Awesome Beards and Why I Love Them

22 Feb

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!

From wikipedia:

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.

Now, while Mr. Dyer has devoted at least some portion of his life to shaving his beard into all of these fabulous styles, I just want to talk about why I think beards are cool.

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, 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!


21 Responses to “Awesome Beards and Why I Love Them”

  1. Jennifer Rice February 22, 2011 at 5:42 am #

    I totally agree! I miss my fella’s beard mightily.

  2. Doug Lance February 22, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    I’m bitter. Where’s the love for the mustache?

    • redshana February 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

      Haha, I have total love for the mustache… maybe that will be the next post… 🙂

      • Poff February 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

        Yes, you should address why someone (me) would only be comfortable with mustaches if I had originally met that person with a mustache.

  3. Laura Poff February 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    One would have to be very talented, patient, and brave to grow the Super Mario. But I love that it’s there. I was about to say that I think mustaches are totally different than beards, but then I saw that the poster said expanded facial hair. But they are different in my opinion. Brian with a beard totally cool. Don’t think I could deal with a mustache, though. They give me icky feelings sometimes.

  4. Laura Poff February 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    I’m leaving this comment just because I forgot to check that little box to get follow-up comments.

    • redshana February 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

      I feel like American culture has impressed upon us that mustaches are for villains and beards are for hunters, which we like. I like them all, mainly out of jealousy.

      • Poff February 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

        I don’t know if it’s the villain thing… I suppose subconsciously it could be. Or maybe it’s that my dad had one and I hated it. But mostly I feel like something is missing when I look it. Why spend all the time to shave your chin and leave that thing above your lips? Then I don’t really like how it’s become a weird vintage 70’s look. It all feels so dirty to me, but I can’t put my finger on why.

        • redshana February 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

          It sounds like you dislike the 70s porn stache, the “dirty” might be your associations?

  5. Nikki February 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Shana – this says it perfectly! I love beards too! I’m so lucky that my husband is willing to grow one for me (or that he kept putting off shaving and I was able bribe him into continuing that indefinitely)!

    • redshana February 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

      Yeah, I think the main reason Daniel is bearded is because it would take more effort for him not to be at this point.

      • Daniel Harper February 24, 2011 at 1:28 am #

        That’s been my number one reason for having a beard for about fifteen years now.

  6. Mariella February 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    My contribution to this shall be the great statement: A man without a beard is just not dressed properly. (courtesy of a forum on StudiVZ, the German facebook) So I’m with you on loving the beard.
    However, I have to admit that context can change perspective. It’s not the kind of beard you talk about, but I read an article on a guy who conducted a self-experiment growing a Hitler-moustache. He got strange responses, naturally. On the other hand I hear from friends that they are double-checked at airports because their expansive facial hair apparently makes them suspicious of terrorist action, especially when they are dark-haired. That I find ridiculous.

  7. Riki February 23, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    Shana, I guess you have to help me love the beard… Sean is my first boyfriend EVER who has had a beard and I just… oh, I just HATE it!
    Thoughts? Words of encouragement? I want to see his dimples and his beardy mcbeardface hides that!

    • redshana February 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

      Other than the obfuscation of said prized dimples, what else don’t you like about it? I think there are positives and benefits to any change like this. Personally, I like the feel of it. I like playing with beards. I like how it feels against my face.

      Having said that, this is only after the beard reaches a certain length. When D’s beard is too short it HURTS like HELL! So, you might want to ask Sean to let it get fuller. Just like any other hair, it has to get long enough to be *soft* not *prickly-as-a-cactus*.

      • Laura Poff February 24, 2011 at 1:00 am #

        I also only appreciate very full beards with great smiles and eyes that smile.

      • Daniel Harper February 24, 2011 at 2:19 am #

        People have different tastes, and not everyone is into beards. Beards DO get softer as they get longer, though, and that may help Riki, but ultimately it’s a matter of taste. Some people just can’t stand the way they tickle. Proper trimming can solve that one.

        At this point, I can barely imagine going through life without a beard long-term, although I sometimes trim when it gets hot in the summer.

  8. marin February 26, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    I love beards. And it is my dream to someday date a fabulously bearded man.
    I also wanted to share this blog about beards which I love to read/look at.

    • redshana February 26, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

      I LOVE THIS SITE! That’s it, I had been thinking about doing another entry on beards… this may make it official! Also, I’m sure someday you will date a fabulously bearded man, if its what you want 🙂

  9. Alicia February 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    My husband recently acquired a goatee and, while I’m uncertain about a full beard on him, I’m in love with his goatee already and can’t imagine him shaving it off!

    • redshana February 27, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

      It’s a little weird how quickly we can get attached to things like that, huh? Also, I request pictures of said facial hair 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: