With this line, it seems to me as though you think of beards as “covering up.”
First, don’t think so low of yourself. I know, a great many people deal with not really liking themselves or aspects of themselves, but it’s frequently undeserved, if not unfounded.
That said, the appeal of beards isn’t really about “covering up.” It’s more like…accessorizing. (And yes, men accessorize, too.) It’s the brown belt and shoes to the khakis. The cufflinks to the suit jacket. The creative tie clip.
A man’s beard, in my opinion, doesn’t cover up his face so much as it accentuates it, even when it’s big and bushy. It’s part of his look. And it doesn’t have to be big and bushy, or even a full beard. I know guys who keep that “5-o’clock shadow” look, or even that “I last shaved Monday and it’s now Friday” look. My husband sports a goatee, while a friend of mine has a straight-haired beard that has shaped itself into a troll-knot. I’ve got a coworker with what can best be described as a lumberjack beard, and another with sort of hipster goatee thing going on where it barely qualifies as facial hair in general for the small amount of it. And yes, I know some guys who are clean-shaven. And it works for them.
It’s just a matter of finding what works for you, just like you’d do with the hair on your head. And please, find something that works and makes you look and feel good about yourself, and not just make you feel less bad about yourself. You deserve that.
I wanted to note the statement (actually the grammar) that bedevils so many- “Women prefer men clean-shaven.” The predicate is applied to seemingly all women, when in fact it applies to only a proportion. There is a substantial number of women who prefer bearded men. For men actually looking for companionship (and admiration), you only need to find ONE.
Yep, that’s exactly it. It seemed to me that Mike had taken the generalization as applying to all men and women to heart, hence my responses (which were a bit tongue in cheek, but true nonetheless).
And yeah, it doesn’t really matter what “women” in general think. What matters is how you feel sporting your facial hair (or lack thereof), because when you feel good about how you look, you’ll attract others who like how you look. It’s their opinion that “matters” inasmuch as they like you for who you are, bearded or not.
Anywho, I feel like I’m sounding like one of those self-help gurus, so I’m going to stop now.
But yeah, I agree with your last statement. Life is complex. Learn to embrace and even enjoy that fact, because it means that however you feel good being, you’ll very likely find people who agree, and that’s awesome. :)