Bearded Beauts

Move over Movember, we’ve got some full on facial hair growing here. It’s definitely a growing trend (literally) in the male community these days to show off your beard. I have noticed this increasing desire for facial hair over the last few years but it seems now the rise of ‘Manly Man’ and ‘LAD’ culture is fiercely influential on boys.

What is it about this LAD culture that is fuelling our bearded beauties? Is it laziness? Is it a desire to be masculine? Or is it a secret desire to be trendy? Are men becoming more fashion conscious? Will there be a rise in new cosmetics to maintain ones’ beard? Major corporation Gillette have engineered the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Beard Trimmer and Styler, for uber stylish ‘man maintenance’, however, I’d imagine this outrages the more serious beard growing man, who may disregard any trimming devices at all.

There are definitely two categories of Bearded Men: The Urban Slickers who sculpt and maintain facial hair growth (an example may be styles like David Beckham or George Clooney) and The Rugged Beasts (styles more like Jack Guinness or Gandalf). Just in case you’re new to the beard growing game and possibly a little intimidated by full facial growth I have listed the Gillette website below for your convenience beard virgins, enjoy:

The beard community (and yes, I mean community) is one that accepts all: adolescents, students too lazy to shave / too poor to purchase razors, mid-life crisis sports car driving males. The beard is no longer for farmers, vagrants or lumberjacks, although the beard community does acknowledge the manly qualities of these social groups. Men pride themselves on their ability to grow facial hair and are keen to receive compliments regarding said growth. My friend changed his Facebook profile picture recently and upon me approving of the change he quite smugly responded with, “Yeah, my dad said: ‘Nice beard, son, nice beard.’ It was a proud moment.” He qualified this with explaining that his dad no longer mocked his ‘bum fluff’ and it marked a change in their relationship. Approval. Maturity. Equality. They are now both ‘men’.

This ‘community’ is breeding a whole new type of manly man. Men who are not afraid to be associated with being fashionable. Men who are not afraid to admire another man. Men who have crushes on other men because of their beards. Beard Envy is a real thing. Beards are individual to each man and there are numerous types of beard to grow. My favourite beard website has a lovely section detailing the different categories with photographs and diagrams. Take a look for yourself, if offers fantastic advice on growing your very own beard and boasts a hearty gallery of beards across the globe:

Check out this Tumblr for beardspiration too:

GQ, Esquire and Men’s’ Health are regularly reporting on stylish new beard trimming products, offering helpful hints on copying the most popular celebrity styles and snapping up successful beard growth among celebrities. The beard will soon be on a face near you and when your once smooth faced Adonis starts growing one, it may be a while until he goes back. Once you grow beard, you never go back. However, fear not ladies. Beards if grown beyond stubble won’t give you a rash and you may become a little obsessed with the beards in your environment yourself. I know my eyes have opened and I am noticing beards all the time. Who is able to grow a full beard, who can’t grow it on their cheeks, who has ginger creeping through their mane, who has a chin curtain, who has mutton chops, soul patches, goatees, moustaches, stubble. This list is by no means exhausted. Open your eyes to the beard community, go on, give them a chance.

The Movember campaign is rapidly approaching, and with those cold, winter nights looming, we’ll see some hairy looking sights in our lecture theatres this semester. I’m always very keen to get involved in a good cause but my blasted feminine ways have denied me this opportunity, oh woe! So here’s a link for any of you facially bald boys to have a peep at:

Become a manlier man and grow a moustache all for a good cause!

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