It’s not always a ‘Beardyful’ world | Daily News

It’s not always a ‘Beardyful’ world

Oh là- là- là, the beard! I am referring to the facial follicle forests that many males favour. But hold on a sec, just because the beard is back in fashion doesn’t mean every man should be sporting one. For starters, not every male actually suits the face fungus. Granted, a lot of bearded guys look dandy.

But many do resemble unattractive hobo horrors that they border on being classified as contraceptives. Sometimes a beard throws everything out of kilter. Again for some the charisma and influence that comes with it is incomparable. Many believe it is the personification of manliness that’s hereditarily given to most of the male populace. For instance, you could take a short, shrimp of a nonentity and transform him into a figure of magnetism and authority by just having him neglect the razor for a few weeks.

Over the course of history, men with facial hair have been credited with various attributes such as wisdom, virility, masculinity, or a higher social standing. After the 1960s, when beards were popular among hippies, facial hair grew even more unpopular among politicians, many of whom wanted to distance themselves from the counter-culture. Ever since there has been an anti-beard-archy that has dominated our daily lives.

To beard or not to beard? That is the question. No, we are not going back to the Bard’s time when the safety razor hadn’t been invented and everyone had beards. For many older males of my time a shave was a ritual in grooming. A proper shave to them meant being lathered and the fungus sheared off with a straight or cut-throat razor. They were all lathered up and sitting in a barber chair and allowing a skilled craftsman to ply their trade on their jowls.

I suppose they prayed fervently that the man wielding the deadly steel weapon had a steady hand. The practitioner had to have the nerve and flair of a surgeon. Because one false slip could have caused a sharp nick in your cheek or worse still a fatal, jagged jugular.

But one had little choice then except to make do with either a cut-throat razor or double-edged blades which they called ‘safety razors.’ Neither of these was considered the cutting edge of technology. The cut-throats were downright dangerous for greenhorns who could easily have sliced their Adam’s apples. I notice that the present barbers use a safety razor with disposable blades to trim your sideburns. So it means that a proper shave with a straight strop-razor is something of a lost art.

Yet beware of overly neat beards too. Sculpted to within a millimetre of their lives they can look ridiculous and unflattering - especially if your beard ends in a neat line along your jawbone – just where your double chin begins. Beards, on the other hand, are itchy when they’re growing and - unless you’re careful - grubby when grown. You’re bound also to worry about what other daily ablutions have been abandoned to save a beardie a minute or two. From bare baby face to bear face is not easily achievable.

You might not have agreed with Che Guevarra’s politics, but still, the man knew how to wear a beard, even though he fancied the type of untidy fur that was to become a standard look for most guerrilla revolutionaries. So, as far as a full-scale revolution is concerned an apt battle cry would be: ‘Beards of a feather flock together!’

Finally, you might not think that Santa Claus belongs on the register of the most illustrious beards in history just because you think he is a figure of mythology. You might not think he is existent, but there are billions of children out there who would vehemently disagree with you!

As for current style guides the options themselves like the whiskers keep growing. But achieving the required ‘look’ isn’t just a matter of tossing aside the razor. Because maintenance and grooming are requisite or you could cross the line between dashing and disgusting. Treat your beard as you would the hair on your head. Yes, that means washing and conditioning.

And for those women who fancy hirsute men, they have many to choose from and in some cases, picking between two similar beards would be like splitting hairs. So you see, the winning choice may succeed if only by a whisker. Still, on the face of it, when they do beard a reasonably eligible one, surely this old adage with a slight amendment might seem apt: ‘A beard in the hand is worth two in the bush!’ All these infatuated women might as well sing this refrain: “I need some beardy to love me.”

But there have been instances when many a smitten Romeo runs into stubble trouble. Reminds us of the time when a bushy faced ‘rauvula’ tickled the fancy of the gorgeous girl of his dreams, in more ways than one. He was on the verge of stealing a kiss when she turned her face away and said: “Don’t aney, its kitchy-kitchy.” It would be fair to say that on the face of it our hero came a hair’s-breath from succeeding.

Take a look when you are next at your local supermarket. The razor blade industry is swarming with impenetrably high-tech products at shockingly high prices. The manufacturers have actually been accused of marking up prices 4,000 percent more than the cost of production making it an easy target for all kinds of cutting satire while they cut a heck of a dent into your pocketbook.

Yes these are some of the facts that come within a whisker of profundity as professed by the advertising ‘sharp-ologists.’ Okay I did have a beard at various stages of my life. And yes, I did have to trim and shape it with a pair of scissors. Beards were in fashion then. And shaving was considered a waste of time. We always quipped then that shaving was the first step towards male emasculation,

A man with a beard just looks more masculine, we insisted. Plus a lot of women think we are more resourceful, we lied barefacedly. Right now I feel I am growing old-age jowls. I noticed them when I was shaving. So I think I shall grow my beard again. After all, in my case, it will hide a multitude of chins. While trimming my luxuriant salt and pepper whiskers allow me the last hairy word: To shave is human, to let yourself grow divine!

Yes we do have more ‘punny’ beard styles to tell you about but we are ‘shaving’ them for later. And by the way, when yours truly grew one the gals all said: “You are just beardyful!”

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