Men have always lamented women and their cosmetics, whether complaining about how long they take to get ready or using makeup to hide their “true faces.” I’ve often overheard random guys, or male friends, talk about how they prefer women with natural beauty whilst dishing out anecdotal stories about the horror of seeing a woman’s face the morning after. While women get criticized for relying on cosmetics as a security blanket, because we don’t all magically look like woodland nymphs without makeup, men get off scott-free in the aesthetics department. Yet, no one realizes the popular beard phenomenon of late is really just an excuse for men to do what women have always been doing, modifying their faces.
Facial hair has been all the rage for the past decade ever since the first Williamsburg hipster donned one while riding a vintage “fixie” to American Apparel. While some of us are praying for the day this trend will just die already, others are militant pro-whisker fanatics. At first, I didn’t quite understand the hype surrounding beards and thought it was just an excuse for men to be lazy, but now I get it: having facial hair hides a lot of flaws and I mean A LOT.
Do you have a double or triple chin? Just put a beard over it. No need to spend time at the gym or dieting, when you have a literal hair scarf covering your chins. Have a weak or nonexistent chin? Put a beard over it! A thick layer of hair adds much needed volume to soft chins. Is acne getting you down? Having facial hair covers up those blackheads, white heads, and everything in between. Suffering from a short, round face shape? A beard will add much needed length to your face. Do you have a soft, undefined jawline instead of a much-coveted square one? You guessed it, grow a giant beard and mask half your face, women won’t know the difference. Pretty much any genetic defect can be fixed with facial hair.
The only downside is beards are the perfect breeding ground for billions of bacteria. A recent study showed beards are dirtier than most toilet seats. Yum. Remember this when “No Shave November” comes around.
The common misconception is bearded men don’t care about their outward appearance and just roll out of bed without a second thought. Don’t be fooled. Maintaining facial hair takes a lot of effort and time: trimming, cutting, manicuring, washing, and conditioning those whiskers takes hours. Some men even dye their beards. The craziest example is when I saw a man walking down the street with a full-on “Gandalf” beard dyed bright blue; to be fair, this was in Portland. But the real issue is not about how high-maintenance having a beard is, rather, it’s about men not being called out for it like women are.
Makeup certainly goes a long way, but not to the extent beards can. If only females had the option to grow hair over their physical shortcomings and still be considered attractive. Not even Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist can contour the way a beard can. So, unless the “bearded woman” trend takes off, the only other way for women to achieve the same results is through plastic surgery.
It’s not fair men get to cheat their physical appearance in such a drastic way without getting flak, while women are constantly being scrutinized for every false eyelash we glue on. How can men demand “natural beauty” from the opposite sex when they themselves are using optical illusions to upgrade their looks? So I’m going to give my sisters (and some brothers) the same advice “bros” give each other about “hoes”: see your man cleanly shaved before committing, or else you and your future spawn might be in for a surprise. Do you really want a bunch of kids with no chin?
Who else is tired of the beard trend? Any die-hard beard enthusiasts that beg to differ?