Friday, November 10, 2017

Looking like a bum. A "No Shave November" Rant.

From Gillette, the razor company's, website:
The 3-day stubble beard, or scruff look, is a great way to get that manly rugged style without growing a full beard. With the All Purpose Gillette STYLER, you can achieve this style and still look well-groomed.
Oh bull, it's a great way to look like you spent the past three days sleeping on the table of seedy bar.

One of the things that has struck me about the recent Harvey Weinstein revelations is the the fact that, for such a rich and successful guy, he looks like an absolute bum.

Which brings me to this. Maybe its time for modern American men to retire the stubbly bum look.  I sure hope so.

 Yassir Arafat, left, with the original stubble look. At least Arafat, who basically never slept in the same place twice, had an excuse.  On the right is Ghaddafi, who liked a lot of varied costumes, but who at least shaved.

I took this on once before in a thread called:


West Point Cadet shaving with a straight razor in the field.
That thread was mostly in the nature of observation, and it obviously had no impact. The carefully studied "I'm too busy to shave look" is more popular than ever.

Now, to be clear, I'm not writing about men with beards.  I'm not even writing about men with short beards.  I'm fine with beards and mustaches, all of which, of course, are part of the natural appearance for the majority of the males in our species (but not all, of course).

 John Gibbon, U.S. Army, with a fine short beard.  Observe this, stubble aficionados.

For that matter, I'm even okay with beards that have somewhat taken on a personality of their own.

William W. Cooke of the 7th Cavalry.  Shoot, I don't even mind a somewhat eccentric beard.

But the stubble "I haven't shaved for four days" look? Well, unless you are on your way to a beard, there should be a reason for that.

In a fair number of cases, Weinstein's being a prime example, it make the person too busy to shave look like a bum. I mean truly, did Harvey Weintstein think that the stubble make him appear more attractive to the budding starlets he hoped to bed?  If he did, he was delusional. Shoot, it made have been a deterrent to his lecherous objectives.  The guy looks like a disheveled bum.  At least Clark Gable, who was mentioned here in the other day for a bad act, looked good.

Clark Gable.  Notice, he's shaved.

Of course, perhaps in Weinstein's case, that was the point.  Maybe he figured he was so rich and powerful he could look like a bum and still grab any starlet he wanted.  And the movie industry being what it is, that's probably close to true.  Maybe he was just flaunting his status the same way a lot of Hollywood figures and entertainment industry figures affect outrageous styles.  

But I doubt it.  I think he was following a fashion.

The odd thing about this is that there are plenty of men who have in the past, and still do, who work in conditions where even if they normally stay shaved, they'll go for several days without doing so for genuine, and fairly rugged reasons.  Cowboys (yes, there are still cowboys) who work outdoors for days in a row often aren't in a position to shave.  Hunters in the West will often forgo it as well as shaving in cold water isn't much fun and packing water even less fun.  Soldiers provide another example, even though most soldiers in most armies have been required to shave since some point in World War One.

SOF troops in Afghanistan.  These troops have likely grown beards for cultural reasons as part of their mission, but soldiers omitting shaving in combat has been something that has occurred forever.  U.S. Army Photograph, SSG Kailly Brown.

Indeed, I think those occupations have a lot to do with the popularity of the stubble look now.  Men who work in cubicles in the antiseptic rather female world of today are striving to look like their rougher ancestors.  The stubble look is intended to send the message, look, I'm too busy to shave in  my rugged occupation.

But it doesn't really succeed.  It just looks stubbly.  And it would take work to keep the beard at that lengthy which seems sort of, well, unmanly.  Better just to grow a real beard or, alternatively, shave.

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