What’s Up With the Beard?

One morning as I was looking at myself in the mirror shaving I thought it might be fun to write about why I grew my beard.


If you look hard enough you can see the start of the mustache at 15.

I’ve had a moustache ever since I was sixteen.  For a brief period when I was in my mid twenties I did have a full on beard with my long hair but I only kept the beard for a couple of months.  I can’t remember why I shaved it off.

Back to why I grew the beard this time.

The night before this revelation my wife and I went out for dinner.  The restaurant had a couple of big screen televisions and on one of them was a major league baseball game.

My wife noticed that a number of the players had pretty substantial beards.  She asked me what is with all the beards.

I responded, I guess they are back in popularity right now.  I’m talking about the big bushy beards.


My Great Great Grandpa, lucky guy kept his hair.

Judging from old portraits and old family photos I guessed those big bushy beards were popular in the late 1800’s and into the early 1900’s.  Perhaps now because of the Duck Dynasty show and for other reasons I am unaware of the big bushy beards are making a comeback.

I’ve been noticing them more and more on pro athletes, musicians and actors.

But I grew mine for a different reason.

First off it’s not what I would consider a beard.  It’s really a large goatee.

I’ve let it grow to about four inches in length.  It’s a bit of a compromise. My wife isn’t especially fond of it and I’d like to grow it to six inches or more.  So I keep it trimmed to three to four inches.

I started growing it right after I had the stents place in my heart.

I had a week off of work about one month after having the procedure done.  When I’m off of work I generally don’t shave unless I going somewhere that warrants me cleaning up my look.

When it came time for me to go back to work I had a week’s worth of stubble which gave me a pretty good indication of what my beard would look like if I left it grow.  I can tell where it will be thick and thin, and where it will be more black or more white or more salt and pepper.

I looked at myself and thought it’s time for a change.    It’s time for me to return to who I was when I was younger.

Unfortunately my hair has thinned to the point of where I am bald on top.  I refuse to be one of those pathetic old hippies who can’t let go when they lose their hair and are bald on top with a pony tail or worse yet use the dreaded comb over.

So I have my hair cropped real close.  But I do miss my long hair.


Hair’s gone but now I have the beard.

That morning after looking at my stubble and thinking about all of this I shaved just my cheeks and neck, leaving the chin and around the mouth unshaven.  I liked the change in my appearance.

I’ll never look young and hip again but I think it makes me look “artistic”.  And that is what I wanted.  That is the change I was looking for, to get back to being an artist.

So the longer I left it grow the more defining it became.  People who never met me in person but saw my profile picture immediately knew who I was.  My beard or goatee is now like part of my branding.

But mainly it’s a statement.  Just like when I was a young man with hair down over my shoulders.  That was a statement back then that said I am a young, hip musician, a rock and roll musician.

My beard now says I am no longer the corporate drone who busts his ass for the queen bee and doesn’t get a taste of the honey.  I’m an individual who has a creative side that I value more than any corporate career.

I have toyed with the idea of the full on big bushy beard, but that may say I’m a prime candidate for Santa Claus at the mall.  But we’ll see.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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