Ask Ceil – Mustache and Beard Edition

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Dear Ceil,

I have a long, luxurious beard named “HR FluffNStuff”. I recently read that beards are almost past their “peak attractiveness”. Is there any way for me protect my face veil from shame?

Signed,

Hirsute in Hempfield

Dear Hirsute,

Ah, yes. The fashion peak of facial hair. The worry of the woolly woebegone. The fear of the fleecy flocculent.

I don’t happen to be a fan of facial hair. My own husband often sports it, but it takes real talent and expert grooming to bridge the divide between porn star and creepy stalker. Part of the problem is that so many people deny themselves the full compliment of styles available to the tufted face. They end up going with the soul patch (no) or the pencil mustache (NO), or whatever this guy is doing:


Hell No.

So, the first thing you should do is get yourself this handy reference chart of style choices. Pick something that’s uniquely you. Go over the chart with your girlfriend. Or your bros. Or you mailman. (I’m saying, get some feedback.) Just to make sure that whatever it is you have going on, it’s within the realm of stomach-ability.

After that, you’ll want to find fraternity. A support group of people who are content to spend afternoons brushing and oiling their facial hair. The best online group I could find was Beards.org. Here you can share your beard pictures and stories. You can talk about long nights spent caressing and tugging your beard, stroking it until it’s smooth and soft.

Ahem.

Think that’s all there is? Think again, because there is a World Beard Championship held each year. (Here is a video courtesy of the Subculture Club, and raw video here).This year’s event will be held in Portland, Oregon in October, and considering I have friends in Bend, Oregon, I am seriously considering going. Especially realizing that guys like this dude will be there. (This fact is all the more tantalizing when you understand that the ball on the left side of his mustache is made up of his old hair, which was then attached–somehow?–to a Styrofoam ball, and fashioned into a globe. There is literally nothing better than that.)

And lest you think that pop culture didn’t try their hand at facial hair, one of the more wonderful things that I found was the IFC series “Whisker Wars”, a half-serious TV series that went for two short seasons, and featured Phil Olson, founder and self-appointed captain of “Beard Team USA”, “World Champion of Beards”, Jack Passion, and other members of the sport of “bearding”. This is episode 1. Other episodes are available on Netflix.

Oh, and ladies? If you think that hairy cheeks are just for the gents, don’t worry. You have your very own reddit. (Of course, there’s one for the guys, too…)

But I am not worried about beards becoming bygone bristle. Since the beginning of this fine country, there have always been beards. In fact, the Constitution Center had a poll in December to decide which president had the best facial hair.

I’m not worried because as long as there is hockey, there will always be playoff beards.

And as long as men’s health issues exist, I have a feeling that we’ll always have the mustache-growing charity event, Movember.

So, feel free to disregard this report. I predict a full and flowing future for facial fur.


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