Welcome to the home of excellent beards!
The above greeting was the headline on the home page of All About BEARDS when the site made its debut on the worldwide web on January 17, 1996. I started the site to take a stand:
- to proclaim that beards are okay, that beards are actually way more than okay
- to declare that beards are natural and worthy and should be embraced rather than shunned
- to stress that beards merit respect, appreciation, and even admiration
- to state that it’s all right to have questions about beards and how to grow a beard and to seek out information about beards
- to provide much-needed information on the right way to grow a beard as well as helpful information on beard styles and beard grooming
- to encourage and inspire men all over the world to grow their beards
Ever since that first day twenty-four years ago, the site has steadfastly remained true to the bearded cause. That was the start of All About BEARDS’ efforts to increase beard acceptance. The goal has always been to enable men to be free to grow their beards as they see fit.
Yes, beards have come a long way since 1996. In recent years and still today, beards are seen in far greater numbers and enjoy a lot more acceptance. Today beards are seen much more frequently in popular media than probably ever before. A notable indicator is the number of beards seen in television commercials. Back when All About BEARDS first started, it was highly unlikely to ever see a beard in a television commercial. Nowadays it seems that nearly every man appearing in a television commercial has a beard, usually even a full beard. That’s some beard progress.
In the years since All About BEARDS started, many more companies have eased or lifted restrictions on employee beards. Men in a variety of professions are growing beards and finding that their beards are not a detriment to a professional appearance. This represents great progress. However, plenty of employers still maintain outdated restrictions on beards.
Today beards are seen less like an oddity and more like an accepted, everyday thing. And beards these days regularly summon plenty of compliments from both women and men. Many a time I’ve had people go out of their way to compliment me on my beard.
That pesky anti-beard bias
Despite all the gains in acceptance and the increased goodwill toward beards, there remains a surprising amount of anti-beard sentiment. Lots of people still voice strong criticisms of beards with great conviction. They may claim that all beards are unsightly and unkempt. They may say that beards are unclean. They may say that beards are offensive or disgraceful.
Others may allow for beards, but impose their own restrictions, especially with respect to size or length. Some state that beards that exceed a certain length, sometimes as little as a quarter of an inch, are absolutely unacceptable and must not be tolerated. In most of these cases, they appoint themselves to decide whether others may grow their beards or to what extent these beards may be permitted to grow. They are also quick to insist that new beard growers stop that beard-growing nonsense immediately and shave. They can be unrelenting in their demands that new beard growers obey their wishes. All of this serves as a reminder that much more progress is needed to counter anti-beard bias.
Do your part and grow your beard
When it comes to beards, I continue to stress that there is strength in numbers. This works in many ways. Overall, the more beards there are, the more common they become. As beards become more common, greater numbers of people become accustomed to them. With increased familiarity with beards, more acceptance follows.
Each bearded man has the opportunity to be a positive role model, improving the image of bearded men in general. Bearded men and beard fans should actively encourage other men to grow their beards. And those new beard growers should do the same. This increases the number of beards in the world and helps grow more acceptance of beards. Now do your part and grow your beard! Also share this post and encourage others to grow.
Many thanks go to all of the wonderful friends who have supported and grown with All About BEARDS during the last twenty-four years!