Good guys grow beards. Dumbledore had a beard. Jesus had a beard before him. Santa has the best beard of all. You should have a beard. And you probably do, because everyone’s wearing them now. Even the old guy in the Working Style ad on the back of this magazine is in full Victorian beard mode.
It’s a scientifically proven fact that facial hair makes a guy about 200 percent sexier. Proof: Willie Apiata. So, to make beards both great to look at and great to actually be around, unlike stinky rugby players, we’re going to have to set some rules.
Let’s start with trimming the sides, boys. If you’re not doing that, you’re the two-legged equivalent of a car with oversized wing mirrors. You are going to take a wall out. I can’t get past you. You’re a danger. You’re forcing your cheek-kissing friends to face-plant in last night’s sideways-dripping sleep drool. No. Trim it.
No one should actually have to say this: wash it. Honestly, if you comb it and something falls out of it, you run the risk of going to hell. It’s a sin.
Raise your sartorial level. A beard on a well-dressed man is a deliberate fashion statement. A beard on a man wearing tracksuit pants and yesterday’s hoodie is a week of being too lazy to shave. And probably shower.
Speak up. If you’re a softly spoken guy, we’re not even going to know you’re trying to communicate. We can’t see your lips anymore. You’ve removed a major visual clue.
Now, you may think it’d just be easier to reduce your whiskers to a ’tash. Never, never do this. There was a time when the moustache was a fine, fine thing. Within each bristle, the ’tash contained the power of a stern — but fair — policeman, the uncomplaining masculinity of an All Black from the 1970s, and just the perfect amount of vanity. It said, “I care, but not too much.” There was a day when Mark Sainsbury twisted his waxed ends in a room full of men also twisting their waxed ends, when Tom Selleck’s upper lip was more famous than the Queen, when Richard Long was Ron Burgundy. Those days are gone. With the benefit of hindsight, we now realise moustaches make men evil. Hitler had a ’tash. Captain Hook grew a big, curly ’tash. The ’tash was the universal uniform of traffic cops.
If you’ve read this far and you’re still not convinced on the merits of a beard, do me a favour. Consider the things men can do that women can’t. Driving? We can. Peeing standing up? We can. Growing a moustache? Sadly, we can. Growing a beard on the other hand? With the exception of the bearded Eurovision lady and a handful of unfortunate others, we mostly can’t. Also, the swish silver-bearded Working Style guy is a former porn star. Boom. Facial hair rests its case.