For a while now beards have become cool.
No idea when or how it started but increasingly folk are taking to social media to express their appreciation for beards. The appreciation takes on fanatical levels in November which is dubbed Movember.
For the clueless Movember is to men what No Bra day is to women. In October women go without a bra for a day ostensibly to raise breast cancer awareness while in November men go the entire month without shaving to also ostensibly to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
Whether this gestures achieve their intended noble goals is a matter beyond my scope.
What I am curious about is whether beards have become an S.I unit for manliness and whether beards have become sexualized.
On a given day, tweets will pass on my timeline appreciating beards. That is to be expected as people do take to social media to express appreciation. Interestingly, have never seen a tweet celebrating clean-shaven men. Perhaps it is a passing fad. Just like Michael Jordan inspired shaving bald in the early 90s someone may have made it cool to be bearded.
Fun and games, no?
It is all fun and games until a bank tweets in its official account that ‘Behind every Real man is a real beard’.
It is further fun times until a lady starts a hashtag ‘beards for X’ and publicly asks to be tagged in pics with sexy beards.
Now imagine in October a corporate tweeting ‘behind every real woman are big boobs’ or a man starting a hashtag ‘boobs for Y’ and asking for pics of breasts.
Makes you wonder has beard appreciation gone overboard. Where does appreciation spill over into sexualization? Can men’s body parts be sexualized or men are fair game? Are there different standards for sexaulization applied for men and for women?
Not so random musings…
Now unto the taste of the pudding is in the eating experience.
Normally I shave every week. A clean shave. What is/was called Jordan. Have done so for years. Habit.
In last three weeks have not visited my barbershop for a variety of reasons. My barber is worried sick. Tempted to tell him I am thinking of doing dreads. As a joke. Only I am not sure if I am joking.
An interesting by-product of this is that I (obviously!) have grown hair and sprouted a beard.
The reaction to this from my female colleagues has been interesting to say the least.
“…unakaa mbudaa…” (You look older)
“…usinyoe ndevu, nazilike sana…” (Do not shave the beard, I it like very much)
“walala sijawahi kuona unakapoa hivi” (Have never seen you look this handsome)
And these are the PG-rated comments. Totally got the ladies eating off my plate.
Same old me, brand new reactions.
Got me thinking.
What is it about beards…
Does a beard maketh a man?
Nashangaa. (I wonder…)
GOD BLESS KENYA!