The evidence is overwhelming that the bearded look is past its prime. Liberate your chin!
Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached peak beard.
A viral news story recently told us the typical beard is teeming with microscopic poop particles. The article has since been debunked (beards are covered in bacteria but so are most other parts of the human body, smartphones and door handles). But it makes us wonder: Is it finally time to ditch the beard?
Feces or no, the answer is yes.
I’ve not been able to fathom, in this age of easily accessible triple-blade razors and artisan shaving soaps, why young urban males frequently participate in what looks, to me, like coureurs des bois role-playing.
For answers, I reached out to Kevin Gillem, the hirsute founder of Lumbermatch.com, a dating site for beard lovers.
“Masculinity has taken huge hits in the last several decades,” Gillem said by email. “Men are more effeminate in many ways. A lot of careers veer away from hard work and place you in a cubicle. The Internet age has meant more men spend their time behind computer screens (rather) than digging ditches, framing houses or chopping wood.
“The beard hearkens back to a time when men built things with their hands, protected their women and would rather camp in the woods than stay in a Marriott.”
Beards do connote a primal masculinity, but aren’t we thoroughly past that? Haven’t we long since prioritized brains over brawn? And why should men ever feel the need to distance themselves from the feminine?
James Bond is the paragon of masculinity. That guy escaped the clutches of evil masterminds and played human Frogger in a swamp full of crocodiles, all while sporting an impeccably smooth jawline.
Permit me to make a gentle case for the return of the clean-shaven chin. As you will see, the evidence is overwhelming. There is no better time than now to liberate your chins.
Four reasons men should shave off the scraggle
Seeing a formerly bearded man clean-shaven for the first time is much like that old movie trope where the previously invisible secretary removes her glasses, lets down her hair and her enchanted boss utters: “Why, Miss Jones. You’re beautiful!” Presumably, Miss Jones was attractive before — just not obviously so, hidden as she was behind some visually confusing accessories. Such is the beard.
I get it: razor blades are expensive. You’ll save loads of cash by skipping your daily shave and allowing nature to take its course, right?
Except, every proudly bearded guy I know is so into keeping his bristles lustrous and fragrant that he spends criminal amounts of cash on beard shampoos, oils, balms, waxes and the like.
Thus: shaving is really the smartest financial option.
Be considerate of those who want to get close to that wiry face of yours. It can cause more damage to us than you know.
The Internet is rife with questions about cures and treatments for “beard burn.” Save our faces by shaving yours!
Growing and maintaining a beard makes perfect sense in harsh winter conditions.
But now that temperatures are soaring, it’s going to get mighty hot and sweaty under there. Heat and humidity are best tolerated by bare skin.
Don’t fight it.
Sofi Papamarko is a writer and matchmaker who lives in Toronto