Somebody I recently spoke to hypothesised that as soon as a person acquires a handlebar moustache, their entire being becomes the human receptacle for a handlebar moustache. They are essentially reduced to the live mode of transport for a handlebar moustache. Their hopes, dreams and aspirations subside, rendering them an emotionally-barren, person-shaped viewing platform for a handlebar moustache.
I feel the same principle can be applied to Beard Culture. Beard Culture perpetuates the idea that possessing the exceptional ability to sprout more facial hair than the average somehow demarcates one’s advanced development as a human being. It is as though the requisite dash of extra testosterone simultaneously creates an insufferable breed of special snowflakes, armed with overinflated egos, unshaven faces and the alarming ability to integrate mention of their beard into any conceivable conversation. Your grandmother died last week? Okay, but I have a beard.
This signifier of superiority evidently excuses one from the pesky necessity of basic conversational skills about topics other than themselves or their beards. The extent to which beard-owners are able to lecture their unwitting audiences upon the topic is utterly uncanny, leading one to question whether perhaps there is a correlation between self-obsession and rate of facial hair growth.
Between myself and my fellow former* beard-appreciating flatmate, I cannot begin to describe the sheer number of Tinder dates (even the occasional Real Life Date) where one of us has realised all too late that the bearded human in question has been approximately as witty and interesting as the teaspoon with which they’re stirring their double shot soy latte.
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If I’d wanted to be subjected to the conversational equivalent of repeatedly slamming my head against a brick wall, I wouldn’t have quite so brutally rejected the commerce-majoring gym junkie in Apartment Bar’s offer of a round of tequila shots last weekend. Because enduring a monologue about the extensive deep conditioning treatments and grooming routine required to maintain such glorious beardiness is as enjoyable as I imagine cracking one’s skull against a slab of concrete to be.
Sorry, but they’re itchy, unhygienic, and can often lead to fun face-rash situations. Not to mention the fact that you could well be hiding a weak jawline under that poorly maintained straggle of elongated stubble.
*My status as a reformed beard enthusiast is direct responsive to a recent emotionally scarring experience involving a beard hair IN MY ACTUAL NOSE whilst snogging a boring graphic design graduate at a boring adult party. It was a mediocre ride from start to finish.