I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard a wife or girlfriend say, “I won’t let my husband have a beard.”
The comment is usually followed by some explanation of why their statement is valid, but the usual reasoning can typically fall into two categories. They either don’t like how it looks, or they don’t like how it feels. I guess that’s one category. The guy can’t have a beard because his wife doesn’t like it. I’ve not yet heard a woman give a selfless reason such as, “he’s succumbed to the peer pressure of the trend, but actually hates it, and I’m his scapegoat,” or “the doctor said he’ll die if he doesn’t shave it off; I’m saving his life.”
What’s worse, is I have heard comments about how a wife will allow the beard to disrupt their sex-life. “He knows that if he doesn’t shave, he’s not getting any.” I’m serious. That’s been said, in so many words, more than once to me.
Here’s my problem with these types of statements. Is a marriage type relationship ever going to be at its healthiest when one person exercises control over the other? When one attempts to manipulate the other? I’ll be the first to admit that I love to have control in my life; I’m one of those Type A, super organized planners that loves being in control. I’ve been on a journey of learning that I can’t control my life, no matter how much I try, and that I can’t control my husband. It’s not beneficial for me, him, or our marriage when I try and control him.
Woah, Chelsea, you started talking about beards and now you’re onto control and manipulation in a marriage? That’s not what I was expecting when I clicked on this article. It’s just a beard!
Hear me out. In my marriage, I often try and think about each situation we disagree on as if I were in his shoes. He will do this for me too, which is important in a partnership. Just humour me on these next few examples.
How well received would it be if today’s men were out there saying things like, “I would never let my wife get highlights. Gross.” “She thinks she’s going to sleep with me with those shorter layers brushing against my face? Forget it.” “I’d never let my wife wear make-up. I don’t like how it looks.” Um… excuse me? It’s not the 1900’s anymore. This would not fly with us. So why do we think we should tell our men what they can do with their faces?
My husband’s face is not my face.
Yes, I have to look at it a lot more than he does, but he has to own it, be it, live it. Can I make suggestions to him as to what my preferences are? Absolutely. “Honey, I really like it when you keep your beard trimmed and well maintained.” Can I purchase him a gift card for a barber shop if I think it’s looking a little ragged? Yeah, I can. He might take my suggestions, or he might not. If you have a husband like mine, he would. He would shave or cut his hair and beard into anything I asked him to, if it were important enough to me. He also knows that I would do the same for him, if it were important enough to him. He supports me in my style choices. Whether he prefers them all or not is a different story. So why shouldn’t I support him in what makes him comfortable and confident in his appearance?
Okay, let’s be honest ladies. Some beards are legitimately so ugly. They are. I’ve seen wretchedly awful beards on guys (or maybe they just seemed wretchedly awful to me). I’ve seen food stuck in there (snacks for later?), I’ve seen longer beards than I can get my hair to grow (jealous), and I’ve seen all kinds of patchiness (my husband would attribute that to character, and encourage those guys to keep going with it). Maybe they just don’t realize their beards could look better, and a simple suggestion or tip on beard care could be all they need. Maybe they’re loving it that way and rocking it. In that case, I’d say, “you do you!”
Can we admit that some beards look great? Some men can really pull them off, especially if they’re taking care of them. The beard trend became a thing sometime in the last few years, and a lot more guys are sporting them. There seem to be an infinite number of new styles for beards. There have been many new barber shops springing up to help men trim their beards into fashionable, well maintained, clean looking designs. Men with beards have the option to choose a haircut and beard combo that can make them look their best. Basically, guys with beards get to have TWO haircut styles going on at the same time. Now that’s impressive.
Barber shops are also there to set beard enthusiasts up with the right products for daily care. These products help keep beard hair looking shiny and healthy, and feeling soft, and I’ll tell you – lots of them smell great. We all love a hair-spray that smells great, so we can understand that this is important.
I’ve got a family and friend group full of beards! My three brothers-in-law and my Dad and father-in-law all experiment with their facial hair. Apparently I cried in horror as a child the first time I saw my Dad shave his moustache off! Facial hair can really change a man’s look.
My husband’s facial hair has changed a lot through the years I’ve been with him. Sometimes it has looked great, and sometimes, it really hasn’t. At all. I’ve included a variety of photos in this article to give you an idea. What hasn’t changed through the years is how much I love him, regardless of his facial hair choices. Did I give him a hard time for some of these? You’d better believe it! He took it in stride and appreciated the joke.
If you’re one of those women who hates beards (or other facial hair for that matter), I challenge you to really think about why you hate them. Getting to the bottom of why I feel a certain way about anything, big or small, always helps me to learn more about myself. Do you hate beards on all men, or just your man? Could you try having a conversation with him about it to hear his side? Could you be flexible on his beard, if it meant your guy would be happy and secure in the way he looks? Even if this article hasn’t given you an appreciation for beards, I hope it’s given you something to think about the next time you see one.