Red Beard

When my mother was a young woman, she knew this super foxy guy with a super groovy beard.  Total bearded bell-bottomed babe-fest until he inexplicably shaved his face, and to my mother’s chagrin she realized that he didn’t have a chin.  Now I was old enough to be told this anecdote, but young enough that I really couldn’t understand how someone didn’t have a chin.  “Like it’s just his lips and then nothing?”  But that story really stuck with me; imagine that something as simple as a beard could totally create or destroy your appeal.

I’m going to just put this out there.  I love a good beard. I enjoy neatly groomed facial hair–I preferred tousled, bearded Ryan Gosling in “The Notebook” .

ryan g beard

Many fine men had mighty fine beards.  Whatever your feelings are about Jesus, you’ve got to admit that he had a rocking look going for him.

Jesus beard

Ernest Hemingway, Santa Claus; so similar you’d get them confused.

hemingway beard

Vintage Santa Claus Cigarette Ads (1)There is something so rugged and manly about a beard; when Clooney and Affleck got all “lets grow beards for Argo award season, I was totally supportive.  And they sort of consider me their muse–so they listen to me.  So you are welcome, I am responsible for this:

george-clooney-ben-affleck-oscarsCourtesy of

And I’m not adverse to an excellent mustache; I love Tom Selleck in Magnum PI…that is actually me he is talking to on his giant phone.

“No, I’m just blogging about you right now…no I won’t make fun of your chest hair”.


But let me make this clear before we go any further into this facial hair forest.  Not all you card carrying penis-slingers are eligible for beard-dom.  Sporting play-off beards for such occasions as the –Stanley Bowl or Super Cup—whatever the fuck sport is ruining my life that day, is not always acceptable.  I hate to say it–Movember, the growing of mustaches to raise money for prostate cancer awareness–it’s a noble cause, but it’s such a long, filthy-looking growth road.  I once had a boyfriend during that month that grew the saddest, weakest little rat ‘stache.  It was the ‘Rudy’ of facial hair.  From a distance it looked like a dirt smear.  I could have grown a better mustache.  That November was, historically speaking, the longest month of my life.

My husband grows a nice beard; it’s actually quite magnificent.  It’s copper in color, and with his blue eyes and tall stature, I just want to throw him in a plaid shirt and watch him chop wood.  All winter long Ben’s beard grew mightily.  This was his second beard, the first time he grew it out was during a long road trip up the Western Australian coastline.  He looked as rugged as the territory around us.  Once home, he just shaved it off without warning, just came out of the bathroom a bald faced stranger.  The most recent time, Ben felt that with the impending summer heat, that it was best to lose the winter whiskers.  I tried to fight for his facial hair, but to no avail.  Ben was going to shave his face, and there was nothing I could do.  He shaved his head and his face was hit with instant regret.  A moment ago he looked like:


Courtesy of [email protected]

…and now he looked like a really tall new born baby.  He stared at his naked face in the mirror, and picked up a clump of hair from the sink and tried to stick it onto his face.  “I miss my beard…I’ve made a mistake”.  I’m standing in the door…laughing through my devastation.  “You look like Daddy Warbucks“.  He looks at me; “I don’t know who that is”.


“Yes, you do”.  And then I start babbling about “Annie” and Carol Burnett, and don’t know whether I am helping anyone.

I mean, he’s got a nice face, and I’m all for clean-shaven, it’s just that you get used to a certain look.  There’s a pretty crucial scene in “A Star is Born” when Kris Kristofferson tries to chop his luscious salt and pepper facial locks (intense, I know).  Barbra Streisand stops him, wrenches the scissors out of his hand,  and says: “I don’t even know what you’ll look like, I may not even like you without a beard”.   And he doesn’t shave, they embrace passionately and it is glorious.


It’s a good thing he didn’t waste his magnificent face muzzle, but that’s the good thing about beards, they always grow back.

beardImages Courtesy of Google