Obviously, for their awesomeness. But really? I’m a beard-o-phile (or pog0nophile, to be more accurate, although that sounds like pogs and that’s an entirely different entry).
If you know me, you know it’s true. And if you know my manfriend, you understand that I am in a relationship with a pretty awesome beard (honestly, it’s a relationship that is separate and unique from the relationship with the man himself).
But how to define an awesome beard? Are some beards greater than others? Does not having a beard make you less of a person?
I attempt to answer these questions today!
A beard is the collection of hair that grows on the chin, cheeks and neck, but not the upper lip, of human beings…. The Greek word for beard: “pogon” is the root of a number of technical and humorous words relating to beards. For example the study of beards is called “pogonology”, giving rise to “pogonologist” and similar words. Those terms are fairly respectable because the study is non-trivial… In the course of history, men with facial hair have been ascribed various attributes such as wisdom and knowledge, sexual virility, masculinity, or high social status; and, conversely, filthiness, crudeness, or an eccentric disposition.
Just in case you needed to know that this study is, in fact, non-trivial. I think that covers it fairly well and (below) here’s a picture to get us going right, thanks to some guy name John Dyer who has done a pretty fab job at devoting himself to all things beard.
Reason #1: Elitism
Pure and simple, not everyone can have a beard. For some of us (not just the girls) growing hair into a sculptable/shapeable piece of facial artwork isn’t possible and that’s what makes it so desirable!
Call it human nature but facial adornment can, in some ways, be classified right along side of all the other kinds of adornment that are limited to a minority and therefore become more prized.
Indeed, there are even World Bear Championships where people sculpt their beards into weird shapes, it’s an elitism that’s near athletic!
Reason #2: The Ability to Change
Related to the first reason but more specific.
As a girl, I have dyed my hair probably hundreds of times (literally) in my lifetime. Why? Because it’s an easy change.
I have also cut it into nearly as many styles.
And it all comes down to control. If you can’t control your life, turning your hair into something new and different can make you feel new and different.
What if, in addition to the hair I had on my head, I also had a whole face worth of the stuff?
Let’s just say, it’s probably good I’m a woman in this situation.
Reason #3: The Feel of It
Beards are made of hair unlike the hair atop your head and it feels cool.
Yes, that’s my highly scientific (hey, I’m a poet) description of why I like feeling beard hairs. Honestly, Daniel has gotten so used to people feeling his beard he usually offers before people even ask if they can.
He can tell by the way people look, he can identify the beard-lust, and usually when he says “Go ahead, touch it,” there’s a certain near-creepy child-like glee that rushes over the individual’s face.
So, I must say, this is where I get a little judgmental in my beard preferences. Personally, the full and natural look is the way to go. Though I understand the desire for trimming and general up-keep.
Reason #4: I Just DO!
What can I say? When I was growing up my dad had a beard, I watched TV with bearded men (the aforementioned Riker), and, in general, as far back as I can remember, I have always thought beards were cool.
I’m certainly not the only one. Of the many websites there are devoted to beards, I think the best is all about beards. Although the site that I got the styles photo, Dyers.org is entertaining in that one guy is trying to have all of the beard-styles at some point. And, while he and I differ on some of the names (the Rap Industry Standard is commonly referred to as the Douchebeard in our household) he seems to have more a bit more scientific in his classifications.
So that’s all I have to say for now but, who knows, maybe there will be more beard posts to come. Having said that, this is the first ever reader-requested topic. How do you think it went? Are you bitter I didn’t write about something else? Let me know!