The Bearded Men

Things are getting pretty hairy around my house but I can’t complain because it’s for a good cause. My husband and son are taking part in No Shave November. For those unfamiliar, this is an event that started in 2009 and is focused on raising awareness in men’s health issues. Men all over participate by growing facial hair sometimes as a fundraiser or sometimes just for solidarity. Hubby is participating with the other men at work. My son just hates to shave so I’m not sure about his true motivation!

The other males in my husband’s family, his dad, brother and uncle, have all had full beards for as long as I’ve known them (rumor has it that my father-in-law was born with his beard but I’ve not seen any photographic evidence 😉). Hubby had a mustache when we met and sported a beard for a short time when the kids were small but he’s been clean shaven for the last 15 years. Once , a year or so ago he started to grow a beard but when it came in more gray than brown he promptly shave it off! I guess now at the ripe old age of 53 he has decided to embrace the gray. Personally, I think he looks rather distinguished even if it is a little scratchy.

Young Mr D, as I said, avoids shaving no matter what month it is. If he ever was motivated to pick up a razor, it was because of a girl and he is currently unattached. The problem is that his facial hair is hit or miss. He has a great set of mutton chops an a bit of a goatee but nothing in between! It drives me crazy but I can’t start nagging again till December 1st.

In honor of No Shave November, I did a little research on facial hair. It was quite enlightening. For instance, did you know…

  • Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. President, was the first to have facial hair and William Howard Taft, who left office in 1913, was the last. So the Oval Office has been clean shaven for over 100 years!
  • Professional airline pilots are required to be clean shaven to insure a tight seal with auxiliary oxygen masks. Similarly, firefighters and other jobs may prohibit beards because of the need to wear masks or respirators.
  • In Amish society men shave until they are married then they grow a beard and are never without one from then on.
  • In the Middle-Age Europe, a beard displayed a knight’s virility and honour and apparently holding somebody else’s beard was a serious offence that had to be righted in a duel. (Yikes!)
  • There are numerous type of beards, many with clever and interesting names like Chinstrap, Chin Curtain, Monkey Tail, Old Dutch, Van Dyke, Hollywoodian, Designer Stubble (really) and my favorite Friendly Mutton Chops (not to be confused with with the unfriendly ones). 😊

So that’s my ode to facial hair. It will certainly be a topic around here for a few more weeks. If you want to take part or just find out more about No Shave November go to No-Shave.org.

Who’s the first person you think of when it comes to “famous beards”?

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