yesterday i heard that a friend i'm in business with might be growing back his beard. i sheeked in horror, and was relieved when i found that it was untrue. Beards. I would like to grow a beard, but two things prevent me from doing so - one being that i can't grow anything other than peach fuzz. even if i could grow something, i wouldn't do it because that lumberjack look that all men secretly envy can really hold you behind - or so i've heard all my life.
i wanted to verify some of this information and see what's out there- so i did a web search. i was astounded with some of the things i found. firstly, of course, there were lots of news articles about how beards can devastate a man's chances for success - literally! some went into reasons, others just gave the statistic - but aside from the occassional pro-beard site, all indicators were that beards keep people from trusting you and will kill you professionally no matter how clean you keep it.
now, i mentioned the pro-beard sites. sites like these are interesting phenomenons, where a social no-no is pointed out and people actually create organizations committed to actually transforming the societal impressions of whatever issue they happen to feel strongly about. the perfect analogy is this - last week, on 1010 Wins there was a story about an organization called NAAFA - the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. I came across this group about a year ago and, being fat myself, found these people to be in complete denial about their weight situation. Now, an organization like this isn't completely bad - but overall it does much more harm than good.
This person on the radio was talking about how the media (by the way - the media has become the scapegoat for everything bad about society - and because of this it is quickly becoming less significant to blame the media about anything because people don't believe it) has influenced society into believing the "lies" that being fat is unhealthy. she expanded (no pun intended) on this statement by saying that fat doesn't actually cause heart disease, diminished athletic ability, kidney failure, shortened life-span, etc., but it was actually good for you and that she loved (ready for this??) her "big healthy belly!" I'm not kidding here, folks! this was actually said on the air on the biggest news radio station in the country. And why, do you ask, is the media convincing society with the lie that being fat is bad for you? so they can be a part of the conspiracy (another concept that has lost significance) between themselves, the doctors, and the diet pill companies to sell more weight loss products.
this is disgusting.
ok, i said that NAAFA isn't completely bad. so though their premise is bad - fat people should always try to lose weight. in fact, if you're listening to NAAFA and starting to believe them, stop. be honest with yourself. you know the truth. being fat is not a good thing - and you should do what is healthy to reduce the weight - which brings me to my point. there are lots of unhealthy ways to reduce weight, and people who are considering these unhealthy ways should consider that it might be healthier to stay fat than to do what they're about to do. an extreme example is heroin addiction. yeah, it'll make you skinny, but you were better off fat. the not-so-extreme subtle examples that have invaded society are things like weight loss surgery, ephedrine use, and low-carbohydrate diets. all will make you skinny, but none are particularly healthy for either the mind or the body. but there are healthy ways of getting into shape, and all fat people should look into these and strenghten their minds in the process. for the few people who truly can't lose weight - and if you think you're one of these people, you're probably not - but if you are, you don't need an advocacy group, you need medical assistance.
what a tangent that was! maybe i'll write more about that in a future column, but this column was about facial hair. i think i made my point though.. these organizations trying to promote beard use are overlooking one critical thing - it's people's subconscious decisions to have less trust for a man with a beard, which is difficult for even themselves to influence, much less some obscure pro-beard advocacy group.
as far as my friend, i think i'm going to take the recommendation of another friend in california who takes his shaving very seriously and take him to a "shaving boutique" (god that term makes me feel gay) in the city called "the art of shaving." for $45, not only will you get the best shave you've ever had, but you'll also, for 45 minutes, feel like a man - a wealthy man - a business man - who knows what works in business and takes his image very seriously.