The Bearded Culture

Trends hold a mirror up to our culture. If fancy cars are a trend, it may show that our economy is strong and people want to show that they are part of that trend. It seems to me that a current sway in culture is more towards simplicity of scale, even if that simplicity includes a technology-dense smart phone. People seem more self-contained and limited to the accessories that they can carry or those with which they were born. Maybe that is why the latest trend in manhood is facial hair, something I call the bearded culture.

Beards have actually been trendy since before the time of Jesus. The bearded man has a more massive jawline, seems more learned and perhaps more intimidating. I grew my first beard when I was 16 years-old as it was the perfect personal accessory to the character of Captain Nordic. The Captain was our school mascot at Marshall County Central in Newfolden. I would occasionally shave my beard which detracted from the Captain Nordic character. Captain Nordic needed to have the sort of Berserker sort of mentality that a beard supports. I mean, a guy who sports great facial hair must have a ton of testosterone which is the sort of fuel that makes a man, manly.

Devon Grandbois and his beard.
Devon Grandbois and his beard.
Devon Grandbois is a part of this culture and decided those with facial hair need their own competition. A sort of Olympics for those who choose the mustache and beard over facial nudity. He chose me to emcee this competition after a solid recommendation from Chris Bjerken. Except for my ability to grow a beard, my greatest strength at this sort of thing is that I happen to not work that day.

The TRF Beard and Mustache competition is Saturday during the Pennington County Fair from noon until three. There are several different categories for beards or mustaches which is very inclusive so long as you and your razor no longer have a strong relationship. My job is typically for the clean-shaven but I may decide to knock-out a quick beard the week of the competition so as not to seem out of place. Yes, I am capable of that sort of testosterone-driven act of facial manliness. Grandbois even has a Facebook page if you want more information and the neat thing is that all proceeds from the competition go the the Pennington County D.A.R.E. Program which is also a pretty manly thing to do.

The Celtics loved it, the Greeks thought their opponents would pull it in battle while Abraham Lincoln got others interested in facial hair in the mid 1800’s. Do you brush your beard before you brush your hair? Is your mustache more than just a way to avoid shaving your lip? You might be qualified for the TRF Beard and Mustache competition on Saturday during the Pennington County Fair. If nothing else, it will be something you’ve never done on a Saturday afternoon and it is for a good cause. Now go grow your beard or mustache, it’s not too late for a real man.

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