A few thoughts on wearing a beard
Why do some people believe it´s ok to spontaneously comment and even criticize me as a bearded man? I grow my beard for my own pleasure and not to please or displease others. Writing this is not me being a cry baby, I´m just interested in the fact that in the part of the world where I live, there seems to be certain attributes regarding ones looks that are more ok to heckle than others. Numerous times I have been called a Taliban; I have been asked if I´m wearing a belt of bombs under my shirt; I have been told that I was much better looking before I grew my beard, and so on. Come on, it´s facial hair, not a manifesto on my face! What is it with the beard that stirs up all these emotions that people necessarily must get of their chest by telling me personally? Sure, the positive remarks are way more common but I’m still stunned by the way people feel it´s perfectly all right to comment on my looks just because I have a beard.

Throughout the years I´ve tried many different haircuts and styles in clothing but I´ve never before experienced the kind of face to face reactions I get because of my beard. I mean, I can just imagine what the reactions would be if I was to comment someone´s new haircut in the same manner. “WOW your hair looks like it´s been run over by a lawn mower!” I would probably, and rightfully, be called a jerk because this is not a nice thing to say. So why is it that the self-imposed beard critics are not? Do these people think that the beard works like some kind of shield against harsh remarks?

I have a few theories. Maybe my beard sends out some kind of signal that I am a very self-secure person and therefore should be somewhat immune to criticism. In my case this is probably not far from the truth but still, how can anyone be sure of this, just by looking at my beard? Another theory is that people are provoked by the fact that I choose not to be a part of the beardless mass. Maybe because they themselves have an urge to be a little less plain but lack the courage and to compensate they feel it´s ok to try and diminish my confidence. I don´t know and I really don´t care. Well that´s not entirely true because I did take the time to write this. But I would say that I´m rather curious than offended. What I do know and care about is that everyone that feels like growing a beard of any kind should just go for it. Be bearded. Be proud.

Written by Peter.M