Why do men have beards?
Some would like to think that this is mainly due to (at least for myself) the realization that we, as pubescent men can grow a beard. Additionally, we are making a statement to society that we are not part of the status quo. Growing a beard tells a society a lot about who we are. It is literally written on your face like the stories of a book. However, this is not just rebellion as some might be inclined to think. It is our struggle, as men, to cast off the chain brought on by humankind's assertion to rules and conformity. Regardless of your reason, let’s explore some of the personalities that are associated with the bearded man.
The Bearded Veterans
He smells of whiskey & bacon, points Knife-hands at everything and keeps calling everybody “Fucker” (*Chuckles, I love that meme). I was reading this article the other day entitled “5 ways to spot a veteran” and as a Veteran myself I can relate to this article. We as bearded veterans are loud, boisterous, and assertive. We like to speak loudly to ensure that we are heard. This is mainly due to being in situations where we needed deliver clear, concise, and unambiguous orders during combat related situations. We run around with shaggy and unkempt beards. Yet, as surprising as it may be, we have Immaculate, crisp, and sharp hairstyles. This is mainly due to being told, day in and day out, everything from what to eat to how close to shave 24-7, 365 days a year. My Platoon Sergeant (pronounced “er·geant ˈsärjənt/”), would run around with a credit card and scape it against my cheek. If he felt resistance I would be subject to remediation; to put it more bluntly, I did a “fuck-ton” of push-ups. Another way to tell we are veterans is just to stare at us a while. Eventually, we will walk up to you and start regaling tales of woes and heroism. We're like vegans, but with punching.
The Bearded Lumberjack
Indicatively, Lumberjacks were workers in the logging industry who performed the initial harvesting and transporting of trees for ultimate processing into forest products. The actual work was tedious, difficult, and dangerous, with depraved and desperate living conditions. These are the men who do the real menial labor. They lived in isolated communities comprised of all men. Due to this isolated and desperate lifestyle grooming went out the window. This style is indicative with little to no grooming standards. It is also important to note that these men were not what society calls today Lumbersexuals (Pretty sure Lumberjacks would eat them for breakfast). The most shocking aspect of the Lumberjack is that this style of man has become a dying breed. Whether it is due to environmentalism or industrialism this style of man is becoming extinct.
The scholarly beard, or the Academics beard
This style is associated with men who are older in age. Also known as the “the Older Man” beard this style is referred to as old-fashioned. You can witness this mostly on the campuses and the faces of Professors in Colleges. It is denoted with a groomed and neat appearance with hint of grey/white or majority of grey/white.
The Viking Beard (the Warrior Beard)
The modern-day Viking man, much like his predecessors, is marked by his independent and strong-willed nature and unique warrior personality. The Beard style is very much the same. With all their time devoted to their craft they have little time for anything else. The beard just like their craft is denoted by patience and mastery. As such, their hair is long, their beard is also long, the sideburns flow down into a full beard their mustache is unkempt and with no sculpting or shaping at all. Most importantly, the key to the Viking (Warrior) beard is after getting it long enough you braid it.
The Dapper Man, is a man with a strong sense of fashion, they are not a hipster; they are the epitome of the 1920’s term Dapper. He personifies confidence, is cultivated, and possesses a well put together personal style all his own. You simply look at them and only one term comes to mind; Dapper. The Dapper man is this: they think good, behave better and appear to be well-groomed. Their grooming is denoted with a full beard and a Handlebar Mustache.
The Bearded Hipster
The hipster signifies that they are not beholden to the corporate work world and value independent thinking. They have also been called Lumbersexuals or Urban Bearded man. However, the Lumbersexual is a very specific personality. The Lumbersexual look like lumberjacks, who are also Hipsters that have a bit of a problem with masculinity. This emasculation is due a lot to being stuck in a city and disconnected with nature. You know the elements; the dirt, grime, moss, and pine. They long for it, yet they cannot escape the city life to enjoy it. It is important to note however, that Lumbersexuals are Hipsters and not the other way around. With that said, the Hipster, is representative of anything that is not mainstream. Remember, society is all about the corporate conformity, so think of everything that is socially acceptable and strive for opposite. They may have full beards, or scruff, and their hair is long, usually, in a bun. They most of the time are not trend chasers, they are fashionable before it becomes mainstream.
Whether it is Fashion, or a break from conformity being denoted as a man is important to our individuality. It sets one man apart from the next and tells a story about who we are as individuals. So regardless of whether you are a Hipster or a Viking, Embrace it and be the best one you can be.
Like what you read, or have a comment/ interjection, please feel free to comment. Until next time Brothers, Beard On!.