By: Jefferson Weaver
As I have noted many times, I was bearded long before the Good Family Roberson’s duck calls and eccentricities made beards somewhat mainstream.
I actually appreciate the fact that Uncle Si and his kin have made beards popular again, moreso than anytime since the invention of the affordable razor. The Robersons gave many men the courage needed to finally let their faces grow free.
Then, sadly, the hipsters – which I assume must be the grandchildren of hippies, many of whom were also bearded—just had to get involved and mess things up. Simply having a luxuriant beard wasn’t enough—they had to go girlify things. (Yes. I made that word up. Bearded men have been making up words for millennia, so live with it.)
It seems that some sad sack somewhere decided that filling his beard full of glitter was a good idea. Now what this feller did at home behind closed doors is his business, and between him and his Maker. I suspect a bored girlfriend had something to do with it.
The fact that he dishonored the beard was bad enough, but then he just had to go and share a photo of himself on social media, amongst photos of lunches, deep thoughts borrowed from other people, and pictures of cats.
And so accelerated the downfall of a generation.
More and more young men began coating their beards in glitter. Then others even began hanging things like tiny Christmas ornaments, charms from their girlfriends’ and wives’ bracelets, and other nonsense in their beards.
In a word – no. Not just no, but heck, no.
Glitter is for girls, not beards. Glitter is made for making sparkly posters. As a feminine fashion accessory, it is designed to make outfits more attractive, or to highlight makeup. Glitter can even be sprayed in a lady’s hair, if she wants to look like a unicorn sneezed at her hair dresser’s. Once upon a time, only a certain class of women wore glitter, but like tattoos, that has changed. There was a time earlier in my life when I was, sadly, spending a lot of time amongst women who wore lots of glitter (and often little else), but that’s a column for another day.
I repeat—glitter is for girls, not for beards.
In the first case, my beard occasionally gets in the way of meals; were my chin whiskers glittered, that would mean I would be ingesting the same. Do you know what’s in glitter? Neither do I. While I will happily eat things like watercress, barbecued coon, kippered herring, unlabeled cans of unidentifiable beans, nutria rat salad, and pigeons, I prefer to know what I am eating.
Glitter sticks in every thing—I wear a lot of linen, wool and silk, when I am not in the woods (and sometimes even then). I cannot imagine my beloved Miss Rhonda’s reaction were she to try to brush glitter out of the warp and woof of my favorite Italian Brooks Brother jacket, her language would likely approximate that of the patrons of the aforementioned place of glittered women, many of whom were likely kicked out of the Navy for cursing. (The patrons as well as the women, that is.)
There are a few things which may, in my opinion as a longtime bearded man, be safely and properly added to a beard.
Slow match, for instance; Blackbeard and several lesser pirates were famous for doing so, and I have done the same (you soak one end in water, so the fuse, not your beard, smolders). It keeps away the mosquitoes, by the way, and frightens noisome small children, whilst fascinating good children.
Speaking of mosquitoes—whilst it’s not technically decoration, bear or coon grease is acceptable in one’s beard. When rendered properly, any fat from a member of the Procyon or Ursidae families makes a dandy beard-tonic, bug repellant, gun oil, and sharpening medium for knives. I keep a small tin in one of my hunting bags. If you can’t handle the smell, such as it is, then you need to shave and go buy some glitter eye shadow.
It’s acceptable to have the blood of an animal in one’s beard, but only if the animal was trying to eat you when you finally won the battle. I’ve done that, too. You’d be surprised at how tough a beaver or an otter can be to kill in hand-to-hand combat in freezing, chest-deep water.
Ice, snow and frost are acceptable, of course—that’s why God gave us beards in the first case, to help stay warm.
Crumbs from homemade poundcake, a mother’s biscuits, and iron-skillet cornbread are fine, as long as they are not allowed to linger.
If one’s facial fur is long enough, braids are perfectly acceptable. I’ve done that, too.
Small bones, teeth and shiny stones are only acceptable if one is truly a Viking, or of a Pictish bent, in which case one must paint one’s entire body blue. I will neither confirm nor deny if I have ever worn otter baccula, boar’s tusks and coyote fangs in my beard.
There may be a few more acceptable beard-decorations, but a very few. Naturally, anything offered by a small child to hang in one’s beard is mandatory, since beardley men understand that kids are cool, and everybody wants to be liked by the cool kids.
For the most part, however, decorating one’s beard is, at least in my opinion, as much of a tasteless fashion faux pas as women using tights as pants.
A beard is a sign that one is a man, although many beardley men shave twice a day, and many men with beards are decidedly unmanly. At least this current trend will help the less informed more easily recognize poseurs who would hide behind their girlfriends if confronted by a real man – especially one with cannon fuse smoldering amidst boar’s tusks and baccula woven into the facial fur of a man who ain’t ashamed to be masculine.
To all you glittery bearded dudes out there—do the world a favor, and go buy a razor.
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