The Trials and Tribulations of the Bearded Man

Tis the season, right? In honor of the unofficial month-long holiday, No-Shave November, I, Calhoun Kersten, your humble blogger, have been abstaining from shaving. Now, I know what you’re thinking, it’s a risky venture. After all, it’s a certain type of guy that can pull off a beard. And I’m here to tell you, I am not one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I always look good. But the beard is slowly taking over. Not just my face, because let’s be real, it’s still kinda patchy, but my life. I’ve become that guy who’s all about his beard.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I bumped into you, I couldn’t see you past my glorious full beard.”

“What’s that? I didn’t hear you. I got distracted by looking at my majestic facial hair in that slightly reflective surface.”

I mean, it’s becoming a real problem. I can’t even think without drawing attention to my beard. In the time that it’s taken me to write these 160-some words, I’ve stopped and found myself stroking my beard, deep in thought, at least three times.

But here’s the thing, it’s not just about what the beard is doing to me. The beard changes other people too. Suddenly, mothers pull their children close to them when they pass me on the street. I didn’t realize that growing facial hair automatically made me the next candidate for a Dateline To Catch a Predator special. Although now that I think about it, it is kinda hard to remember the last sex offender I saw on the news that didn’t have facial hair… I’m pretty sure the facial hair and pedophilia aren’t related, but it does seem to be an unfortunate coincidence.

It’s not just people looking at me like I’m a creep though. I recently wrote a blog post about my facial hair for Random Letters to the World where I received a rude awakening from one reader. Her comment is as follows…

“I am female, and though I understand a lot of gender-specific fixations, I don’t at all understand what the fascination is with men and their beards (or lack thereof).
I have met completely well rounded and confident men who are fixated on beards. They either have a completely absurd beard and long hair, making it so you cant see their faces (just eyes and fur) or they try so hard to grow in beards and facial hair that its almost as if their biology is spiting them. Evolutionarily I cannot imagine that its completely beneficial, as i have not found many women who are attracted to men with that degree of facial hair, and further not actually knowing what someone looks like underneath it all seems a bit unsettling. If they shaved and you saw them the next day you might not know who they are…”

Oh, I’m sorry miss, I didn’t realize that my choice to grow facial hair was so distressing to you. If I had known it would upset someone who has never commented on my blog before and probably will never read it again, I would have chosen a different way to celebrate No Shave November. Perhaps a festive bundt cake?

But that’s not the point either. I’ve noticed that since growing a beard, I’ve attracted a lot more public attention. And not just the people saying my beard is ugly. Other bearded people have started talking to me. It’s like I’m in this secret club of other people that I’d really just rather not talk to. It’s nothing personal, I just prefer my quiet, solitary thing. But the amount of people talking to me plus the amount of people that now avoid me? Well, ya know how they say “any publicity is good publicity”? Yeah, that’s not so much true when you have random women on the internet basically telling you that you’re ugly, weird dudes complimenting you on your ability to grow hair or when people start looking at you like a registered sex offender.

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2 thoughts on “The Trials and Tribulations of the Bearded Man

  1. I’m a woman and i have no problem with bearded man. It’s just a matter of respecting people’s choice and their desire for individuality. As for me, I find beards as a sexy statement of men. It adds to that unique sex appeal compared to clean-shaven men that’s already boring to look at on mags. Although i have nothing against to with the clean-shaven men – just a ,matter of preference though. I just can’t imagine how Che Guevara, Bob Marley, Abraham Lincoln and Kenny Rogers would have looked like had it not it been without their beards. So guys, if you love yourself and you want to grow your beard nothing should stop you from doing that. We only live once so might as well live it the way you want it.

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