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.)

7 comments:

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.
John/sf

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