The Hair Thing (Part 1)

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:

Rank in order of preference: (1) Beard. (2) Moustache. (3) Neither! Ewww!

My response:

(1)    Beard. (2) Moustache. (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 moustache/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.”

SCREECH!

“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 moustache 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’ moustaches are to them.

Realizing that something as small and innocuous as a beard or moustache 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) Moustache. (3) Neither?

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About Michelle Calloway

I'm a native Louisianan currently living in Dallas, TX. I have a B.S. degree in marketing, an MBA and a PhD in higher education administration. I love writing and research, and also thoroughly enjoy reading and working out.

I am passionate about cultural/ethnic diversity and interracial relationships; so much so that my dissertation focused on these concepts. This is my outlet for blogging about interracial relationships and social issues. In The Swirl World, we celebrate "Ordinary People . . . Extraordinary Love!"

You can also find me on Twitter or Instagram @ASwirlGirl.

Love vintage photos and history with your pop culture? Them come and join me on Facebook at The Swirl World (http://www.facebook.com/TheSwirlWorld).

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Comments

  1. Beard or moustache is fine, as long as it is trimmed, kept nice, and absolutely NO goatee. haha!

  2. Lisa, I’m totally with you on that! LOL

  3. This is funny bc my ranking order is as follows: Neither, Mustache, Beard….. and my SO has a beard AND stache. Lol.

  4. Keinich, how interesting! You’re the reverse of me – have you ever asked him to cut it all off so you can see what he looks like w/o it???

    • He has to shave the beard for work (though he’s never really clean shaven), but he lets it grow on his off days. The odd thing is that I think I prefer his bearded look. Oddest darn thing ever! LOL

  5. How funny! The things we do for love . . . . LOL!

  6. I’m a big fan of facial hair in general. But in the beginning of my relationship, my boyfriend was in the Marine Corps, which meant he had to be clean shaven at all times. Now that he’s out, he is letting his hair and his facial hair grow out. I’ve come to realize that with him I’m a woman of extremes. I like him clean shaven like he was in the Corps, but only if his hair is also cup very short. But I also like him with his trimmed beard, if his hair is grown out. I’m not a fan of his hair grown on and his face clean shaven. Though I have admittedly not yet seen his beard with his hair cut short. I should ask about that, lol.

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