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Not to puff my own sails, but yeah, I grow an award-winning beard. It’s full, it’s dark, and it grows perfectly in all the right places. Every winter, I grow it out and get real masculine looking before shaving it off in the summer like a dog would its coat. But, because the grass is always greener, I’m currently finding myself wanting to shave before white pants season is officially underway. Unfortunately, making such hasty and dramatic changes to my physical appearance has its pros and cons, which is why the question of “Do I shave?” is becoming more and more impossible to answer.
Pro: It Keeps Your Face Warm In The Winter
I mean, cold weather is literally why people originally started growing beards, right? It makes complete sense. Last winter, the polar vortex forced my hand in growing a beard for when I’d go skiing. When I went to a mid-January family wedding, I made the decision to shave it so none of my uncles thought I was a hobo. While this strategy worked and I looked upstanding as fuck, I nearly lost one of my chins to frostbite when I got back on the slopes.
Con: People Think You’re A Hipster/Lumbersexual
Not to blatantly knock hipsters and lumbersexuals, but they don’t exactly do themselves any favors by being uppity know-it-all douchebags. We get it, guys. You liked these bands before they were on Spotify and you’re the utmost authority on urban camping. You can’t blame me for not wanting to be lumped into this group. Maybe they can give me a call when making bogey saves and voting Republican is their definition of “cool.”
Pro: Older Women Love It
It’s like once a girl graduates from college, she automatically becomes a foodie and prefers a guy with a beard. I’m not going to stop them, because both of those are games I can play (albeit halfheartedly).
Con: Younger Women Hate It
Remember the maturity gap? These broads hated the beard (yeah, there were two, no big deal). In both cases, I asked their opinion on it and both defiantly stated that they absolutely fucking hated my beard. I heard everything from “it reminds me of an old man” to “it feels weird to kiss you with it.” The sad truth is that when you’re riding the babe wave, you need to make adjustments in order to ensure they still want to keep riding your wave as well. It’s the “happy wife, happy life” mantra, but you know, with twenty-one-year-old college chicks.
Pro: It Hides My Double Chin
I’m a skinny-fat all-star and I’m not afraid to admit it. My physical activity is limited to the leisure sports: skiing, golf, and floating around drunk in a pool. While my diet keeps me relatively trim, I still struggle with some occasional fat face.
A beard is a phenomenal remedy for this. When a beard grows in, it creates a mirage of a jawline that wasn’t there before. And if you’re skilled with the trimmer, you can exponentially improve said jawline to make yourself look more Tom Hardy than pre-anorexic Zach Galifianakis.
Con: It Makes Me Feel Sloppy
The act of growing a beard is inherently lazy. You’re neglecting the common act of shaving in an effort to maximize the amount of hair on your face. Like, you can treat it with beard oils and shit, but you’re still ignoring society’s expectations of grooming. So in this same breath, whenever I’m feeling down on myself (read: hungover; fat day) my beard is an easy scapegoat for why I’m looking and feeling subpar. The biggest difficulty is ignoring the little devil on my shoulder saying, “Clean it up, bro. Shave the beard.” Because after all, shaving it only takes about ten minutes, while growing it takes about four itchy weeks.
Pro: People Constantly Compare You To Celebrities
When I was straight murdering the dance floor at my local ski area last week (the same one that was terrorized by those Michigan fraternities) a girl wearing a “Turning Up Is My Cardio” tank told me, “You look like a mix of Henrik Zetterberg and Jake Gyllenhaal.” While I probably should have offered to buy this girl a drink rather than respond by raising the roof for myself, this is a comparison that I’ll take every day of the week, because both of those dudes probably roll with troops of tens that I can only dream about.
Con: People Won’t Shut The Fuck Up About How You Look Like Celebrities
I get it, hammered girl at the bar. I look like Jason motherfucking Sudeikis. Now can you stop repeating yourself so I can go back to drinking with my friends? Actually, pause there. This isn’t so bad. Why don’t I buy you a drink and you can keep telling me how much I look like Jason motherfucking Sudeikis..