Beards: They Grow on You

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Stephen Collins‘ “The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil” is a great book. It’s about a man, Dave, who does the same thing ever day. Same dinner, same music, same job, etc. He does this until one day a beard starts growing on his face. At that point, he freaks out. Everyone around him freaks out. The beard starts growing every which way, and he gets kicked out of town so nobody has to deal with him and his beard any more.

At first, it’s “haha, very funny,” but when you think about it: it’s much deeper than that. I mean, you could look at hair as just that. We have trouble enough with that as it is. We have to shave it off, make it ironic, bathe it in “beauty” products, and do who-knows-what-else to something that occurs naturally and harmlessly. I mean, fuck, we see a woman with some hair on her brows, arms, whatever and we act like devil incarnate. When all is said in done, it’s just hair.*

*Photographer, Ben Hopper, does a magnificent job of redeeming our innate splendor in his “Natural Beauty” project.

Then again, it’s not just hair. Maybe Collins’ beard is everything else that comes out of us too: our dreams, our quirks, our fears. We see one ounce of difference and we flip out. Chill. It’s just them being them. Some people like plaid. Some people love cats. Some people go to sweat houses and chant until they pass out. It’s all good.

I read an article by Dominatrix, Mitsu Mark, who talks about how she has all these clients who have a fantasy experience in mind but are too embarrassed or shy to say it, so they stay quiet and leave wanting. WE GO THROUGH LIFE THAT WAY! We want that last cookie. We wish the barista would re-make the drink. We pass up on the opportunity of a lifetime because somebody might look at us sideways if we did that. This is not saintliness, my friends. It’s societal BS. You want that drink re-made? Ask it to be remade. You want that last cookie, take it! We all know you want it, and we all want you to be happy. So, take it.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to be a dick about it. Just speak your peace, then step aside to let somebody else have their turn in the spotlight. When you do that, you not only get out of your own way, but you also pave the way for your later acts of valor to be TRULY SELFLESS.

So, be upfront with how you feel. Be honest. Be kind. Be bold.

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