Sunday, January 31, 2010

Is this true?

Image/info care of cargocollective

FAQ--female equivalent of beards?

There are a few eternal questions of beard-dom (or of my pursuit of said beard-dom). I have begun to answer a few to my satisfaction.

When is it a beard, as opposed to mere scruff?
A: This is subjective, and varies on the individual. General consensus says that once there is a complete line of hair connecting one temple to the other, and that hair is curly, it is a beard.

But this one persists:

What is the female equivalent of the beard?
Problematic A #1: long hair.
Same: '70s nostalgia, potential for lasseiz faire grooming, externally displayed gender.
Problems: facial hair is postpubescent, long hair is associated with little girls; head hair indicates a more extensive time committment.
Resolution?: associate earlier age association with female's earlier potential for fertility, link time commitment term pregnancy vs. insemination

Proposed A #2: The bush.
Same: postpubescent; though growth is natural, regular grooming/ hair removal is considered common; "dirty hippies"; texture.
Problems: Not publicly displayed; pubic hair present in both genders; hairiness is not associated with "femininity"
Resolution?: facial hair is potentially present in both genders; both bushy women and bearded men are minorities, but not radical minorities.

Anyway, further research is required.

Beard Contest, Assumed Victory

The Somerville Arts Council is hosting a beard contest at Union Square on February 13. Registration deadline is February 5.

After speaking with event coordinator Todd Easton, and determining that judges had already been selected, I opted to enter the "false beard" category. I have found a team of RISD graduates capable of many feats of hair design. Victory pending.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ballad of the Beard

I recommend this video for the opening two minutes -- his look of sincere regret, overemphatic thoughtful rubbing, and rumbling, off-key mantra is worth that much.

Speaking of sweet

This beard is an oldie but a goodie. Sorry to use you as eye candy, Dan, but you are an influence.

Photo courtesy of Ben Taylor


I missed the Octobeard boat. And then, halfway through November, someone told me about Novembeard. I must assume that there is also a Decembeard. And now, The Boston Globe ran this article on Manuary.

I will set about learning the other verbal tricks that grant men permission to embrace the beard Furbruary? MarchStache? -- but that's beside the point. Manuary is upon us, and a Boston publication took note. Huzzah. I will scrape my own blog entry out of the discarded trimmings of this timely clip; that is, I will now proceed to troll through readers' comments.

The most interesting point they raise is the notion that the beard is a traditionally masculine symbol in an effeminizing culture. I have always considered this in terms of the workplace-- men who work in sales tell me that customers find them "intimidating" and "less approachable" if they have a beard. Likewise, many company dress codes require men to save. It is the fourth piece of the three-piece suit.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

slow growth

I tell myself that things can grow incrementally, that this site doesn't have to be groomed regularly, that interviewing strange men about their beards, ostensibly for this site, is not rendered creepy and irrelevant by a lack of digital posting, grooming, or curating on my part.

It is a lie. If hairs had started poking their coarse, protein-rich heads out of my face when I started this blog, my present beard would be thoroughly untenable and potentially hideous. And bearing such scraggle self-consciously should make me even less attractive. And yet

it has some obnoxious charm.

(creative commons photo by j a r r o d)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

them's the Pitts

Brad Pitt's beard, referred to as "facial furniture" by a gossip rag, he really raised some plucked eyebrows when he braided it.

Let me be honest. I should care, but don't. An examination of the Pitt-hair rhetoric might reveal pop culture attitudes toward facial hair, but I have so little respect, and so little context, for those publications, that I am going to ignore celebrity facial hair (Clooney included) at the present moment.

That said, search for an unlicensed pic of Brad's beard led me to the first of many mortal enemies-- she is a barber/anti-beard blogger Diane Woods. Why?

Because, as action-based, team-work promoting cartoons taught me, darkness cannot exist without light, the X-men cannot exist without Apocalypse's colossal counterweight, and beards are strengthened by those who would cut them down.