First off, let’s get one thing straight: I’m a beard guy. Not that I have anything against the mustache. In fact, I think it’s the most important part of a beard. But the solo stache just ain’t for me.
Don’t get me wrong, some guys can rock the stache like no other. I’m not one of them. I fall squarely into the creepo camp. And it’s a shame too. I’d love to see all those damn mustache stereotypes die a bloody death once and for all.
Unfortunately though, my own pedostache simply reinforces them. It’s thin. It’s blocky. It’s just plain douchey. More dirt squirrel than pornstache.
Fuck it, I’m growing it out anyway.
You see, this is the month of Movember. Haven’t heard of it? Then let me enlighten you. Movember is the male equivalent of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Its aim is to spread awareness about men’s health issues. But in a manly way of course . . . by growing a mustache, or “Mo” as it’s known in Australia, where the movement originated.
So I shaved my beard and I’m rockin’ the stache this month. My chin hasn’t seen the light of day in years – this should be interesting. I’m going to take weekly photo updates as my sad little mustache attempts to fill in to something a little more macho and a little less pedo.
It’ll be an uphill battle, I fear. You see, this is was the aftermath . . .
From Warrior-King . . .
To Colonel Sanders . . .
And finally, Pedothug . . .
And so, as I mourn the loss of my good friend and trusted advisor (yes, I’m still talking about my beard), I figured I’d take a few moments to jot down some thoughts about beards, mustaches, and manliness in general.
The Mighty Beard
Let’s face it: men should have a beard. Why we’ve become a civilization that prefers the clean shaven look to the manly beard simply escapes me. The very idea of a man trying to make his face “smooth as a baby’s bottom” is just plain laughable. Sickening, really.
I mean, how the fuck could we men have let something like this happen? Is it simply that we’ve become too PC? Too feminized?
Yeah, I think it’s that last.
A clean shaven man is a tamed man. He proudly proclaims his domestication to the world with a bare face and bloodied neck. Cut off the whiskers and you cut out the wild. You collar the beast.
Is there anything sadder than an animal caged?
The beardless face is one whose wearer has unashamedly conformed. To me, it screams of the lemming mentality. It says, “Don’t worry, I won’t make any trouble. I’m just like you. Part of the herd. I’m a good little boy and I do what I’m told.”
But to quote Zach de la Rocha, “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.”
So I chose to grow a beard. I chronicled my first real beard over at Jeff’s Beard Board – a great resource for newbie beard growers. When you think about it though, it’s actually pretty sad that men these days have to turn to online sources to learn about something as natural as their own beards. But it seems we’ve lost the collective wisdom that used to be passed from father to son.
What a shame.
Society will tell you that a beard hides a man’s face. And that a bearded man must be hiding something as well. But they’ve got it ass-backwards. For a beard truly makes a man’s face. He who shaves it off removes the very feature of masculinity that nature endowed him with. The feature that marks him a man.
Note that I said “marks him a man,” NOT “makes him a man.” So I don’t wanna hear it. Agree with me or don’t, but if you tell me that a man doesn’t need a beard to be a man, well . . . no shit Sherlock.
What I’m saying is that a beard is nature’s gift to man. It doesn’t hide our face . . . it IS our face. To cut it out is to cut out the character it brings to our face. Character that is ours by birthright. A mastectomy of sorts.
Why would any man choose to do this to himself?
But men do. I did myself, for many years. Never thought twice about it. And that’s the scary part . . . the lemming mentality. We think shaving is just something we do. Stubble grows, we shave it off. It grows back, we shave it off again. It’s just part of being a man.
Well to hell with that. I long for the day when men aren’t afraid to be men again. Strong. Tough. Gritty. None of this “metro” bullshit. No crying. No manscaping. And certainly no goddamned shaving.
I want to see beards everywhere.
Big or small, long or short. It makes no matter. Grow what you have and grow it without shame. Trust me, you’ll look better. You can’t outwit nature. She knows better than you how your face should look. If she’d wanted you to keep your childish hairless face then she’d have never blessed you with a beard in the first place.
Because a man will never know the glory of his true appearance, how he was meant to look, until he grows his beard in full.
So What About the Stache?
I’ll admit, I’m a bit torn on the matter. On the one hand, the stache has a long and noble history. It’s accompanied the face of many a great man.
Because it’s manly as fuck.
On the other, the sad truth is that it’s been tarnished. It’s become a mockery. The thing of snide comments and smug derision. Hell, I even mock my own stache in this very post. So what gives?
I have no good answer. The “why” doesn’t even matter, really. It’s just the way of things. But if we can get past all those dumbass stereotypes, the simple fact is that men look better with a mustache than with a barren face. A mustached man is without question a man. He’s grown past his boyhood and accepted the strength and responsibility required of manhood.
As I see it, the mustache IS the heart of the male face. The crowning feature of a man’s beard. Strong enough to stand on its own, but made even more potent when part of the full beard in bloom.
For in the mustache lies the quintessential essence of man . . . ferocity. A man is wild. He is not tamed. He is not collared. He is not bent, bowed or broken.
He is strong. He is free.
He is himself. Without apology.
And nothing less.
In the mustache, we see the power of man. Perhaps that’s the real reason it’s become such an object of scorn and ridicule. How better to cower and castrate a man than to destroy his greatest symbol of masculinity?
The mustache signifies our manliest traits. Strength. Vigor. Authority. Resolve. Will. Remove the stache and you remove the most visible sign of these masculine qualities.
So I’m torn. I think I look ridiculous with just the stache. But it’s still a stronger face than my boyish clean shaven one. Maybe I just need to get used to it.
Whatever the case may be, it won’t really matter in the end. Because once this month is up I’ll be growing back the beard. That’s the face I was born to have.
And that’s the face I choose.
P.S. For those wondering just where the hell I’ve been for the last few months . . . all in good time. Or maybe just my next post.