The Mighty Beard

By Zach Adams-Dominik

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A Fading Fad or Forever Fashionable?

The flavor-saver, the chin-bush, the mouth-sweater—hide your jawlines, guys, we’re talking beards. With the close of 2015, the era of hipsterism has finally fallen into decline, taking with it some staples of the millennial generation. Scarves are out, typewriters are gone, bikes are still in, albeit with a sensible number of gears, and flannel is questionable at best. But, what about that heroic hair piece? What about the beard?

Once upon a time, in the golden age of thick frames and Polaroids, beards were a must-have accessory for men of all stripes. An instant declaration of cool, growing a beard meant never having to face the world alone; your chin would always have your back.

Then times got strange, and facial hair outgrew its niche. According to a Euromonitor report, even personal hygiene giant Gillete began to focus more on beard-related products than razor blades in an effort to revive plummeting sales numbers.

It seemed every male able to muster even a bit of fuzz was rocking mandible mange, for better or for worse. Picture Drake’s beard: classy, clean, well-formed. Now picture Brad Pitt’s: poorly-glued pieces of shag carpet attached to his jaw. For some, the style was a match made in heaven, their faces and hair defining all that was man; for others, it looked like anarchy had a new face, and that face was covered with hair.

But now it’s 2016 and styles are changing. Curious to see how the student body and faculty feel about the question of whether or not to shave, BCC reporters conducted a survey on this hot-button issue.

Out of the 128 people polled (60 males/68 females), more preferred the hairy-and-hunky look versus streamlined and shorn, but a surprising number, especially from the female contingent, cared more about the face.

“Beards can be hot or horrifying, depending on the face they’re attached to,” wrote a survey participant who wished to remain anonymous. “It depends on the man’s face and their commitment to hygiene.”

A common concern found among participants was cleanliness, with food and fecal bacteria giving those who might otherwise embrace the bristles a reason to prefer a close shave. Still others worried about the rough, scratchy feeling that kissing someone with a beard can impart. Potential pitfalls withstanding, the general consensus of the campus is pro-beard.

Don’t be dismayed if you’re male and have remained follicly feeble well into adulthood. As Rosalyn Hanson put it, “It’s not about the style or beard, it’s about the person attached to it.”

However, if your face can support the fluff, it might be in your best interest to raise the hirsute salute and sport the scruff; beards are here to stay.

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