Thursday, June 17, 2010

Transgendered beard --- m-f, Chris Crocker

Chris Crocker, of "Leave Britney Alone!" internet infamy, tweeted in February that s/he would grow out her facial hair for a week.  (Crocker said she had been "living as a woman" for a year at the time, so, as a nod to that, and an effort to avoid clumsy language, I will use feminine pronouns).  Since she's prone to exaggeration, the statement that "facial hair controlled my whole world" is not out of character, but she takes pains to define that world as a realm of self-presentation, namely, in terms of fashion decisions, the use of eye liner, and hairstyle.

Crocker said, "I felt like everything kind of followed my beard's lead.  It was like my facial hair was orchestrating my whole life.  Everything sort of revolved around it, like my fashion choices, do I wear eyeliner, how do I do my hair?"

"It really did change my life, for this week," she said.

Crocker said she's "enjoying feeling out this side of myself" and considered keeping the beard, but appeared clean-shaven in a video posted two days later.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy birthday, Brad Pitt's beard.

[From Life & Style and Jezebel].

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Coming soon: National Beard and Moustache Championship

If you're planning on being in Bend, Oregon this June 5, please let me know -- it's the site of the National Beard and Moustache Championship, and I will require pictures.  I'm trying to decide if the tax write-off will be worth it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Editorial reveals bearded stereotypes

Oh, young Princetonian, you have mildly amused me and given me fodder for my blog. This picture

ran to accompany "Ways My Beard Makes Me Seem Thoughtful and Worldly," an opinion piece in Tiger Magazine a few weeks back.  Author DJA opens his argument with the statement that, "sometimes I’ll soak my mustache in scotch before going out to a social event," which leads me to believe he does not truly appreciate fine scotch, or the distinction between beard and mustache, but the article, on the whole, articulates all sorts of bearded-man personas.

A bearded man is:
  • intellectual: "It puts me in the company of other famous thinkers with beards, like Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Eleanor Roosevelt, Yosemite Sam, and Denzel Washington some of the time."
  • artsy/pretentious: "People don’t question me when I tell them that Darren Aronofsky’s absolutely made better films than this."; "People don’t question me when I tell them that post-structuralism, as a movement, is nothing new."
  • self-sufficient: "People don't question me when I say that I make my own jerky."
  • connected to nature: "People don't question me when I tell them that the weather is soon to change."  "People don’t question me when I tell them that they wouldn’t last a minute on the slopes of Kilimanjaro."; "People don’t question me when I tell them that I’ve seen good land and I’ve seen bad land and this is a bad piece of land."
  • good at "manly" stuff: "People don’t question me when I tell them that the problem’s in their brake pads."
  • political: "People don’t question me when I tell them that this country needs health care, sure, but not Obamacare."; "When someone asks me if I shampoo my beard, I look them in the eye and tell them, “Not until we bring every last one of our boys home.” Then I put my head down and am silent until they go away."
  • intimidating, and kind of primal: "People don’t question me when I tell them that to know a man you have to know by heart the taste of his blood."
 I, rather, subjectively, omitted a few statements I couldn't categorize -- one with racial tones, another about age (because beards make you look older or younger, depending on your face/age), and a last one about sticking three pens in his beard simultaneously.  Because, really, beardman, I'm the writer here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Trustworthiness of beards -- take 2

This chart on The Trustworthiness of Beards has made its way around the Internet, from its creator Matt McInerney's website to reddit The Laughing Squid to the LA Times. (click on it for a zoomable version)

A general observation -- coverage generally seems to equate with trust, except when said coverage is mangy or patchy.  That is, assuming the werewolf is not well-groomed.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Slate Headline: Beards Are Back

And how.
Read it here.

Chronicle of Higher Education undermines bearded stereotypes

During an interview, an outdoor gear salesman told me that he shaved to appear more "approachable." Playoff beard guy, as well as other beard pundits, have said that people with beards look more intimidating and less trustworthy -- they are people with something to hide.

A recent marketing study, profiled in the Chronicle of Higher Education, disputes this claim. In this study, bearded men endorsing products were considered significantly more trustworthy than their clean-shaven counterparts.

In our interview last week, Peterkin commented that older people find it difficult to trust people with beards, while young people have fewer concerns. I wonder about the age demographics of participants in this study, and whether the results would've been different if the products in question were target-marketed to the denture or download groups.

[Chronicle of Higher Education]