Growing up I remember that my father always had a beard. Shaving was never a thing in our household. I would remember my mother would always complain how his trimmings would cascade across the sink.
The sound his trimmer would make when he did trim it up. It was always lined under his neck, and his mustache would be neat and proper.
At the age of 15, I started to grow my beard out as well, like father like son, right?! When I first started to grow it in, it was sparse at best. Worst of all, I was blond, so it was barely even noticeable, unless the sun was high that day. At which point, I looked like something off your popular teen vampire movie. Yet, I did not care. I was determined to rock that wispy beard no matter what. I would look in the mirror and wonder if my beard would ever be as full and as neat as my fathers.
Fast forward about 15 years, I had just retired from military service. I no longer was required to shave my face or cut my hair. I mean after all; it was time to give my face a break. As such, I decided to grow my beard out again. This time, my beard would be a testament to my retirement from service. They started to grow just as my fathers did, with one exception, the hair under my bottom lip and my mustache was either patchy at best or no existent.
I would see my friends and co-workers with lavish, untamed manes with a great mustache, and the longest, fullest beard you have ever seen. I would think to myself; I wish my beard would look that awesome.
I was desperate to grow my beard as long and as full as them. Why was my beard so pitiful and meek? I was caught in the grasps of beard envy.
What is Beard Envy?
Urban Dictionary defines Beard Envy as: “seeing someone else with a beard, miles more epic than the one you are currently sporting, making you wish you hadn't shaved or wish you had one like it”.
Basically, you are jealous of someone else with a better beard. Maybe, your beard is not what you want it to be, or it may not be trimmed as neat.
You may be that person who cannot grow a beard at all and you see every man, just about everywhere, with a beard and it is a constant reminder of something you cannot attain.
I Know Beard Envy
I understand Beard Envy all too well. After all I used to suffer from it. Even when I started writing articles for The Beard Struggle, I was wrought with envy. Seeing all the other Beard Ambassador’s, such great majestic beards, whereas mine was thin, and patchy. I was Teaching others how to grow beards, yet I felt inadequate about mine. I was grieved with something called Impostor Syndrome. Impostor Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon referring to a pattern of behavior where someone may doubt their own accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.
Fight the Envy
The thing about beards is they will eventually grow (most of the time). There are those out there who will never achieve the full bearded lifestyle. For you, I am truly remorseful. However, those who can you need to remember these tenants:
Truthfully, Beard Envy will pass. In the early stages of beard growth, it is not uncommon to see patchy spots where the hair is not coming in as well as you would have liked or hoped. Most guys feel as if they should shave it off and start from scratch. However, you will never achieve until you let it grow. Best advice is to invest in a beard brush and those patches will at least reduce their appearance. Additionally, invest in an exfoliating agent to help the little pesky buggers sprout.
See there is this huge stigma out there that if you use products on your face you a deemed less manly. Well if you love your beard or would love to have one, moisturizing your beard is a must.
It is not enough to just be a male; a good bread requires that you eat right. Foods full of vitamins will help fuel healthy beard growth. Remember if you put good in, you get good out.
Beard Envy Still Thrives
There is always going to be someone with a better beard. And if you manage to achieve a better beard then them you point of reference will only change. Because, there will always someone with a better beard then you.
You do not like my beard? That is okay, I didn’t grow it for you!
Growing a great beard will not change how you feel; you must accept that your beard is best for you. That you achieved what your body could do. Perspective is what changes envy. Be happy with what you have, because some men struggle to grow even what you have. Remember this, Reality is the illusion created by the mind, based on perception. Change the perception and reality changes.
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