I was born in the small Ohio River town of Henderson, Kentucky, and joyfully raised by my mother and bearded father. My dad has had a beard my entire life, except for a dark period in the early nineties when my sister and I pestered him into shaving it off so we could see what he looked like. When he was finished, I wondered where my father went. He was just not the same man.
Such is the nature of the beard. When a man has one for a long enough time, it becomes a major part of his identity. This is currently happening to me. Wearing a beard since April 2004 has changed how I am perceived, even among friends; I am now a bearded man. Society certainly has a stereotype of how bearded men act. Individualistic. Idealistic. A bit curmudgeonly. Self-reliant. Knowledgeable. I fit the mold quite well, and I couldn’t say if the reason why is because I grew a beard and feel an imperceptible pressure to be that way or if I am naturally that way and fatefully felt compelled to grow a beard. Either way, it looks like I’m bearded for good.
As my time bearded continues to increase, the likelihood that I will ever again be clean-shaven plummets. I will never take a job that would require me to shave. My beard is non-negotiable at work and in my personal life. Fortunately, I found a good wife who enjoys my beard and actually mourns the loss of length in the summer months. Contrarily, when I let my beard get longer in the winter, my mom reliably groans at the length, saying how handsome I look with it shorter. Dad’s beard has always been of modest length, but I never hear discouragement from him, short beard or long. He doesn’t vocalize it, but I think he’s quietly proud that I have chosen to be bearded like him.
By being bearded, my father and I are part of something bigger – a brotherhood of like-minded men. I may not always speak to a fellow beard bearer on the street, but if we make eye contact, there’s a knowing look and a sense of camaraderie that needs no words. And all it takes to join the fellowship is a willingness to be in a minority… and patience.
I created this site for all of you who would love to join the bearded brotherhood, but have struggled to achieve your goal. Through inspiring stories, breaking beard news, and helpful hints I hope to help you reach the milestone in your life when you become permanently bearded. You can grow the beard of your dreams… with The Beard Coach!