Beards Are People, Too – Alex Cooper

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Society seems to be moving in a more compassionate direction in recent years, which can only be a good thing.

The last frontier? Men with beards.

For whatever reason, some find it socially acceptable to ridicule those with an abundance of facial follicles. And this doesn’t seem to have the social stigma that making fun of other demographics does.

As a periodically hirsute man, I feel I have to stick up for myself, and my bearded brethren. We have feelings too, you know.

Here are a few things I’ve heard:

“I Really Hate Beards” (Unsolicited Comments)

Thanks, Sharon. I don’t want to rub genitals with you either, but it’s rude for me to share this information out of the blue.

There’s nothing wrong with having a preference, of course, but unless someone is actively asking you what yours is, it’s better not to say anything. (If they do ask you, how about: “my type is clean-shaven” rather than “eww, beards are yucky.”)

Pogonophobia isn’t OK. My beard will not jump off my face and attack you. Unless I order it to.

And, while we’re on the subject:

HUMOROUS?! Being shunned because of my carefully cultivated facial foliage is funny?

Beards are people, too.

“Beards Are Dirty/Beards Contain More Poop than a Toilet.”

Well, something’s full of shit, and it ain’t my beard. (Well, no more full of shit than a non-bearded person’s face, anyway.)

Is there any truth to this rumour? With my extensive background in investigative journalism I…alright, alright; I did a ten second Google search. And it looks like I’ve already debunked that pesky false factoid.

This link explains how the story “(went) viral even though it has little scientific merit.”

“As Nick Evershed from the Guardian points out, the story wasn’t based on a scientific study. The investigation instead consisted of a reporter taking swabs of a small number of men’s beards and then sending those samples to a microbiologist to analyze. The microbiologist John Golobic identified ‘enteric’ bacteria, which normally reside in the intestines. He told the presenter that these bacteria are usually found in feces, but bacteria associated with feces is not necessarily feces — an important distinction that many people seem to have ignored.”

It’s not really a fair test when they didn’t swab non-bearded people.

Also, even if there is poop on my beard, there’s poop everywhere. Poop particles, anyway. You definitely wouldn’t like the results of a study that checked your laptop, your phone, or even your toothbrush, because those babies are swimming in them.

Smooth, hairless faces are covered in poop isn’t a headline I’ve seen, though. And that’s discrimination.

“Men With Beards Are Lazy.”

Now, I’m sure that some men with beards just grow them because they can’t be bothered to shave. A proper, well-cared-for beard is a thing that needs constant care and attention, though. From soothing oils to shaping balms and special shampoos, the beard is a beast with a mind of its own, which must be bent to your will.

I’m not going to lie — some guys’ beards look a little messy. A bit of upkeep goes a long way, though, and many people underestimate the dedicated facial topiary that takes place to get a good-looking beard. A decently long beard probably takes more upkeep than a face that’s shaved every couple of days.

“Beards Are So Hipster”

A covering of hair is the natural state of the male face. I grew a beard before “hipster” was even a term in my vocabulary, and I’ll continue to do so when it’s been long forgotten. (I grew a beard before it was cool. I grew a beard before anyone else had heard of the very concept of beards.)

Just because I own a penny farthing bicycle, know 715 terms for describing coffee, and listen to goats’ heavy breathing on vinyl (you just feel it more that way) doesn’t make me a hips- oh…oh my.

“Why Do You Have Milk Dripping Off Your Face?”

Why don’t you mind your own business, Karen?

“Please Shave” (From a Partner)

No.

“Please Shave” (Every Day for the Next Two Weeks)

No.

“Pleeeeeeaaaaasseeeeee Shaaaaveeee”

Fiiiiiine.

“Oh, I Liked the Beard Better. You Look Like a Little Child.”

*Screams into pillow*

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