When we think of manliness, we often think of a rugged face decorated with a sweet beard. It may be the Jeremiah Johnson, the type of thick, woolen shag that could double over as a scarf if need be. There's no doubt that this is man becoming one with the wilderness. If the J Johnson is left to its own devices, (and let's face it, what control do we have over such things?) it continues to grow until it reaches the Robert E. Lee. This beard emits civility and calmness for everyone around, and the wearer is turned into a distinguished sort of fellow. And if this beard is snowy in color, one very likely may be a long-dead President. Yet the R.E.L. is not the end of beardom. There are many other types and styles, ranging from the close-knitted facial scruff to the survivalist beards of the post apocalypse. Infinite possibilities with the facial hair.
Yes, a beard, a thick mess of hair on the face, this is manliness. But somehow there exists a dualistic problem that presents a dilemma that needs a resolution from the conflict it produced to start a problem that presented the dilemma that needed the resolution which I'm seeking. (What?)
I'm talking about the straight razor. Lethal and aged, shaving with a straight razor also exhibits manliness. Shunning modern machines and toys, the straight razor is all manner of seriousness when it comes to grooming. It requires love and maintenance and a little more time, but its results are either an incredibly smooth face or an accidentally cut jugular. There's no denying that taking such a dangerous tool and scraping it across your face isn't manly, and really, shaving with anything less is just a cop out.
Hence, the dilemma. How can it be manly to have both a sweet beard but to also shave with a straight razor? The dualism blows my mind's eye's mind. It just doesn't make sense to me.
Of course, there are many more aspects to manliness than facial hair or the lack thereof, but this quandary must be worked out. Any solutions?
Note: My face has been bearded since September or October of 2010. On a whim I decided to shave it all off last night. I'm no longer sure who I'm looking at in the mirror, but his large chin seems much more noticeable.
Post Note: Happy Friday. I was going to put up a new flash fic serial, but it has a few kinks that need working out. Maybe next week.