In August I started to grow a beard. It started with being too lazy to shave and then one of my birds liked it so thought with some humor, “ok if the bird likes playing with it I will keep it”.
I have grown beards before. I admit my beards look uneven and wild. Which is a plus to me. Clean shaven I look so nice and tame. Nothing wild there! The beard is fun to make faces with (notice the profile pic on this account). I have been amused and a little disgusted by a few women I know on the net that asked me about it and tried to manipulate and even shame me to shave. That, “but you will look so much better without it!” Or, “I think you will look better without that beard. I will like you more”. I laughed it off said ok if you do not like me as I am, SEEYA! I am not talking some people now due to how I look and their reaction to it.
It makes me look at my own views of others. Tattoos and piercings. Hair styles. I used-to be very sneering and critical of such things and NOW…I enjoy COMPLIMENTING PEOPLE ON THEIR INDIVIDUALITY. Now I need to try to accept others that do NOT change their appearance once in a while. Such as my oldest brother… hey! When you going to let your hair grow long and grow a beard? Not going to happen but it is fun to joke about with him. He has his identity and THAT look is IT. Cool bro!
The same with me.
I was harassed by my parents for years about how my hair looked. In my late 20’s I changed style to what I felt good about. THEN after my mother died and I was going bald on top, I shaved my head. It was funny. I bought some shears and then zipped that hair away! People were critical but I felt more free than ever. It was radical and felt good that way.
Now I just change my appearance a little once in a while. I do not have to look any particular way for anyone and HOW I LOOK AND HOW OTHERS JUDGE ME FOR IT is an indicator of how and what others are. It is also a reason for me to always be self examining myself for my own prejudices about how others look and ARE.