You know beard discrimination is real right? – The discrimination against beards is not going to abate anytime soon and you know it. A lot of men have been made to feel like having beards is not a good thing to ever happen to their faces. Most men with beards originally have been forced to shave it off due to societal pressures.
Men with beards are looked at with disapproving faces by a vast percentage of people both men and women. Why?
This is not supposed to be.
With every free living person comes the right to do whatever they want provided it is not against the law. Keeping beards is obviously and certainly not against the law. So why is there so much dislike towards men with beards?
Beard discrimination – Why are certain people against it?
It is a known fact that beards grow on men’s faces. It starts at puberty as one of the many physiological changes in a young boy as he nears adulthood. Beards are a gift from God. They are attractive, they allow a man to look more matured, and add to the beauty of a man.
However, quite a lot of people discriminate against those who grow beards. Probably because they are unable to keep one themselves. They speak insults to bearded men and even sometimes tell them it is sinful to keep one. And then it makes you ask yourself, ‘Is it sinful?’
What is wrong in me flaunting God’s gift of facial hair? It is just synonymous to telling someone it is sinful or indecent to let the hair on their head grow. These things are God’s gifts! There is absolutely nothing sinful about letting your facial hair glory or beard glory shine brightly. Or is there?
The purpose of this post is to encourage all men out there to be proud and happy to keep beards. If all men agree, it can turn into a movement of men with beards. A very happy and proud movement.
The discrimination against beards is absolutely unnecessary. Everybody should have the choice to do whatever they wish to do and not feel bad about it. So far the said “choice” is not negatively affecting their surroundings or the society. There are a number of places where the man with natural beards is discriminated. The places will be mentioned below and appropriate examples will be given:
Beard Discrimination based on Religion
For example, in a guest’s post on a Nigerian community blog called Nairaland, the guest posted his ordeal in church all because he had beards. He said in the post that the youth pastor in his youth church called him out and asked him to go and clean his beards, then as a normal response, he asked the pastor why he should. The pastor responded that had he ever seen the general overseer of the church ever have such full beards that it is not good for Christians to keep beards. He also told that the pastor also told his younger brother to never come with beards again. He wondered in his post if it was a sin to keep beards. Quite a number of people responded by talking the pastor’s judgement and advising him not to heed.
They also quoted a bible verse Leviticus 19:27 where the Bible instructs not to cut one’s beards. It is now very obvious that the pastor was preaching against the Bible. People with beards are looked at in church as people who are ungodly, worldly and unclean. Why?
Also you would notice that in order to be welcome into the fold of ‘workers’ in a Christian organization, it would be expected that you shave off your beards completely, and I ask:
What exactly does beards got to do with spirituality? Why the bias? Why the beard struggle in religion? What place do beards keeping take in righteousness? Where are my religion people?
Beard discrimination at the workplace
It is also quite common for bearded men to go for job interviews and for the employer to give a condition that the beard must go before must go before they can offer him the job.
It comes from a mentality that bearded men are sort of irresponsible. Which is not true. In the work place, beards are looked down upon just as women on hijabs. Equal treatment is to be given to both bearded and clean shaven men if there is to be an end to such discrimination.
People should also be very aware that beards are not dirty and being a man with beards doesn’t mean he is unkempt. Also, many workplaces make clean shaves the dress code and consider it a sign of a well groomed man. Which is all too wrong! Bearded men are clean and their beards are usually well kept. Also, hospitals and food service companies usually disallow facial hair among their employees due to fear that the hair could get into the food causing it to be unhygienic.
Beard Discrimination in the Society at large
In the society, the overall outlook towards bearded men is not encouraging. Because it is out of the society that bosses come out from and clerics as well. And we’ve already talked about discrimination at the workplace and church. The society seems to have a stereotypic belief that beards are dirty and ungodly leading to its ill image. The discrimination against beards is even very great in Nigeria. The Nigerian society needs to have a change of orientation toward beards.
Surprisingly, there are some places where keeping beards is encouraged. For example, in the Islamic society, the men are very frequently with beards. In some middle eastern countries too, beards are encouraged. So one can see that it is primarily based on one’s geographic location and their respective beliefs.
Core reasons for beard discrimination
1. They don’t fit the norm:
Human beings feel a sense of safety when everyone behaves and looks in a uniform manner. When there is someone that doesn’t fit into this uniform look, they tend to attack the person and try to force the person to remove the “undesirable” trait in order to ensure uniformity.
This is why lots of employers insist on bearded guys shaving their beards in order for all employees to have a uniformed look. Apart from bosses, the society at large tends to frown upon physical characteristics that don’t fit the norm and because of this, they frown on beards because they are not the norm.
2. Negative assumptions and beliefs:
Some people have negative perceptions about beards like that beards are usually dirty underneath, people that keep beards are unkempt, not well groomed, and other untrue assumptions and beliefs. Because of these false assumptions, some people see bearded people in a negative light. This then leads to discrimination. So therefore, negative assumptions can definitely lead to discrimination.
Effects of Beard Discrimination on Human Psychology
If bearded men are discriminated because of their beards, it can have the following effects on them;.
1. They may feel stifled by society. When bearded men don’t feel free wearing beards proudly, it can leave them feeling uncomfortable with society’s rigidity and judgement. They are bound to feel like they are not free to express themselves. What this does is affect their body confidence and mental awareness.
2. They may feel dissatisfied with society and its expectations making them less than happy men.
3. They can also feel that society gives them no freedom to express themselves the way they want to which could lead to depressive thoughts.
4. Loss of various privileges due to the beards. It is a very common phenomenon for bosses to sack workers because they are not clean shaven. Several people have lost various privileges that they could have easily kept if they didn’t keep beards.
5. Loss of Confidence. Some men report feeling less confident when wearing beards due to the stigmatization. Especially if they are going to a place where they know they won’t be fully accepted due to their beards.
Why you should keep beards
There indeed are many reasons why a man should keep beards. They include:
– Beards are a sign of masculinity
For more obvious display of how masculine you are, you might want to bring beards into the picture. It separates and distinguishes you and makes you look more manly and sexy.
– Men are naturally made to have a bearded face, so why not?
There is a reason why hair grows on your face. Nature has her reason for making men grow beards. When you shave your beards, you’re stepping on nature’s toes. Why interrupt your natural body process and even eradicate it?
Growing beards is a man’s natural body process. It is coded in your genes to grow facial hair. If nature thought you didn’t need it, it wouldn’t have been coded in your genes. Right?
– Studies have found that women find bearded men more attractive and fatherly in appearance
The fatherly appearance is important in picking a potential and parent worthy mate that can join her in raising the kids. The beards make the men seem that they’ll be very able to protect their children. Now that is something! Ain’t it?
– A beard will add to your look if you are bald and prevent you from looking weird. Imagine a man with a bald head and clean shaved. Weird huh?
All of these popular amazing people both Nigerian and non-Nigerian grow beards. And they rock it sweet. Ever heard of the trending hash tag in Nigeria called #mybeardgang? It’s a hash tag that is making bearded men seem day by day in Nigeria. Now, if you’re a bearded guy on Instagram, you can simply post a selfie of your face with beards and use the trending hash tag #mybeardgang!
Apart from the discrimination against beards in church and at the workplace, bearded guys also face issues in their homes or family. For instance, in Nigeria, a number of bearded men complain that they are called “Boko Haram” because of their beards.
This is also a form of discrimination. The reason the bearded guys are called ‘Boko Haram‘ is because , the leader of the Islamic terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau is densely bearded. And so, every time they see a Nigerian guy with such thick and dense beards, they call him, “Boko Haram”.
That is the origin. The name “Boko Haram” used for bearded guys to tease or mock them is totally unnecessary though.
Very discriminatory and insulting, don’t you think?
Also, older people in the family tend to instruct bearded young guys to go and shave the beards off because to them it looks indecent. Remember that we mentioned that people tend to look negatively at things that don’t fit the status quo or the norm. They usually have negative views of them.
It is also worth noting that “fear of beards” exists. It is given the term “Pogonophobia” which means fear of beards. And also there is a movement called “Beard Liberation Front” which is a British group that has recognized the discrimination against beards and advocates against it. It also advocates against pogonophobia.
The struggle against beard discrimination should come to an end soon. As more and more people start to get more aware of their actions and their uttered words which could carry beard discrimination in them. Sometimes, people utter statements that they consciously aren’t aware are discriminatory.
The more awareness brought to the fore, the better for all of us. Everyone should be free to do whatever they wish to do so far there are no negative impacts on society. Beards are not harming anybody so any hatred towards those that wear it is completely unnecessary. What we need in the world is Love.
Pure love. Not discrimination or hatred. Everybody has a freedom to do what they wish. And beards are cute!
What would you about beard discrimination. Join the hashtag #mybeardgang on social media. Post your bearded pictures, tag #mybeardgang and let me know how much you love your beards.
I LOVE MY BEARDS SO MUCH AND I AM PROUD. What about you?