My name is Shane and I am awesome!
Since the dawn of time the way the beard has been viewed from civilization to civilization and time period to time period has differed. In ancient Greece it was a sign of virility, in ancient India a symbol of wisdom, and within the Germanic Lombard tribe it was a religious tribute to Odin. During theAmerican Civil War Generals sported full beards more often then not and prominent political figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Alexander MacKenzie were unshaven during their time in office.
The beard was, at these times not only socially acceptable but often expected. It became a sign of manliness. However as time progressed and the media began to depict men as clean shaven the beard growing trend began to die. The long standing positive attributes associated with the bearded man gave way to the misconception that only the unhygienic and lazy members of the male gender were the only ones whom would grow prominent amounts of facial hair.
However the social stigma associated with growing a beard in the 1980′s and 90′s seems to have been lessening over the past couple years. The beard is becoming fashionable again as men are feeling the need to reclaim their masculinity in an overwhelmingly feminine culture. Everyone from professional models and stars to your everyday man are now trying their hands at growing beards in all shapes and forms.
Though psychological studies have suggested that a beard impacts negatively on how women see men as possible partners one must not discount the past when beards were popular and the existence of personal preference, some women like them and some do not. When psychologists conduct studies which generalize the emotions and interpretations of an entire gender it is time to wonder if the psychologists conducting such studies and psychology its self are any more credible then religious zealots preaching their misguided beliefs without concrete proof. In my opinion based on my experiences with the opposite sex as a bearded man, it is all about personal preference.
Though the bearded look does not suit every man and some men do not have the genetics to grow a great beard it it a very masculine ability and a great way to feel more manly without the risks which come with partaking in some other primal instincts and urges (think rape and pillage). If you can grow a great looking beard, can understand the basics of a proper neckline and don’t end up looking like a serial killer I say give it a shot and see how it goes. You maybe surprised by how great you look and the feeling it gives you.
If you don’t feel a full beard is best for you or that growing such would possibly end with your closest family and friends fondly calling you “patches” for years to come I recommend you check out this:
Keep in mind at first your beard will feel much more coarse then when it is grown out and any cutting does make the hair more blunt edged than not doing so. As the beard grows it becomes rather soft and will not give your significant other “beard rash”. A few sites do exist which feature communities of men whom are growing beards and these communities can often answer any questions you have on the subject. To find these communities a Google search should do the trick.
So if you are a man the time is now, try some styles and let me know, what style of facial hair is right for you?