Have you noticed that every man under the age of 25 looks like either Grizzly Adams or Moses? Cowboy beard styles.
Beards are all the fashion. From the bartenders of the cocktail revival to craft brewery owners to my favorite baristas, a guy can’t stand behind a bar unless he’s got the facial hair to prove he belongs there.
All the Sherman men in my life sport beards. Our son spent the semester in Barcelona, coaxing his below-the-chin facial hair, finally giving into a mustache that (don’t tell him I said this) looks, well … like it’s going to fall off when the glue dries out.
There are even regional styles for beards. My nephew who lives in Austin, Texas, has a long, bushy cowboy beard. My nephew who lives on the lower east side has a New York hipster beard, made even more prominent by his receding hairline.
Maybe that’s why Sherman men wear beards. They want hair somewhere where it can be seen by the women in their lives. Even my husband sports what he thinks is a beard, even though it looks more like he simply needs to wash his chin from the ice cream he eats every night.
How to shave a small mustache
He started growing his little goatee right around the time I went blonde, as we rounded into our 40s. He told me he felt like he was sleeping with another woman. I told him he had to commit to the beard — he couldn’t do it halfway — because stubble hurts.
But I like that’s it a sophisticated little goatee — completely different from the beard he sported when we first met more than 30 years ago in London on a college semester abroad. I still can’t believe I fell in love with him and his big curly hair, huge scraggly beard, overalls and Allman Brothers T-shirts. His beard looked like an abandoned junk yard. You know the kind, with patches of weeds and lots of gaping holes.
My type at the time was definitely a better dresser without facial hair (OK, my type was a gay man doing theater). But I knew he was a good man when his mom came to visit and tugged on the beard then told him it had to go. He cut his hair and shaved that beard; any man who listens to his mother is worth marrying.
Beards aren’t really a new fad, of course. They’ve been around throughout history, representing piety, aristocracy and even military prowess. Oddly enough, despite all those Civil War pictures of soldiers with beards, the military doesn’t allow facial hair. So you can give your life for your country, but you can’t grow a beard.
My son says beards aren’t really a movement at all but an ode to lazy men everywhere. My nephew told me how great it is that he hasn’t had to shave below his chin in months.
Beards also have become a good luck symbol. Hockey players started sporting beards during the Stanley Cup playoffs in the 1980s, and it spread to other sports.
Patrick Dutton, the local real estate developer and lacrosse legend who played for the Knighthawks and Rattlers in Rochester, hasn’t shaved his beard since 2007, when his team was in the playoffs.
“The fellas these days go for the look, but I went with it for good luck,” he said. It must have worked: He won the championship with the Rattlers in 2007 and the Knighthawks in 2008.
Short moustache styles
Of course, he hasn’t played on the team in over a decade, and certainly by now he could have let the beard go. But I suspect his playoff good luck symbol continues to deliver. As it does for beard-loving men and the women who love them.
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