The Bearded Bravado

JCWhen I was growing up I spent a lot of time in front of the TV. It wasn’t because I had nothing to do it’s just because when you weren’t outside playing (like a normal kid) you just watched the amazing amount of really cool cartoons we had growing up in the 80’s. Yes, I’m that old. The one feature that defined the macho bravado of a man was facial hair. You see it all the time today as well. The big burly man with a mustache so big it is assumed the hair acts as some sort of krill filter to match his whale-like physique.

Today it’s no different. A man is defined by the physical attributes he displays as much as mental aptitude, civility, and the ability to articulate more than two words beyond grunting. That is what I am now noticing as I let this monstrosity continue to grow. People are often impressed by the length. How fast it has grown in the short amount of time I’ve grown it. Some Women have even approached me to let me know they wished their Husbands/Boyfriends could grow something as thick as this beard has gotten.

All of this made me wonder if our society is that shallow that we define people by their appearances. The knee-jerk reaction to this is of course they do. You are instantly taken through this thought process internally when you meet someone. If they have tattoos all over their body they must be a criminal. If they have a hoodie and thick black glasses on they must be a hipster or someone in technology. If they have a beard they must be a manly man!

This little experiment gets more and more interesting as the beard gets longer and longer. Some people who haven’t seen me in a while are taken aback. Some haven’t even recognized me when I see them. I actually kind of like the anonymity that last one provides. Whatever the outcome one thing is certain, we change our appearance for many reasons. It could be that we just want to change things up, but in the end it’s a great way to re-invent yourself. It’s also a great way to show someone how manly you can be. And while I have come REALLY close to chopping this thing off, I realize it’s becoming who I am. This may all change as we get to warmer weather, but for now I’m enjoying having this thing visit for a while. We’ll see what that looks like when it’s not 50 degrees outside but rather 90. Happy growing!

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~ by JC on February 2, 2013.

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