Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Furry Face

19 year old Raver beard
Abandoned warehouse-Tucson, AZ (2000)
Yes, that's a pacifier

I've had a beard since I was 18 and a freshman in college. At least a year or two before I started to identify as a bear or cub and several months before I even came out. I was a hippie kid. I wore patchwork pants, berkenstocks (when I wore shoes) and went to one Phish concert after the other. That's just what you do. Because of this, my shaving became lazy and I let myself grow into a beard. Since then I've only brought a razor to my face three times. I last shaved, not buzzed, but shaved my face in 2004 when living in LA and immediately grew it back. Having a beard has become a part of who I am. As superficial or lame as it sounds I feel as though it's part of my identity and not because of the whole bear thing, although that does account for a lot of it, but because this is the only adult face of mine I know!! Plus, yes, ok...It does help me cruise and be cruised by men who most strongly peak my interest.

Sometimes I'll look in the mirror and in that bizarre mushroom-trip thought process I'll try to conceptualize that I have hair..growing...on my...face?! So weird sometimes! My really good friend, the Norelco 9-setter Beard Trimmer, has allowed me to shape and mold my face into some really interesting directions. This past November I tried to get all Daddy and keep my cheeks trim and my goatee thick and bushy. I looked more "homeless" than "Daddy" but it was worth a shot. I also let my moustache grow out a little in an attempt to be "Tom Selleck-y" but it began to grow over my lip and I didn't know what to about it and food kept getting caught in it so I took it down a bit. Now I'm at my usual look which is either a 4 or a 5 out of the 9 whole settings on my trimmer.

In any case, a friend of mine just pointed me to beards.org. The website that's "all about beards." There you can find tips for growing a beard, grooming advice, galleries, blogs and yes, even success stories. Check it out. The site is both funny/informative and also kind of really hot. Totally safe for work (SFW.)


Shawn said...

Not superficial or lame. I absolutely get that. I never considered myself a bear or a cub but I first grew a beard when I was 21 and 19 years later I still have it. It has become part of who I am and I feel like it somehow defines me. And on the very rare occasions where I have shaved it I feel like a completely different person. I don't like the way I look or feel when I'm shaven.

Josh said...

I love the rave and Phish head part of this post. What was it that Forrest Gump said? Trendy is as trendy does :)

Dennis said...

Before my beard, I had a goatee which was definitely a "I want to look like an adult" thing that didn't work AT ALL. Of course I only realize this in retrospect. I grew my beard during my first year law school finals because shaving seemed to of little importance at the time. I shaved it once a couple of years later and I could not grow it back fast enough.

I've shaved my head since college and I grew that hair out last year because I thought it was time for a change. Turns out I was wrong. I honestly cannot see myself ever shaving my beard or growing the hair on my head out. Having a shaved head and a beard has become part of who I am.

Anonymous said...

Beard looks great on you, kid, now's the time to show it off while it's nice and dark.

Stephen J. Xanthos said...

Totally agreed. Preach on, my bearded brotha.

I look and feel like a five-year-old when I shave my beard, which hasn't happened in about four years. It won't happen for many more, if I have anything to do with it.

It is quite funny that the boys that cruise me now won't look at me twice without my beard. And vice-versa. I guess you're just a beard guy, or you're not.

Papagayo said...

dude, you bring me back with that pic with the pacifier and the candy. ha! thanks for the tip on the beard site- mines needs some help right now. also, glad to hear an endorsement of that beard trimmer- mine sucks right now.

Alex said...

If you liked the all about beards site, you might also like mybeard.org