They’ve been trying to stop the wave, but they can’t, because it’s here for the long haul. In the past year, we’ve watched numerous anti-beard articles run rampant across the internet. For a few hours, the writers of these articles received their clicks and views, maybe even a couple shares, but they’re shooting at a fast moving target and continue to miss. We’ve read some pretty outrageous claims that we’re headed for a slowdown but here’s a classic case of when staunch convention battles an evolving culture and in this case, culture wins.
At the top of 2013, we watched some of the most iconic actors in Hollywood rock their beards at the 85th Annual Academy Awards. Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper and Paul Rudd all in new beards, in a fashion we’ve never seen before. For some, this meant that the style of sporting a rugged beard was on its way to a deadstop. They figured that since the trend reached the top of the totem pole, there was nowhere to go but down…boy were they wrong.
Like everything else that fights to become a normal part of society, it has to undergo scrutiny from every pessimist before it makes such an impact, there’s no choice left but to embrace the change. There is a new paradigm in the culture that exists in 2015, and believe it or not, people have become fans of the nontypical. Now, before we get to the nitty gritty, let’s review a major common fact.
Your boss, your boss’s boss, and his boss, wants you to look like you belong. Belong to what? Shit, we don’t know, just belong. Now before we wrote this article, we’ve spoken to and polled many of our bearded brothers about this and they agree; their place of employment has always been the most common reason for maintaining a clean cut.
So what happens when your once clean-shaven boss starts to show more beard stubble than normal? What about when men begin to quit their jobs and work for themselves? Consider those creative start-ups and agencies, that want you to embrace yourself and how you look, they don’t care that you have a beard, only that you can do your job. And that’s being local. God forbid what would happen if your favorite rapper sported a beard, with no upcoming movie role necessary for them to do so? Yes, go ahead and say it, ACCEPTANCE. People begin to accept it.
According to Alex Williams of the NY Times, “The beard, until recently the scruffy fashion statement of the plaid-shirt-and-craft-beer creative underclass, has lately been institutionalized, co-opted by The Man not only in the form of pinstripe-clad Beltway insiders, but by Wall Street titans, professional sports golden boys, US Weekly cover boys and morning-show television hosts.”
In 2015, we have adopted this culture shift that forces mainstream media to accept people for who they want to be. Now let’s bring it back to the beard haters. This is NOT a trend that comes and goes with the season. Men everywhere are making ownable lifestyle changes they are proud of and we agree in labeling beards as “…the ultimate accessory for the modern gentleman.”
Take Jonathan Daniel Pryce for an example, a freelance photographer who pioneered the 100 Beard project. In 2012, every day for 100 days, Jonathan photographed a new beard on the streets of London. Here’s a true believer in the culture, who produced an impressive array of men from all cultures, beards from loud and bushy to neat and well groomed, all subscribers to the lifestyle.
The “beard historians” say they can pinpoint when the phase will dissolve, not taking into account that this is major change in culture. How a man chooses to define his look, has no bearing on his capabilities to be both successful and professional. Beards as we know it are a conspicuous sign of growth, maturity and confidence. Whether famous or low-key, how men choose to rock their facial hair makes what they do in life, no less credible. The modern beardsmen will continue to redefine themselves and their look, simply because…
Beard Season Never Ended.