“He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man.”
William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing
I had them all; sideburns in the 60s, a moustache in the 70s, a beard in the 80s. And why not? The paucity of hair on my head offered few options for style change, but the face was another matter. I could grow it there, and I did.
The sideburns were fun as an accessory to my bell bottom pants in the late 60s. I took a moustache into the Army in the early 70s, but shaved it off when a corporal ‘advised’ me of ‘the policy’ on facial hair, none 1 inch above the lip or 1 inch below the nose. Of course, there was no policy, there was harassment. but who was I, a raw recruit, to argue?
The beard came last in the 80s, as a means to draw attention away from the rapidly disappearing hairline. It seemed to work, but after ten years, as the gray dominated, I shaved it off. Wow, I looked like a kid, again. Have you ever noticed that about men who shave off their beards, they look more youthful?
Now, here it is, about three decades later, and beards are in vogue, again, but with a twist. Men are not growing full beards, yet they aren’t shaving regularly, either. The two, three or four-day growth look is the rage.
A suit and tie, slacks and open collar dress shirt, jeans and t-shirt, flannels, the unshaven look goes well with them all. Like any new fashion, this ‘stubble’ look took some getting used to, but it’s here, and it’s cool (is ‘cool’ used anymore?).
Yes, I’ve tried it and I like it. I don’t like beards on high schoolers, it seems a bit precocious. But I do like the unshaven look on adult men. Of course, I’m retired, so I’d probably do it regardless of fashion. But now I have an excuse to leave the razor on the shelf. And just to be more daring, I might try those skinny pants that are fashionable. Age be damned, I’m going for it, turning back the clock. Who’s with me?
There was an old man with a beard, who said: ‘It is just as I feared! Two owls and a hen, four larks and a wren have all built their nests in my beard.
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