(My beard is bigger)
So when my summer (Winter break in actuality) break started my beard was four days old. At the time I actually wanted to go see a barber as soon as I could; then I met someone and they said “You should get that beard cut!”
I didn’t think much about it, I agreed with them and walked away smiling. A week later I still had not managed to see the barber or shave my beard so my beard was now a few inches long but nothing out of control. I met someone again and they said “wow dude you should really cut your beard” and it was right there in that moment that I asked myself- why?
I had never questioned it before because yes keeping a beard can be problematic. It gets in the way when you are eating, sometimes it gets itchy and well just like girls keeping Afro’s could write a book about maintaining that natural beautiful hair- I could write a book about keeping a beard. But, my problem with that person was why did they think they had a right to tell me what to do with my facial hair?
So I decided to keep my beard and let it grow, no trimming or cutting. And a lot of things came from my decision. People started reacting differently towards me. When they would meet me, I could see that their eyes would gaze more at my face and their lips would slightly and subconsciously part. Most would not ask and try to pretend that everything was normal. Some were brave enough to ask if I had joined a religious affiliation that required me to keep my beard.
I wanted to go to the bank today and a friend suggested that maybe I should go get a shave before going to the bank because they might think I am a hobo or worse still a terrorist. So I laughed but I also got upset.
My anger was two folded. First why should people judge me by the length of my beard or how well trimmed it is. If I keep my beard it is barbaric and unkempt but if Brad Pit does it is becomes chic. Also, why should it be anyone’s problem whether I keep my beard or not. I am unemployed so I do not have to dress up for work and I am also on break. People still take it upon themselves to make my facial hair their prerogative. But as people we do that often, we care and comment about matters that do not directly affect us.
We comment about how uncouth it is to keep dread locks, we say how unprofessional an Afro is. We say how people who do not pray or have no religion are immoral. We project our values and expectations onto everyone around us. Our inability to see beyond what we know to be right and accept someone’s else’s way of living as right, not to immediately say that because you do not do as I do then you are wrong.
My beard regardless of how scruffy, barbaric, bush it may make me look it is mine in the end. Your hair, body, religion, skin colour and nationality regardless of what someone else may say is in the end yours-own it and wear it shamelessly. So let me keep my beard until I decide I want to cut it, and I will let you keep yours. I mean that figuratively!