Is the renaissance of facial hair related to its ability to disguise, to re-invent? Is it to make a male fashion statement? Or is it simply facial hair?
From Shiny Style:
"In the desert of men's style, facial hair is a rare oasis (or just a big bush, if we're doing analogy accuracy). It is, the more I think about it, a much better version of the female hairdo. It is free to grow and free to maintain. It can be altered day to day with only minimal effort. It requires no straightening, curling, spraying or highlighting. They aren't made to feel inadequate by celebs with 'beard extensions'. And, as far as I'm aware, no man is afraid to go out in the rain in case his beard goes fluffy."
My apologies for leaving you hanging last week - I had a bit of an emergency in my life and wasn't able to get any posts up here. Even if I had written some, they probably wouldn't have made any sense to you, due to the pain medication I've been on.
A week ago Friday, I took a big fall while messing around on some rocks with a friend. I landed right on my foot, which ended up with me breaking the ends of my leg bones, right at the ankle. I can't put any weight on it, and have had x-rays, MRI, and tomorrow a CT scan to determine if surgery is necessary. I'm thankful for the prescription for Percocet so I can deal with the pain!
Anyway, after laying in bed for several days, I decided to really get washed up and shaved and into new clothes, just so I would feel better about myself (I was feeling like a patient, an invalid, not a free man). That was an ordeal, but after we figured out how to prop my knee up onto a chair in front of the sink, and put everything within reach, I was able to have a great shave. I felt like a new man afterward!
My thoughts were that if I could feel this much better after a shave, and I only had a broken leg, then what about someone with a broken arm or hand, or someone elderly, who can't control his razor well enough to shave safely? It seems like something relatively small - shaving someone's face who can't do it themselves - but it could have a big impact on that person's attitude in general.
Do you have a father or grandfather who needs assistance? Any relative or friend with a disability who might be really grateful for a shave? Perhaps mobile shaving would be a good move for a local barber shop - going to people's homes and giving them a close shave, maybe even as a volunteer sort of venture?
[Image is totally unrelated, but it's such a great pic, don't you think?]
A man from Virginia, Muhammed Abu Tahir, was on Air Tran flight 39 from Atlanta to San Francisco and decided to have about five airline-sized bottles of wine during the flight. He then decided to take a visit to the lavatory and get a bit more comfortable.
He took off his shoes and socks and placed them outside the door of the bathroom. He then removed his shirt, opened the door, and began shaving. Flight attendants tried to coax him back to his seat, but he wasn't having any of it (maybe it was an epic shave?)
Muhammed turned aggressive and refused to return to his seat, forcing flight personnel and passengers to 'guard' the door to the lavatory. He remained in the bathroom until the flight made an emergency landing at Colorado Springs (F-16's were scrambled to help escort the flight, just in case). He was then arrested and transported to jail.
So let that be a lesson to you - if you're gonna shave, do it before you fly. If you're gonna get ripped during the flight, stay in your seat and don't annoy the rest of the passengers...
It's amazing to me that so many people are up in arms about other people's facial hair choices. Seriously. I follow news items about beards as a part of my job of staying on top of shaving trends and stories, and when I open my newsreader in the morning, I'm stymied by the attention (or lack of) that some of these stories get.
Here's a few beard news stories I'd like to share with you:
Brad Pitt's face gets all the play: Pitt's goatee, complete with mini-dreadlocks, has dominated the celebrity facial hair scene lately, and I can't quite understand the controversy. He's an actor, right? And actors change their looks for roles, yeah? So what's the big deal? Do you think he cares about what the rest of us think of his beardedness? I don't. Let's let the man grow what he wants to on his face.
And on the flip-side, style gurus are saying "The new must-have accessory? A beard": "George Clooney makes us swooney and never more so than with his latest look, a grizzled salt-and-pepper beard that takes the Oscar-winner from dashing to debonair." So it's OK for Clooney, but not Pitt? Hmm.
You better not shave in Somalia: Dozens of men in Somalia's southern city of Kismayo were arrested and jailed by religious police for shaving their beards. Evidently the state has banned the shaving of beards (or ordered men to grow them, however you want to look at it), and will arrest you for violating Islamic culture laws.
In boxing news, the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) has banned all facial hair from its fighters, which would bar the Sikh and Muslim boxers with beards from competing: "It's such a petty go at the beard. It's a sport and it has some risks but the hair does not really in any way increase those risks. It's a perverse retrograde step that should be challenged." - Dr Indarjit Singh, Network of Sikh Organizations
Despite shortage of rabbis in the Army, this one can't wear his beard and be a military chaplain: "There is only one [Jewish chaplain] right now in all of Europe. We have a large number of young, selfless rabbis who would come to active duty as long as the beard regulation is waived. They are not fearful of going to war zones, because they are so dedicated and committed to reaching out to all Jews."
You might want to read this post about the effect of facial hair on people's perceptions of you. You may want to go clean shaved, or you might start growing that beard.
From the Vancouver Sun:
"If I had to guess, I would have thought that facial hair -- especially a full beard -- would worsen your chances of getting a job (or a promotion) as it's seen as somewhat unkempt and messy. Indeed, I know some normally bearded people who have actually gone clean-shaven when going in for a job interview.
But the research on the question is actually pretty mixed."
The Beard Liberation Front has spoken. The beard of the decade goes to Michael Eavis, founder of the long running Glastonbury Festival, beating Fidel Castro and joining bearded luminaries such as Robert Plant and Tom Jones.
"The BLF, an informal network of beard wearers, said the accolade was decided upon after an intense discussion between about 200 members.
Organiser Keith Flett said: "Michael Eavis is a true hirsute icon of the noughties and he beat Castro to the accolade by the merest whisker.
"The support was split between Eavis and Castro.
"Castro is difficult to get hold of but I'm sure the news will filter through one way or another."
"Unless you're over the age of 45, moustaches are probably not such a good idea. I get it, you're trying to be ironic, right? Look hipster, it's not working out. You just look like a jackass."
A jackass? Hmm.
"First of all, moustaches on young men are just plain creepy. Moustaches make you look like sex offenders. Go ahead, go look on those neighborhood watchdog websites, where they show you photos of your local pervs - the vast majority are rocking a 'stache."
Any readers wearing a moustache care to respond? I'd be curious to hear what you think.
Nothing against Gabby Hayes, Boston Blackie or Fu Manchu, but beards and mustaches aren't my style. And I know the day-old-beard look is cool these days, but I'm old school.
I think it's because there's nothing quite as refreshing and invigorating as a nice clean shave."
Personally, I love the change that happens to my face after a close shave - if I've been letting the stubble take over, shaving makes me look years younger. I also like that I can change my look within a week, by letting a goatee, soul patch, or beard grow out. Shaving is also a big rite of passage for boys, and getting your first razor is a big deal - so I like that it acknowledges the change from boy to man.
What I hate about it is that if I go clean shaven, I have to do it every single day - and sometimes I just don't want to do that (but I won't wax my face - haha).
What do you love about shaving?
What do you hate about it?
Leave me some comments, and if I get some good feedback, I'll do a roundup post on the subject.
Evidently there's a Beard Liberation Front (BLF), which "campaigns in support of beards and opposes discrimination against those who wear them."
"Apart from its numerous campaigns in support of beards and against discrimination in the workplace and against those who wear beards as part of their religion, it currently hosts the annual Beard of the Year award." - Wikipedia
As the temperature drops around the country, you may be considering growing out your whiskers, and it's good to know that the BLF has got your back (beard?).
Coming fresh on the heels of 'Movember" and "No-Shave November", I'm also sharing this great beard song: