Zack Galifianakis was funniest in one, John Lennon grew one when he wanted to “Give Peace a Chance,” Willie Nelson has a country one and Abraham Lincoln grew one so he’d look better on five-dollar bills and ads for Presidents’ Day sales. As the website dedicated to the truth of beards expounds "A man doesn't grow a beard. A beard grows a man." (proverb from theBeardly.com)

As the proud owner of an unruly beard myself, I figured it was high time to dedicate a few words to the topic so my clean-shaven and emasculated brethren out there might come to understand what it’s like when you forge the wilds of virility and embrace your inner masculine animal.

1) I Consider My Beard My Greatest Achievement So Far

This is me and my beard. I have started to refer to it in the third person.

If friends and family use terms like “Renaissance Man” or a “Jack of All Trades” to describe your creative lifestyle, then you probably know it’s just their nice way of saying they don’t understand you. In fact, when they think of drifters, hobos, and members of Rush tribute bands, you probably come to mind. But don’t dismay. Just because you have a stack of 1099’s each tax year that stretch from Montezuma Castle National Monument and back, doesn’t mean you can’t feel a genuine sense of achievement in the world too. 

2) Kissing is Difficult But it Will Save Your Relationship 

The comedienne Minnie Pearl once said that “Kissing a man with a beard is a lot like going to a picnic. You don’t mind going through a little bush to get there.”

Coming soon. Beardology 102: How to Win Friends, Influence People and Look Fabulous in Suede (with a beard).

Being single, I simply haven’t had the opportunity to fully test this hypothesis properly (though I am looking forward to it and welcome queries in the name of scientific research). But, when I tried making out with various items - my hand and a Russet potato - I found it a little difficult. It’s like there is a small, sleeping mammal attached to my face. I have a theory that most women like kissing and most women don’t like beards because it gets in the way. I also have another theory - with kissing out of the picture, it leaves more time for holding hands, conversation and cuddling - a better basis for a lasting relationship. (Disclaimer: My theories are often wrong)


"The establishment will pull your beard to make you fight....the only thing they don’t know how to handle is humor." John Lennon

3) A Beard Will Boost Your Career

I refer you to the following documented beard comments (from women) received over a one week period in July.

My dentist said, “What the hell is on your face?”

My sister said, “You look like a creepy homeless person.”

My mom simply shook her head, “No.”

The sad reality is that the vast majority of women in our society shape their scale of attractiveness on shave-ativity standards passed along to them by typical middle class professions like bankers and politicians.

In my social circle, women and beards go together like fish and bicycles. And so, with women out of the equation, I have more time to devote to important things like jousting, badminton, and learning the Roundel.


There is no chin behind Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist.

4) Swimming with a Beard is Better than Great

Swimming with a beard could easily be considered one of the seven wonders of the world (right after the Great Wall of China and Ronco Spray on Hair). If you have a beard (on the longish side) and you’re a swimmer or a surfer, then you know what I’m talking about. It’s such a beardly experience. It’s like the beard becomes the gigantic squid from "20,000 Leagues under the Sea" in the scene where it’s attacking the vessel and devouring the crew members.

5) Instant Promotion to Alpha Male - No Application Needed 

Ever wonder what it might feel like to be a sword toting Conan the Barbarian in today’s society? Two guys interrupted my meal at Chipolte the other day to admire the beard.You would’ve thought they were standing before a Rodin sculpture of John Madden. One guy called the beard “Epic,” no less than ten times. The other said “You’re beard is freakin killer." 

“Don't point that beard at me, it might go off.” - Groucho Marx

Sure, I could’ve launched into my beard advocacy speech, “Let’s face it mammals have whiskers for a reason. Each part of the body has a specific job to perform for the well being of the body as a whole. In terms of human physiology, hair is more than just a fashion statement - hair is an extension of the nervous system. You wouldn’t de-fin your goldfish, would you?” But I didn’t. Five fist bumps later, they were on their way and my burrito bowl never tasted so good. 

6) You Are Only as Great as the Size of Your Beard

Last week, I was performing at a BBYO summer camp for Jewish teens. During my pre-performance walk-about a rumor started that I was Brian Wilson (the closer for the San Francisco Giants). The anticipation built. Was I there to talk about my life in baseball? This week someone wrote on my Facebook wall that I might easily be confused with James Harden, the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player. As a skinny white beta male jock trapped in an artist’s body being bumped up in the hierarchy is the sort of thing dreams are made of. 


I posted this pic on Facebook and it started a thousand rumors. Bad, Bad razor photo!

7) Look Good for Aliens

Kirlian photography (photography that reveals electromagnetic energy fields) shows a distinct difference between men photographed with beards and men photographed without beards. If you don't believe me, check out this great video of artist Don Matis Jr., who actually paints with his beard: https://vimeo.com/42304208  

About the Author

Slash Coleman M.A.Ed.

Slash Coleman, M.A.Ed. is an award-winning writer and performer best known for his PBS special and Off-Broadway one-man show, The Neon Man and Me.

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