This is me. I have a beard. Having a beard 15” long is quite a commitment. Let me assure you, I put more effort into how my beard looks every day than literally any other aspect of myself. I take a lot of pride in my beard and it is for that reason I’ve gained much attention because of it. I’ve been asked “How long did it take,” “can I braid it,”You seen that show on History channel,” and I’ve been called “ZZ Top” more times than I can fucking count. Although I get annoyed with all of the uninspired, repetitive questions, I also embrace a lot of it. I realize that seeing facial hair like this is not a part of most peoples’ daily lives and because of that I welcome the right people to enjoy it. Although I enjoy the attention and embrace some of it, I will also say that it is slightly disheartening.
Jack Passion once said “People don’t want to know about me… They want to know about the beard.” While I may not agree with all he says, that bit rings true. People don’t run up to me or want to shake my hand and say things like “What kind of music do you like,” or “what are your thoughts on pizza?” My facial hair is a beacon welcoming people, inviting them to approach me whether I like it or not. That is a part of my every day life. Hearing whispers, catching stares and talking to strangers that I may never see again, regurgitating the same answers so many others have heard.
So, if you see an exceptional beard walking around, remember that there’s a person attached to it. Whatever questions you have, remember they’ve probably heard it already. Remember that, although it is hair, it is somebody’s hair and is part of their person. So be polite, don’t assume and respect the person who wears the beard.