I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong.
This isn’t about my hair; it’s about his. More specifically, his facial hair – or, in his case, the lack thereof.
It all started very early on during our “getting to know you” phase. One of my friends had sent one of those chain-letter-like e-mails where you read the sender’s responses to a series of questions about his/her tastes and preferences.
After reading the responses you erase them, fill in your own, and then return to send and forward to another friend who, like you, gets a ton of these chain-letter-like e-mails and probably finds them as annoying as you do.
(These e-mails annoy me but I vacillate between deleting them without even reading, or getting an evil pleasure out of filling ‘em out and clicking “forward” to my friends . . . .
Anyway, I thought this would be a good time to click forward . . . directly to SM. I put a spin on it: We’d answer them individually and then go over the responses together.
[Sidebar to the men: Was this a dorky thing to subject a guy to, an e-mail that probably made SM think “Shoot me – NOW!” when it landed in his inbox? Of course! Lucky for me, SM is an easy-going guy and finds humor in almost anything – including humoring me. Am I equally as easy-going and do I humor him? Of course! Do I know how blessed and fortunate I am to have him? Of course! I. Know. That. Did you even have to ask???]
Back to my original point: One of the questions was:
(1) Beard. (2) Mustache. (3) Neither! Ewww!
When we got to this question, SM said, “Really???”
“Of course! I think beards are sexy” I said. “Have you ever worn one?”
“Yeah – when I was in college. I think a lot of guys went through that experimental mustache/beard/facial hair stage. I even let my hair grow long.”
I tried to imagine my squeaky-clean-close-shaven SM with a beard and a pony tail. Couldn’t do it.
Instead, I asked, “What do you think about it now? A beard, I mean.”
“Oh, Sure! I’ll grow one so you can see what I look like.”
I grinned at the prospect. SM is already a hunky piece of eye candy, and with a beard?
Somebody better call God – ‘cause He’s missing an angel.
If being gorgeous was a crime, SM would be guilty as charged.
If SM were words on a page, he would be what they call The Fine Print.
If SM . . . No need for E.L.M.O. You get the point. (cheezin)
“Of course, if I have to meet with a client, then the beard comes off.”
“Huh? Wha?” I asked. “Why???”
“In my line of work it’s just not done. My clients are ultra-conservative so a beard is not a good look.”
I understood, but I was crushed.
I read an article that stated that well over 90% of African American and Hispanic men wear some form of facial hair, be it a mustache or beard. However, Caucasian men fall in the opposite end of the spectrum with less than 10% sporting facial hair – and Asian men even less.
I’m intrigued. Wearing facial hair (or not wearing it) is obviously a cultural thing – but why?
I had to look at the concept of culture a bit more closely.
Hallett states that culture is inclusive of “espoused beliefs, ideologies, stories, myths, rituals, ceremonies, and artifacts.” Nietzsche defines culture as “the unified artistic style in all of the life expressions of a people.”
Other aspects of the definition of culture may be applied to cultures such as those found in Africa. In his landmark book, Non-Western Educational Traditions: Indigenous Approaches to Educational Thought and Practice, Reagan states that culture is “an inextricable and essential component” of an individual’s identity, and the corresponding societal fabric.
So, if all these high-falutin’ definitions are accurate (and I believe they are – they definitely make sense) SM’s not wearing facial hair is just as integral to him as my two brothers’ mustaches are to them.
Realizing that something as small and innocuous as a beard or mustache made a huge statement about ethnic culture was revelatory to me, and I’m so glad it happened in the early stages of our relationship. It caused us to examine each other a bit more closely and not take even the most superficial things for granted, thus enabling us to appreciate each other so much more.
Yes, SM is uber-hawt in a beard (Is it hot in here, or is it just me looking at SM in his beard?). As a matter of fact, he’s uber-hawt with or without one – and I get to drown in all that hawtness either way.
And me? I just got another chain-letter-like e-mail, and I’m forwarding it to SM . . . .
Join in the fray:
(1) Beard. (2) Mustache. (3) Neither?
Copyright © 2011, © 2015 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, The Swirl World™, The Swirl World Podcast™, All rights reserved. Photo property of The Swirl World™.