I find this current trend of male facial hair very interesting. This gringa personally does not like male facial hair. I am too distracted with the fear that boogers or food debris may be lurking within. It would be an anxiety-filled experience if my husband wanted to kiss me in full beard. I can see it now. “Come over here and give me a kiss,” he would say. Tentatively I pass him a tiny comb (you know, the ones they make to remove fleas or head lice). I cautiously reach toward him as if I were handing a ravenous, wild gorilla a peanut. I would observe his efforts to make certain no gross tidbits remain that could inadvertently fall into my sexy, parted lips and be unknowingly ingested. Oh, the horror of just imagining it! My stomach is rolling! I’m breaking out in a cold sweat just thinking about it! When he satisfactorily completes the comb out, I can see me pursing my lips, poking them out as far as I possibly can. He embraces me and, I helplessly fall into a mass of giggles because I am outrageously ticklish and all that fur is oh, so stimulating. Yes, a beard would absolutely ruin any hope for intimacy and romance. It would most certainly cause a divorce. There would be a domestic rumble in the barrio.
Despite my inordinate phobia of facial hair on men, I am sure there are plenty of women who find it incredibly attractive and do not mind taking the risk of eating a booger, or two, or getting food tidbits second hand. These must be the women who love the bad boy. They swoon for the rugged, manly man. Or, perhaps they prefer a soul patch as they fantasize about cuddling up with a cool, hip, millennial Beatnik. There are all sorts of women with all sorts of desires. Hairy men need love too.
My curiosity is not so much about how women can overlook the booger and food tidbit issue. What I really wonder about is why a man would want that stuff on his face in the first place. Just consider the comfort factor. Hair is hot! I watch professional athletes with these super bushy monstrosities hanging from their faces. I see the sweat pouring down their faces. I think, “Ewww. That beard is going to be really stinky with all that sweat coating those follicles.” Later, as I see them on the sidelines attempting to wipe down their face with a towel, I decide, “Yep, the beard really gets in the way. No amount of towel blotting is gonna help that mess. It was probably not such a smart move to grow that during your sport season.” As they cease the normal re-hydration process and stop drinking the water in order to pour the water on their face, I then say to myself, “Look at the big silly. He’s willing to risk a heat stroke for the sake of that ol’ booger trap on his face.” It just doesn’t make any sense to me.
This insulation factor of a beard could be beneficial to, say, a polar bear hunter. Yes, I can see that logic. But, you still have the booger and food tidbits to deal with. Most of the polar bear hunter types I have known throughout my life are not the kind of men to let a few boogers or food scraps bother them. But what about all that itchiness?! I mean, when you’re out in the woods hunting, you must be very still. I don’t know about you but I go bananas if I can’t scratch an itch. I may not have ever had a beard (although I do have one long, soft, curly white whisker I pluck from my chin regularly), but I do know hair is itchy. I have conducted a few hippie experiments of my own. Thinking I could go all natural and no longer have to shave my armpits and legs was a big fail on my part. This was entirely due to the fact that hairy body parts are itchy body parts. I worried that if I went out in public people would think I had scabies because I was always clawing at my stubbly legs or scratching away like a monkey at my pits. So how do those grizzly faced hunters do it? It must be some sort of Zen thing they get going all alone out in the wilderness. Fascinating.
So that brings me to the urban millennial hipsters. These fellas don’t have to worry about heat stroke from hairy facial insulation. Overheating on the basketball court from having a stinky, sweat coated wad of shag is not in the hipster playbook. They also don’t need a fur barrier to protect them from the cold when they’re out in the back forty. What, then, is their reason to want something on their face that requires lots of extra time and effort to maintain? I think they’re willing to make such a sacrifice because of good ol’ masculine rebellion against years of oppression by militant feminism. And I don’t blame ‘em. It’s as if they are saying, “Hey, feminist, I’m a man and I am proud. Here’s mud in your eye! Here’s something I can do that you can never equal!” Yeah, how’s that for uterus envy. That’s what we women get for proudly gloating, “You men may be big and tough and get better pay, but, hey, you can’t have a baby!”
However, I will count my blessings. This gringa is fortunate enough to have a caveman that, although a caveman, is at least a smooth, clean shaven caveman. He can kiss me and cuddle me and I can stroke his face without fear. I get such a warm, fuzzy feeling when I lay my cheek against his, and the warmth and fuzziness have nothing to do with beards and boogers. I must never take this hygienic smoothness for granted. I will not become a militant feminist. I will try to be a good and gentle gringa because I don’t want him to start getting any ideas of how he might need to assert his manhood.