Yeah I know, right? Big wow. Every hipster and his mum is sporting glorious facial hair these days and there is no shortage of female attention buzzing around them as a result. The beard is having its moment and who knows where it will end, if indeed it ever does.
I hope it doesn’t because I get a case of the weak knees most days as I browse the fruit section in Morrisons and a rough and ready Ricki Hall-alike bumps into me whilst squawking into his phone. That chin mane has given him an edge that he probably doesn’t deserve but I can’t be mad at him. He’s seen his window and has the ability to grow a garden on his face, good luck to him I say.
So where did this sudden obsession come from? I know I have always had a weird childish theory that you can always trust a man with a beard.
Ghengis Khan, Charlie Manson and Rolf Harris (say it ain’t so!) have so far proven me wrong on that score, but my prepubescent self longed for a bearded father figure to come along and give me all the answers. Growing up without a Dad around has surely set a precedent for me, take that as you will.
I think all my life I have secretly been dealing with Daddy Issues and I don’t mean that in the sinister sense it suggests. I just mean, a few times I have made decisions (bad ones) because I have (wrongly) assumed that certain people will answer the call within. Basically, when I have needed to be looked after, or have a firm hand to guide me, I have looked to somebody older or (seemingly) wiser to help me with that – and it has turned out disastrously.
Boy, this post turned personal, didn’t it?
But that isn’t about beards really, I just wanted to illustrate that I’m a girl who wishes she had her father around but doesn’t and so I believe this is part of the reason I am attracted to men with beards.
My father had a glorious, Che Guevara-esque beard that made him look distinguished and beatnik and mysterious all at the same time. When I grew up, I was sure I wanted to be with someone as wonderful as my dad, who would be capable of making me as happy as he made my mother.
And I am. I really did luck out when Mr Bee came along because suddenly I was hit with the weirdest feeling of all, once the thunderbolt smoke had cleared: pure peacefulness. That’s the best way to describe real love if you ask me: it feels like peace.
Mr Bee is everything my dad was; gentle and interested in new things. Well read. A romantic. All the things I wanted in my life partner and more than enough to fill my heart with a long-term hope that our life will be a good one.
And full-bearded. He’s currently very full-bearded indeed!
I will say this though, in defense of men who choose not to have beards, or cannot grow them, all those “Real Men Have Beards” type memes that are flopping about the internet: so not cool. Where it’s unacceptable to disparage a thinner woman for not being ‘womanly’, this is the same thing surely? A man is a man is a man – as all women are real women.
What my childhood self didn’t understand is that the essence of man is not necessarily caught up in one aspect of his appearance. Beards are good and sexy and wild to me, but the actual man beneath doesn’t have to scream and grunt to prove his manliness. I may associate a beard with protection and love, but it’s the heart and soul beneath that will prove that.
What’s your ‘thing’?