The beard is no longer weird, baby.
The beard, in fact, is back. Big time.
It’s hip to be hirsute. Fun to be furry. Cool to be covered in man-hair.
Need proof? They’ve even coined a phrase — “Lumbersexual” — to describe the phenomenon.
Let’s all bust out our best plaid shirts, ancient jeans and spend two months growing face warmers. After that, let’s grab a chainsaw and chop down some trees. Sound like fun?
Ok. While you’re all doing that I’ll be over here emptying the dishwasher or vacuuming my kids’ bedroom or doing a load of laundry. I guess that makes me less manly. Is that what society wants me to believe? Come on, people.
I’m reading that the “lumbersexual” is a reaction to the “metrosexual” movement of about 10 years ago. Being a metrosexual didn’t bother me. You see, I believe in hygiene and I enjoy wearing nice clothes and filling my house with quality furniture and furnishings (when I can afford it.) That doesn’t mean that I refuse to touch a power tool (my manicure!) or wear grungy clothing(Ewww. Those pants have PLEATS!) It simply means that I’m comfortable in different environments.
It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes — “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes. ” — Walt Whitman.
If some men need to reinforce their sexuality by adopting a stereotype of what a “man” is through clothing, hobbies and untamed facial hair, then good for them.
For me, being a man is about being a loving, supportive and caring husband. Being a man is about being an involved father, generous with his time and knowledge, capable of showing love, tenderness and also providing discipline to his children’s lives. Being a man also means teaching children the skills necessary to become successful and well-adjusted adults. If those skills require the use of a chainsaw or another loud machine, then so be it.
Lumbersexuality (I can’t believe I just typed those letters in that particular order to create a “word”) also apparently refers to a response by some men who feel threatened by successful women. Again, that doesn’t bother me. I’m all for women working, earning a substantial living and living a positive, healthy life. I’m also not ashamed that I do tons of housework. In my grandfather’s day, a man might have been ridiculed for picking up a vacuum or washing windows. Not anymore. My wife and I both take pride in our home and want it to be clean, organized and safe for our children to grow up in. If part of that responsibility falls to me, I embrace it.
But there is also a practical reason why a beard has never graced my face. My boss frowns on facial hair.