Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, you’re sitting down with someone who thinks they’re in tune with all of the latest trends, odds on that they’re a few years older than you too, and they’ve referred to you as a “hispter”.
Maybe you’ve had this or maybe you haven’t but I can guarantee that there are some people that will label most bearded people as a “hipster” just because they’ve got a bit of facial fuzz.
Simply put, most beards are not fashion statements. Think about the first bearded people, I don’t think they made a decision to start a trend, they probably just didn’t get around to shaving and ended up liking their beard — hardly a statement of intent.
Don’t get me wrong, there will be people out there that grow a beard just because everyone else is and they want to fit in. Alternatively, there will be people who grow a beard because they want to stand out from the crowd.
For me, I have facial hair because I prefer how I look when I’ve got it and I’m sure that’s the case for most of us.
And that’s the key there, a bit of facial hair or a full beard isn’t a trend for most people, it’s something they’ve adapted into their lifestyle and isn’t something that’ll be there until the next popular hat trend.
I’m sure a lot of us, especially those of us, like me, who live in the UK, will remember the hats that N-Dubz’s Dappy popularised in the late 00s.
That, my friends, is a trend.
Just to use Dappy again as an example; the hat is gone but that pencil thin moustache remains — it’s not just a trend for him either, unlike the hat.
Let’s take a step back.
Through the years – and I mean years – beards were a respected lifestyle decision; in ancient India men grew beards as a symbol of peace and wisdom and they were so respected that, as a punishment, men were often given the punishment of having their beard chopped off if they committed a crime.
To this day, Muslim men respect their beards and Sikhs believe that their beards are a gift from the gods and is something to be cherished.
In the era of King Henry VIII, beards were considered a sign of strength and were worn by the elites and monarchs, this was something that men further down the pecking order sought to emulate. In this era it was also believed by Victorian men that beards were proof from God that men were meant to rule over women.
Lastly, Leonardo Da Vinci had a beard. Need I say more? Wear your beard with pride and don’t let anyone say you’re following a trend.