As a bearded man himself, Tim Mousseau believes every man should grow a beard. His reasons might surprise you.
I am a bearded man and believe every man should grow a beard. For the longest time, I was a clean shaven individual, a boy with a barren face. Mostly because I did not know how to style my facial follicles. In college, I grew awkward shapes that did not fully cover my face and looked awful. Right out of college I let it grow a little patchy but it was the summer time and I just looked sweaty. Then came the worst period of time in my beard growing draught. The job where I was told I could not grow a beard. Our boss thought beards were unruly and we were only given one month, during the holiday season, to experiment with facial hair. During this time I was so shamed that I never even attempted to bless my face with a beard.
This all ended a few months after I quit my job. I was setting out at as a self-employed individual in pursuit of my dreams included a summer where I had work that involved no interpersonal interactions. Like a hermit on the mountain, my beard came. It grew and it itched. I shaved it once but then I said screw it. It kept coming. Months later the beard is still going. I am a beard man, I love my beard and everyone should grow a beard. At least once.
Why grow a beard? Well society will tell you it is sexy. In popular culture, pundits will convince you it is manly to grow out a beard. Listen to the right people and facial hair is all the rage. We exonerate the “manly” man in movies by never requiring they shave their beards. Movember is a multimillion dollar cause everyone can get behind. Beards are a traditional symbol, a tradition of what it means to be a man.
These are not the reasons you should grow a beard. You should never grow a beard because society tells you that men grow beards. You should never grow a beard to impress a partner or attract someone. You should never grow a beard to fit a certain category. No, there are so many more reasons to grow a beard.
You should grow a beard to explore
Every man should grow a beard in the attempt of experiencing something new. No one should grow a beard because it is the right thing for a “man” to do. Exactly the opposite. There are many people out there who will never look good with a beard no matter how hard they try. There are some who will hate it, never getting past the itchy phase. Countless men do not want a beard.
For many, growing a beard is a new experience. A way so seeing something different. By exploring your self in a new way, this empowers you to potentially change your perspective. It opens up new outlooks. Growing a beard when you’ve never done it before can be a good opportunity to experience a small, free change to life with sometimes bigger outcomes on outlook.
You should grow a beard for healthy masculinity
Healthy masculinity is not dependent on our facial features but instead defined by a willingness to reinvent yourself. Being a good man means that we accept change—the only thing constant in this life besides endings. The act of testing the bearded waters is less about facial hair and more trying new things in your area of masculinity.
Yes, a beard, might be the silliest of challenges towards growth but its surprising how people are so passionate about this topic. People care about their looks, get set in their ways, adapt to one routine. Everyone growing a beard means that every man should try new things within the limits and niches of their masculinity. For some men, that means testing out the “conventional” arts of the guy card to realize what doesn’t work. Others will follow their own path in testing brand new waters. It does not matter so much what personal boundaries of comfort someone is straining against so long as they are looking for ways to constantly explore their role as men in society.
You should grow a beard to be uncomfortable
Learning comes from discomfort and growing a beard for the first time is one of the most uncomfortable things ever. There are phases of growing a beard that straight suck. In these phases however, you might learn. What are your limits and what do you tolerate? How do you react to other’s in our discomfort? Growing a beard is a simple decision that provides great challenges but there is a beauty in knowing you are intentionally pushing yourself. Want a kick start on finding ways to grow personal? Grow a beard first and see where it goes. It is in this uncomfortable mindset, no matter how small, that we grow.
When we try something new, when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone, when we challenge tradition ideas of masculinity, we might never know what we discover along the way. Grow a beard, try something new, take a step you didn’t think you would before. Do something that isn’t permanent but pushes you along the path of masculine growth. Do something for you.
While every man doesn’t need a beard, every man does need to grow.