity. I can only guess that the widespread hirsuteness creeping across the jawlines of men everywhere is a similar declaration of masculinity. While Proctor & Gamble reports a decline in sales of razor blades I wonder if there’s been an equal rise in the sales of lumberjack shirts. Given today’s shaggy hay-like “styles”, it would make sense. Do you shampoo and condition that thing?

A beard does not a man make.  A fully shaved face says open, honest, sure of himself and able to be vulnerable. That’s manly. Today’s big beard is distracting. I wonder if it’s hot in the summer and does it itch? Is it hard to take care of and does it get in the way? I can’t see beyond that thing.

A guy who’s face is free of excessive hair is sending the message that he’s taken the time to groom. And whether at the office or on a date, that says respect. The bushy bearded man seems to fall at either end of the spectrum. Either, I don’t care at all or I care too much. Because today’s Hollywood bad boy beard is often sported by dudes who spend a whole lot of time in front of the mirror (attempting to look like they didn’t spend any time in front of the mirror). It’s the modern metrosexual statement. And do any of these men like a woman who doesn’t shave her legs? I doubt it.

I’m not saying facial hair can’t look good. But it doesn’t look good on every guy. If you’re going down this road remember that every man’s noggin is a different shape and size and that should dictate your style. In general, a beard should be shaped to enhance or create the illusion of a square shaped face. And it can hide a double chin. Please visit a professional barber – they’re everywhere these days – and don’t just let things grow wild.

Just look at a few celebrities clean shaven and then gone Grizzly [as in Adams. See below]. Can you seriously tell me any of these guys looks better bearded? If there’s a role for Santa up for grabs Jim Carey gets my vote.

With Movember just around the corner I expect things will get worse before they get better. Hopefully by the time Christmas arrives we’ll have moved on to the next big thing. But then again, I imagine that beard would keep you warm during a chilly Canadian winter.

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Screen shot 2014-10-16 at 3.58.18 PM

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[Thank you betterwithabeard.tumblr.com for providing so many comparisons for us!]

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