A beard struggler

Boy, am I depressed.  I am having a very tough time growing a beard.  In fact, I have totally failed and have given up.

My efforts this past week have resulted in nothing short of embarrassing.  In fact, pathetic.

It is one thing to fail at something.  It is another thing to undertake some research and find out how significant the failure is.

My research uncovered:

  • A LinkedIn profile study found that bearded men were considered to have more expertise.
  • Throughout history beards have had a connection to greatness. Additionally, it has been connected to honor, sexual virility and social status.
  • A 1990 study found that men with beards were seen as being more competent. Beards are perceived as being associated with maturity, expertise and knowledge.
  • A recent article based on a study of women’s expectations towards men with beards found that beards signify to potential sexual partners that the man is patient, calculated, defined and composed.
  • Analogies to the animal kingdom exist where lions and apes intimidate because of their beards, so a dominant male with a beard is perceived as older, stronger and more aggressive than others.

The conclusion of this research is that beards today are symbolic of male dominance, sexual virility and overall prestige.

And yet, there are some negatives to beards as I see it.  they make me itch all the time. They are not easy to maintain.  It takes some work.  But the biggest for me is that they require patience to develop.

That is the killer for me — patience.  I gave myself a week in a location and situation (traveling solo in Iceland in a campervan) where I knew no one.  And it still was not enough time.

Bottom line, I am saying to myself this morning that it is good to have abject failure from time to time.  This qualifies.

I am also saying to myself that it is important to know that I forever will be in a very distant second place to all men with beards in three areas – dominance, sexual virility and overall prestige.

Finally, I am saying to myself, Neil, set a new goal for yourself.  Recognize the reality.  Ok.  My new goal will be to be the most clean shaven man ever.  If I am going to go the non beard way, I am going to be good at it.

8 thoughts on “A beard struggler”

  1. Self realization is a sign of maturity. Fun article to read. Good that you can be so honest with yourself ?

  2. I take my valuable time to log into your blog seeking to broaden my knowledge of Iceland and all I get are photos of you and sentences of palaver on your negative beard growing experience plus suspect research on the meaning of beards. Bummer, bummer and bummer. My attorney is exploring the legal feasibility of cancelling my high cost subscription to your blog. She says your terms and conditions are similar to the time share business. Hugs.

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