Men grow beards for a variety of reasons. Some like having the ruggidity of facial hair. Others prefer not having to shave every day. A small niche cannot grow beards and instead cut the beards from others to glue on to their own faces. These men are shameful, and should be mocked at any opportunity.

Me? I have a beard because it gives me something to stroke when I’m pondering. Many intellectuals had beards, probably for the same reason. Being able to show your distinguished  on your face has never gone out of style.

There’s been a lot of beards over the course of history. There’s the man-beard, of course, which completely covers your face. Not all men can grow the man-beard, and those who show no aptitude for it early in life should never attempt it again, lest they scar others for life with their patchy appearance. Then there’s varying degrees of the man-beard itself. Some tend to stay under half an inch, but nothing is stopping you from growing a full-on foot like Billy Gibbons.

Men who lack the ability to grow a full man-beard often opt for a smaller beard, like the goatee, or the Van Dyke. Most people confuse both of these beards, as it is a very easy mistake to make. The goatee is simply a beard that covers the chin area only. There is no moustache involved in the goatee. On the other hand, the Van Dyke consists of the chin beard and a linked moustache to form one continuous piece of facial hair. It’s named after Anthony Van Dyck, a painter, who believed that the beard would give him the powers of a mustachioed painter and a bearded painter at the same time. What he didn’t realize is that there were plenty of painters with full beards and mustaches already, rendering the Van Dyke as the confused sibling of the goatee.

There is, of course, the “Action Hank,” a beard world renowned for its ruggidity. The Action Hank consists of well-groomed stubble not to exceed one quarter of an inch in any area. It’s doubly notable for the fact that Action Hank can fashion his beard into various kinds of weapons. This is one plus of being a rugged action hero – you can take down giant squids with the greatest of ease.

The less said about the neckbeard, the better. Whoever thought this was a good idea should be shot.

Though the members of ZZ Top may have had prodigious beards, they were not the only musicians with beards. Verdi, one of my favorite composers, was renowned for his beard. Though he had a standard man-beard, he combined it with a large mustache, which would have been well enough in its own right. Verdi had the right idea to trim his beard to a triangular point, a feat few men can achieve, except for Wang Fire.

In short – if you can grow a beard, do it. There is no shame in shaving if you cannot grow a true beard, after all, men must know their limitations. But if you CAN grow a prodigious beard, why hide away that awesome ability? Beardos of the world, unite!


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