Respect the Beard: A Grooming Guide Written by Whiskers on Strike

On behalf of all the abused, tortured, and ridiculed whiskers out there in this cruel world, I would like to dedicate this post to addressing some of your grievances as well as to call attention to some of the atrocities that you have endured for far too long.  We as believers of equality for all must halt the spread of these horrific acts and vow to do our part to ensure each and every whisker has a chance at growth into something refined and distinguished.  This abuse will not continue...not by the hair on our chiny-chin chins.    

A gentleman's facial hair is by far the most mistreated part of his body.  No other bodily appendage is subject to being daily sliced away, removed by laser, fried and peeled away by wax--or worst of all, forced to face the world in a variety of hideous and deliberate shapes.  Most would ignore this crime, but I have heard their cry, and they have voiced that they do not wish to be a part of these style offenses any longer.  So, with no further appeal to your heart-strings, I turn to your stomach--which hopefully will be turned with sickness by the time you view all of these horrendous crimes of facial hair in modern men.

THE CRIMINAL ACTS AGAINST WHISKERS

THE MISDEMEANOR: "The Stache"
I should note at the very beginning of this offense report that this is merely a misdemeanor for good reason.  Despite what it has been sodomized into being over the last few decades, there are a few (very few) times when this sort of whisker arrangement is acceptable.  One being that you are Tom Selleck, and two that you can keep it groomed, thin, and de-waxed enough to ensure you appear more like the 70s versions of Robert Redford or Burt Reynolds than modern perverts.  In general, I must insist this is a seriously bad idea.  As many of the anorexic mustache-yielding hipster models for American Apparel can attest, pale and stached ususally spells a contestant on To Catch A Predator.  In fact if you check out above, one of the most successful genocidal maniacs in history sported such a facial accoutrement--the one and only Joseph Stalin.  Proceed with caution on this one.  The style world might not write you a ticket if you're a middle-aged man who has the leathery face and sledge hammer fists to pull it off.  To those men, my hat goes off, but this is certainly not for the youngster, hipster, or slim-palester.


Additional variations on this lead to disaster as well, including the handle-bar, the pencil thin, and of course the ghastly, wax-curled editions.  The Civil War is over.  The South lost because they couldn't see past those unwashed, concrete hard protruding pieces of facial hair art. 

THE FELONY: "The Neckbeard"
This aptly named whisker atrocity has apparently made the trend jump from 1800s blokes like Henry David Thoreau to unkempt, beer gut yielding 6th-year seniors at American universities.  While this beard type was perhaps first invented as a means to skip the scarf on frigid winter mornings, it has instead become a sort of apathetic rebellious gesture to the rules of hygiene.  Its uses include catching falling globs of food, making your face look 8 inches longer, and shielding your Adam's apple from others who may desire proof that you can actually swallow.  The truth is, there is absolutely no reason on earth why you should take the time to shave every other part of your face, only to leave the most ghastly bits behind to continue some nappy excursion to a reunion with your chest hair.  Keep the hair on your chiny-chin chin, not underneath it.  
 
THE ACT OF TERRORISM, PUNISHABLE BY DEATH:  "The Chin Strap Beard"
  This is without question the most horrific, eye-gouging nightmare of a beard ever to befall mankind.  Why whiskers everywhere have ever had to endure such a public display of mindless, self-absorbed debauchery is beyond my comprehension.  In fact if any of you out there are guilty of this vomit-inducing spectacle, please do us all a favor and the next time you decide to pull out your tweezers and Mach 7 razor to painstakingly sculpt this mind-boggling disaster, place your head down between your knees, press the aforementioned utensils forcefully into your jugular and let gravity do the rest.  Any "beard" (to use the term painfully loosely) that requires a chalk line and laser leveler to create should be considered a public offense.  If there are any women left reading this who have not excused themselves to the bathroom to cram a stick of lip balm in their eye from viewing the above picture...I'll give you time to do that now.  Otherwise, it should be mentioned that in my opinion, EVERY woman should view this facial hair abomination as equal to the stache made popular by the late Mr. Adolf Hitler.  No good can come from it.  Truthfully, my mind ceases to be able to conjure any more words to describe the enormity of this utterly retarded beard style crime.  Perhaps one day the world will invent a language which can adequately produce the words to illustrate the absolutely absurd nature of this incomprehensibly popular train wreck.  Until then, we normal people will continue to carry around large hot wax strips in our briefcases and will not hesitate to relieve you of your misfortune whenever the opportunity presents itself.      

THE SOLUTION
START TRIM
The solution is rather simple--just let your beard grow.  After all, that's why God gave you those hair follicles all over your face (or at least most of us).  Take the next 3-day weekend or vacation and just skip the razor or if your job allows, start some scruff through the work week.  If you've got fine, non-patchy type facial hair that starts to look wiry once if gets too long, keep it trimmed short, but keep it all there--no sculpting into odd shapes.  This is an especially cool look if you've got a close crop up top, such as Jason Statham or Coldplay's Chris Martin (below).      
 If you're the kind of guy that has a face full of thick hair, try growing it full.  This is an especially stylish look if you keep it neatly groomed and you've got a great head of tousled hair (see Mad Men's Jon Hamm above).  Just make sure to shave your neck up to the jawline.  This ensures you don't end up looking like you've rolled out of a cardboard box and bicycled your way to work.  Also, make sure to shave those whiskers that begin trekking up towards your eyeballs.  Your beard/scruff should be neatly trimmed, but not overly sculpted.  

If you're the kind of guy that can grow an all-out ZZ Top beard, you might want to do some serious thinking on such a commitment.  But if you've got that certain type of artistic swag about yourself or fancy yourself a scholar of some type, then go for it.  While the ZZ beard is truly a remarkable endeavor, stick to something a little less life-altering.  Like these below:
Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys

The Beatles
  Still unsure of what to do with your beard?  Well, if you're a film buff I'd recommend checking out some of the more classic films for inspiration.  Check out the original heroes and villains and notice their grooming habits.  Chances are, you'll notice something of a pattern--a pattern that GQ Magazine summarized in the below representation:
So what began as a protest on behalf of whiskers worldwide, has now ended with some perhaps helpful advice for the modern, refined gentleman.  A well groomed man, in all respects, is one to be the main attraction of any setting.  Don't take your love for rebel style, fantasy cinema, and the desire for individuality to a level where hygiene is cast aside.  No matter who you are, beard or no beard, the refined man of today keeps it clean, sharp, and smart.  So as a final testament to the validity of my raving rules of beard etiquette, I leave you with a short and hilarious ditty about a woman's love for beards.  The aptly named "Beard Song" is by British ukulele artist Sophie Madeline, whose lovely accent makes this song exponentially more entertaining.  Keep it together, men...Enjoy.

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