I have a beard. I don't make a big deal of it, but some of you may have noticed it in the occasional podcasts in which I appear, leering like a crazed overweight viking, but other than that I don't make a big deal about it. I don't talk about my beard. I don't spend much time styling my beard, aside from washing it and combing out the tangles and beard mites. My wife likes it, but if she didn't I'd probably still have it because it's my face; and to be honest the beard is a good look for me. It goes a long way towards hiding my horrible visage, it negates any reason I might have to address my increasing number of chins, and it keeps me from getting carded for R-rated movies, which totally happened the last time I went clean-shaven (I was 26).
But I'm noticing a disturbing trend in internet culture: beard humor.
There are two types of men with beards: those whose sheer hirsute virility refuses to be beaten back by mere razors, and those who are just too lazy to stay clean-shaven. I fall into the latter category, but I'm lucky to have a full enough beard that some people can be duped into thinking I'm in the former. In the last few years, more and more celebrities have helped bring acceptance to the modern beard. The result is websites like The Beardly, a self-proclaimed "place dedicated to man's greatest achievement: The Beard."
Stop it. Stop doing this. Let's not let things get out of control like those poor bastards with mustaches. Thanks to the annoying "ironic" internet obsession with mustaches, particularly handlebar mustaches, no one can wear a mustache any more without looking like either a cop, a child molester, a moronic hipster, or some combination of all three. This can't happen to the beard. The beard is all I have, people. It's literally the only definitive thing I have to prove I'm an adult male. If beards go the way of the mustache I'm going to be unwillingly lumped in with a group of idiots I want nothing to do with.
Beards are serious business.
Beards are not to be cultivated. Beards just happen; they are inflicted on the face of the wearer. If you are edging or trimming your beard you are doing it wrong. If you are posting pictures of yourself with a "hilarious" beard, you are making us look bad as a species.
Own a beard. Wear a beard proudly. Just stop trying to make it a thing.
Sguar Cookies - Beards and Mustaches by Betsy Weber used under a Creative Commons License.