So what’s with male facial hair?
I'm not opposed to beards
Let me begin by saying that I am not opposed to male facial hair.
Some men such as Tom Selleck, Chuck Norris, Teddy Roosevelt and as a writer, who can forget the formidable facial hair of one Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. “Mark Twain”; all have worn their facial hair very well but that’s not true of many today.
It wasn’t that long ago that facial hair on a man was usually reserved for older men, homeless men, nomads or for some as an ethnic or cultural identification.
But for probably the past twenty years it has become what I consider almost an epidemic.
With respect to my sons who “play” off and on with beards, goatees and mustaches, what’s it all about?
I mean it is not a simple thing to maintain; I know because I’ve tried it. I mean I have no problem with growing facial hair (the manly thing to say I know); unfortunately that is too easy. It’s the maintenance. Why not just be clean shaven?
I mean, I know Don Johnson started making the “near or shadow beard” a fad back in the old television Miami Vice days and then everyone I knew who was not in the ministry had one and even some of them.
As time progressed the beards got fuller, more unique and then longer.
When ZZ Top (the Classic Rockers) came along and had beards almost long enough to reach the floor while driving motorcycles and classic cars; well that was just it.
Mechanics and auto body technicians just had to have the ZZ Top look. It seemed like on every car they completed, they had to have a Polaroid photo taken. I was working part time in a body shop at the time and one body tech while welding, accidentally caught his ZZ Top style beard on fire and well, he nearly died. The shop immediately banned beards of all styles and at least for shops in the area, clean shaven men were back.
Then there are preachers and don’t get me started here. Yes I know Charles Spurgeon himself had almost the equivalent of a ZZ Top style beard as did Evangelist Dwight L. Moody but for the most part, the clean shaven minister had basically been a tradition and even a requirement for being a pastor.
Then all of a sudden my Southern Baptist Pastor colleague, Dr. Rick Warren of Saddle Back Community Church, donned a short beard, mustache and goatee and now every young pastor/preacher seems to think, “they gotta have one”.
It’s quite the rave, this whole male facial hair thing. But the question still rages on as to why?
They get messy, get in the way, difficult to maintain and from years of marriage and pre-marriage counseling, my experience says most woman don’t like them. In fact I was recently counseling a much older woman about her problems in dating and her remarks to me were that she wished she could find "a man her age who didn’t look like Santa" (my personal apology to Santa Clause).
Hub 5 of 30 in 30 Day Challenge
The beard is a cover up
In viewing some recent television programs, it appears most women prefer a clean shaven face and chest and some even prefer shaven legs and arms. Have you seen the “male hair removal products” on pharmacy shelves?
So again, why spend all the efforts to trim, prim and prod those beards?
Historically, the Greeks, Egyptians and Romans all practiced (although there were exceptions) clean shaven faces. They utilized the popular “singe” cutting method still practiced by some barbers today.
Psychologically, the beard is a “cover up” and yes Freud too had a beard. He admitted his confused and displaced psyche and his infatuation with many unmentionables. Freud indeed had much to hide.
From my years of counseling whenever a man decided to grow a beard, he was usually covering up his beginning of an affair. Ironically, I never met a woman who didn’t sense this; it was like notice given to the wife she was being replaced. Men often do it to avoid intimacy with their wife because they don’t want to be involved with two women at the same time.
Beards have come and gone and some cultures and ethnicities have always identified with a certain style of facial hair. There are other cultures and ethnicities which cannot produce facial hair and many of us admire that lack of ability.
As I stated in the beginning I have nothing against men who want facial hair; if that’s their choice then so be it.
For me however, well I just love the feel of a woman’s lips against my bare face and want nothing in her way preventing her sweet lips from touching mine.
©Copyright 2012 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III
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