Saturday, November 16, 2013

Yay Movember, Nay Beard

Here in the land of the free, there are many movements to raise health awareness. The most prominent example in recent years has been the profusion of pink during October, meant to remind us of the scourge that is breast cancer, killer of hundreds of thousands of women a year in the US alone.

The menfolk have their own cause: Movember, celebrated in November, when beards are grown to encourage screenings for common conditions: prostate cancer and the like.

I applaud Movember. It's important for people, especially men, to overcome the stigma of medical visits and own up to the fact that maybe that isn't heartburn, it just might be CVD, our species' number one killer disease. And if so, a trip to the doctor is in order!

However. I am not a fan of beards. My thought on beards: "Ew." Puzzlingly, other men see beards and swoon in admiration. Just this morning, Fragrant Husband spoke enthusiastically about the utilikilt worn by a man who I mistook for a woman.

"Why did you think he was a woman?" he asked.

"Well," said I, "he had boobs and long silky hair, and he was wearing a skirt."

"But didn't you see his beard?" said he. In his head, a beard made everything okay. Now, The Oatmeal has feelings about utilikilts, which I don't share because I think that the gender with sensitive dangling bits ought to wear such garments, unless they plan to climb up ladders or ride a horse bareback. The issue here is the beard. It's icky.

Science agrees with me -- as far back as 1967, microbiologists concluded that "beards retained microorganisms and toxin despite washing." See? Yuck. No wonder beards smell bad. They're prickly, too.

I do know why some guys grow beards: to cover up acne, or to hide a lack of chin or a round face. Fair enough. My gender uses makeup or a pushup bra to deflect attention away from perceived physical flaws.

I understand why beards must exist. I just don't get why they're supposedly attractive. Maybe it's because I grew up in a region where men have lots of hair from the eyelashes upwards, and barely anything below.

In conclusion: The only cool beard is of the ancient kung-fu master variety, which smells of centaur sweat and righteousness.

This post brought to you by the weekend.