“Nice beard bro!” is all I heard after walking into a house party last weekend.
I only knew a few people there, but my beard was an instant conversation starter and ice breaker for meeting new people.
It’s been like that since I started growing it out. I’ve become a big beard fan and this BBC video is no exception. Growing (and maintaining) a good looking beard isn’t as easy as you may think. You need genetics, patience, and a job that lets you grow it out. The reward though is pretty amazing as I can personally attest.
Like photographer Brock Elbank says about his pictures featured in the video:
It’s not about fashion, it’s about interesting characters that happen to wear a beard.
The project documented in this video is a result of Elbank inviting in dozens of bearded men (and a bearded woman) to document the appeal of the beard across different cultures. As a photographer, what interested him about the beards he photographed (among the world’s best) was the element of self expression that they represent.
Believe it or not, a beard says something about you. Like one of my good friends told me: “With that thing you don’t even need directions, you just know where you’re going.”
Well, not really. I use map apps to get anywhere, but perception is reality, and that is no truer than with beards. It just appears to people that I can now fix things, or diagnose their car problems (all things I cannot do).
While the beard has made a recent comeback in the infamous hipster community, it never really went away. The beard has been, and likely always will be, a staple symbol of manliness. Though a few females are pushing the limits on that one.
Elbank seems to think we are at a societal “beard peak.” Do you think that’s true? Check out the video and see for yourself.