Yes, I have a beard. Yes, I shave every day. My face has been covered with a healthy growth for a longer time than I can remember. In my 20s, one of my nicknames was
“Redbeard” just like the pirate. Now it’s gone to white with just a hint of auburn. I use an electric shaver to groom my neck and to help define the borders of the beard.
My beard has long been a part of my identity. It wasn’t grown to conform to some sort of fashion sensibility nor trendy faddish statement. My boyfriend sometimes asks that I trim it down to a goatee, he knows that the request will get my goat. I make it abundantly and diplomatically clear that the beard must remain intact.
I’m very pleased to see another man who sports a beard or at least a moustache. I know, deep down, that we have at least one thing in common. There’s a certain confident, bearded man glance similar to that when two redheads spot one another in public.
A similar emotion wells up inside when I see an image of a famous celebrity or sports star proudly sporting a beard. It is especially pleasant to see a Major League Baseball player with a bushy growth. Baseball and beards have appeared together, off and on, since the nineteenth century.
I’d be hard-pressed to find a current national American bearded politician. Why do we think that having a babyface, smooth face is a prerequisite for public office? It would be refreshing to see someone running for Governor of Nebraska who not only has a stylish haircut but sports a neatly trimmed beard.
This reminds me of Nebraska’s luxuriantly bearded Territorial Governor, Alvin Saunders. The territorial legislature unanimously petitioned President Abraham Lincoln to reappoint Saunders as Governor of Nebraska Territory. The document, with Lincoln’s signature was found on the President’s desk after the assassination. That signature is believed to be Lincoln’s last one. Also, during the last push for Nebraska statehood, Saunders was one of the prime advocates. He left the Governor’s office on the day of statehood, March 1, 1867.
One other reason I like to see men sporting beards is Movember. This month is the time when the Movember Foundation has its big publicity push for men’s health issues. This is when attention and funding are brought forward to address the mostly hidden men’s health crisis around the globe.
The main push is to work to find cures for prostate and testicular cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common form of the disease in men everywhere. Furthermore, mental health issues affect more men than women. About 75% of suicides are by males. Somewhere in the world, a man dies of suicide each and every minute.
If you’re a guy, go to movember.com and sign up now, if you haven’t done so already. They have the skinny about the Movember Foundation and all the good work they do. Even if you’re not growing a beard from scratch, be sure to check them out.
November is Beard Month, so if you’re one of the bearded bretheren, you understand the vibe. If you’re clean shaven or a woman, thanks for reading about and helping the cause.