I usually retain facial hair of some kind at all times. Once in awhile, however, I’ll shave it off completely and “reboot” the entire process. Usually this happens after a trimming mistake that I’m not willing to wait for time to correct, but sometimes It’s just impulse.
Either way, people treat clean-shaven me differently than they treat bearded me. Strangers seem more willing to fuck with me. They don’t seem to take me very seriously. Random women check me out and flirt with me about 60% less, I’d say.
I’m sure this topic has been exhausted to death by now, although I wouldn’t know because I don’t make a habit of reading articles about beards. I don’t like beards as a culture. I wouldn’t go to a beard convention. I wouldn’t join any kind of club for bearded guys, wouldn’t wear a t-shirt talking about what a tough, manly guy I am because I have a beard. I would never refer to my beard as a “facial mane.” All of that strikes me as trying too hard. A beard is more about quiet dignity to me than obnoxious posturing.
I allowed hair to grow on my face, and I trimmed it to look nice. That’s literally all I did. Yeah, sure, I like how I look with it. And that’s why I theorize that the way people treat me without it is entirely due to what how I perceive myself without it, and what I project. I don’t feel like I’m projecting power and strength, so I don’t.
It’s never been the beard. It’s always been me. So if a subtle change in how I perceive myself directly affects my life in either a positive or negative way, what else can I do, if I believe in myself?