March 20, 2012

The Spite Beard

I am growing a movement! It is called #spitebeard. Yes, I am that petty, vain and bored that I will grow facial hair to spite members of staff at my school who say I look like a terrorist, or people who feel the need to mention that I look scary or should be on an FBI list somewhere.

"They don't really mean it," you say. Fine.
"They don't really care," probably more true, but #spitebeard is more than facing stereotypes and confronting jocular racism. It is movement to take back the beard. Let's face it, certain people of middle eastern origin have not made beards easy for the rest of us:

But let's face it (That pun?) beards have not always been so scary: 

The #spitebeard movement is about taking back the beard from the scary dudes. Let's take a look at what the source of all knowledge (wikipedia article on beards!) has to say on the subject...
A beard is the collection of hair that grows on the chin, upper lip, cheeks and neck of human beings. Usually, only pubescent or adult males are able to grow beards. However, women with hirsutism may develop a beard. When differentiating between upper and lower facial hair, a beard specifically includes the moustache, which refers to hair above the upper lip and around it.
Over the course of history, men with facial hair have been ascribed various attributes such as wisdom, sexual virility, masculinity, or a higher status; although beards may also be perceived to be associated with a lack of general cleanliness and a loss of refinement.
When did we go from wisdom to a lack of general cleanliness? Throughout history and in many cultures today, as well as nearly all major religions the beard has been seen as a sign of....well I don't know what, but until only recently has it been associated with this guy!

Probably has something to with post-war Eisenhowerism, J. Edge Hoover and American Puritanism, but aren't we ready to move away from a defunct 1950's American notion of what is presentable in the workplace?

I have written before about the value of creating schools that show kids that people come in different shapes and sizes (And with different degrees of facial hair.) But it seems one can never promote non-conformism enough- let's move beyond the point that beards are apparently evolutionary advantageous (Chicks dig'em)- and embrace the beard as an act of rebellion in the face of stifling social norms about what is and what is not professional. GROW A SPITE BEARD OF YOUR VERY OWN!

Think what would Alan do?

Show The Man, that you can be a carrying, talented educator/professional! GROW A SPITE BEARD OF YOUR VERY OWN!

While Movember is cute and for a good cause, I have decided to grow my beard until at least the end of this school year. I am going for maximum girth and length here. Growing a beard takes commitment and in the spirit of these great beards, one I am willing to make.   


an old

While one can only dream of showing up at a school one day looking like this:

We have to know which battles to fight, and go for this for now:

If you choose to grow a #spitebeard please share your pics and stories here. How do people respond to your beard? Are you treated like Jesus or Osama? Do random people come up to you and say you look terrible, or do they admire your wisdom?

Now ladies, I am sorry to leave you out. Perhaps we can brainstorm ideas about how you are judged by your looks. Facial piercings? Hair styles? How can you participate in the #spitebeard movement?


  1. How did I miss this post? Lol-another great one, Jabiz. Though, Peter the Great did put the kibosh on beards long before it was in fashion to hate the beard :-) saw you've shaved--was there an inspiring moment behind that decision as well?

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