I’ve promoted beards on this site for twenty-six years now. Somebody had to do it.
Why create a website in 1996 to promote beards?
Twenty-six years ago today, All About BEARDS appeared on the web for the first time. I created the site to spread the word that beards are all right. And I wanted to encourage and help men everywhere to grow their beards. It had to be done. I’m glad that I did it.
Beards are more than all right. Beards are great. Beards can be awesome. There is something special about beards. And men should be free to grow their beards as they please. Short or long, big or small, you should be able to grow the beard that you want without fear.
Well-maintained beards are worthy of respect, appreciation, and even admiration. I wrote “well-maintained” to exclude sloppy, dirty, unkempt beards because many may argue that it’s a stretch to respect beards kept in lousy condition. That’s a justifiable point to make. Take pride in your beard and its grooming. That’s a beard worthy of respect!
You are not alone.
Interested in learning about beards and how to grow a beard? Could you use some inspiration to help with your decision to grow your beard? There are plenty of resources for you today. In 1996, it was a different world. Those interested in growing beards were much more isolated and had only scarce beard resources available to them online.
I created All About BEARDS to say that it’s all right to be interested in beard growing and how to do it. I wanted to educate you about beards and growing a beard. I wanted to inspire you to grow your beard and encourage other men to grow their beards. I wanted to support your beard-growing efforts with helpful information.
There are people who are against beards.
There was also a need to speak out against widespread, well-established anti-beard bias. So the fledgling site included that as part of the pro-beard mission. Taking on anti-beard bias required more than just talk. I had to challenge people to rethink their automatic bias against beards. I wanted to persuade them to give beards a chance and stop rejecting them. I did this in the hope of putting them on a path to stop hating beards and towards eventually liking them.
Another way to combat anti-beard bias was to encourage beard-growers to reject it. Beard growers should not silently accept outright anti-beard bias. They should reject it, politely. Stand up for your beard!
Thoughtful engagement could help erode someone’s anti-beard bias. Question the legitimacy of the anti-beard complaint. Explain why you should have the freedom to grow your beard. Having a respectful conversation may not win them over to the pro-beard side immediately. But it could plant the seed that may lead to their eventually coming around.
There is still anti-beard bias out there. Let’s keep it on the decline.
We need more beard growers!
The more beards there are, the more people get used to seeing them around. The more people see beards commonly around, the more they get used to seeing beards. And as they get more used to seeing beards all around, the more they accept beards. They see that beards are a normal and natural part of life. They see that beards are not going away.
Beard acceptance diminishes anti-beard bias.
Grow your beard. Now.
Do your part to advance beard freedom. Join the bearded brotherhood.
All About BEARDS continues its original mission today:
to promote beards
to educate about all aspects of beards
to reduce anti-beard bias
to increase beard acceptance
to support, encourage, and inspire men around the world to grow their best beards ever
I’ve always had a calling to promote beards. In 1996, I had to create All About BEARDS to promote beards and help other beard growers and would-be beard growers. I am happy that I did it. The friends, supporters, beard growers, and beard fans I’ve met along the way have been a blessing. I thank you all.
Now keep growing your beards and encouraging others to grow theirs!
Is optimism for each new year overrated? It can get discouraging to start out each year with high hopes and enthusiasm only to end those years in disappointment. Our optimism for all the great possibilities of a new year can get steamrolled by heavy doses of real life as the year goes along. It’s not surprising that the abundant optimism present on the first of January wanes as we proceed through the year.
Yet, at the start of each new year we are accustomed to being full of optimism, even if the previous year or two or even more fell far short of what we had hoped. But that doesn’t mean that we may as well give up or lose hope.
Every day of the year is an opportunity to improve, to step up and do better. Don’t abandon your optimism. Hold on to it. Keep it in mind as you start each day. Make it a habit to do something positive every day. That includes doing something for others. Even small positive things performed regularly throughout the year can produce big changes for the better.
And everything’s better if you’re growing a beard that makes you happy, a beard that makes you feel good about yourself. That’s something to appreciate every day of the year.
Yes, 2020 and 2021 were tough and disappointing for too many people all over the world. But don’t lose hope. Believe in a brighter future. Doing something positive every day moves you along the path to a better future.
All About BEARDS was launched on the worldwide web twenty-five years ago today. The mission has always been to promote beards and beard acceptance as well as to provide men with information, support, encouragement, and inspiration to grow the best beards possible.
All About BEARDS, a steadfast advocate for beards, is the world’s longest-running beard website. The site has never wavered in supporting beards regardless of the degree of popularity beards may have at any given time. A core principle promoted by All About BEARDS is that the decision to grow a beard should not depend upon the whims of fashions or trends. Each individual man always should have the right to grow his beard as he sees fit.
When All About BEARDS started in January 1996, beards were far less common than they are today in 2021. I’ve been promoting beards for the long haul, including long stretches during which beards were not exactly viewed as being cool. I’m proud that All About BEARDS was standing up to promote beards during times when not many others were.
In my twenty-fourth anniversary post last year, I shared some reflections on how far we’ve come in advancing the prevalence and acceptance of beards. Here at the beginning of 2021, beards are seen in numbers similar to those of one year ago.
While the bearded cause has come a long way, there is still a long way to go. Casual, everyday observation reveals that there are far more shavers than beard growers. It is heartening to see beards represented in large numbers in television commercials and in other media. However, it seems that in real life I don’t see so many beards out and about. I’d like to see a lot more growth in the number of beard growers. And the need to reduce anti-beard bias still remains.
Celebrating our past and a better bearded future
For All About BEARDS‘ tenth anniversary I created the following graphic to showcase some of the site’s highlights back then.
You can still view any of the tenth anniversary highlights seen above by following these links.
One year ago today I was full of optimism for the new year and new decade. Before long, however, nothing turned out how I expected for 2020. I am not alone in experiencing the year that way.
Sometimes I wonder if I should not express optimism at the start of a new year. Too many times, years that started out brimming with optimism and new hope seemingly turned out all wrong. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s important to hold on to optimism no matter what. That’s what keeps us moving onward toward better days.
Look with favor upon a bold beginning.
This quote from Virgil came to mind when I sat down to write this post. Every day can be a bold new beginning. New Year’s Day is always a good time for a new bold beginning. While the first day of 2021 may not be a complete reset from the final days of 2020, we can choose to approach it as a bold new beginning.
For 2021, let’s boldly grow our beards and encourage others to join us. Growing a new beard is a wonderful bold beginning. Don’t hold back. Grow your beard.
Throughout 2021, let’s always strive to do our best. Be kind to each other. Be helpful to one another. Go forward with a heart full of compassion, optimism, hope, and courage.
Today and every day I will “look with favor upon a bold beginning”. I urge you to do the same. Now I wish all beard-growers, beard fans, and their families, friends, and colleagues a happy and prosperous 2021!
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!
Twenty-three years ago today a little beard website made its online debut: All About BEARDS. That was the small beginning of a worldwide mission to promote beards and the growing of beards. Accompanying this effort was the important mission of providing helpful information about beards. The site developed an easy-to-follow guide on how to grow a beard successfully. The All About BEARDS beard-growing guide has helped thousands of men around the world to grow their beards. Before these men started growing, the site helped convince them to do so. In many cases, the All About BEARDS site inspired them to grow and bolstered their confidence to stay with it all the way through to beard success.
By promoting beards without wavering, All About BEARDS set out to increase public acceptance of beards. With the increased popularity of beards in recent years, it may be hard to fathom that beards used to be far more rarely seen. And it was not long ago that beards enjoyed far less acceptance than they do today.
Recently Scott, pictured above, reported that he was speaking with a young man who is just a year older than the All About BEARDS site. In reference to All About BEARDS, the young man asked Scott why there would be a need for a website devoted to promoting beards. Scott mentioned this exchange to one of his dearest friends. In response, she told Scott to tell me, “Mission accomplished.”
The heartbreak of anti-beard bias
While I was delighted to hear that congratulatory “Mission accomplished”, All About BEARDS‘ mission will never be fully accomplished. Even today while beards seemingly enjoy great popularity and acceptance, the negativity of anti-beard bias remains surprisingly prevalent. It may not be as readily apparent as before. But it still lurks about and makes itself known with too much frequency.
There are people who still comment about how much they detest beards. There are still those who ridicule new-beard growers and insist that they shave. Or, these self-appointed beard police often inform bearded men that their beards must be trimmed down substantially or shaved off altogether. Why should someone else hold so much veto power over your beard? And thanks to these people, there are still far too many men who are too reluctant to grow their beards. It is not easy to eliminate the harm of anti-beard bias. However, All About BEARDS will continue undeterred.
Growing for the future
Click on either image above to view larger.
One of the main ways to grow beard acceptance is for as many men as possible to grow their beards. The more bearded men there are, the more others will grow accustomed to being around beards and, with that, acceptance follows. There is strength in numbers.
Of course, when beards are more common, beard-growing pioneers may long for the old days when having a beard made them stand out even more. When beards were less common, those who steadfastly remained bearded often felt that having a beard made them more unique, making them stand out from the rest, and giving them a certain mystique. They have a point when stating that when every man has a beard, having a beard may not make them feel nearly as special as before. However, we still have a long way to go. Even today at large public events I may look out into the crowds and see that beards are few and far in between.
When it comes to the future of beards, I still say that more is better. Adding more beards to the world by inspiring more men to grow their beards is one of the best ways to make the world more beard-friendly. And the more beard-friendly the world becomes, more men will feel free to grow their beards as they see fit.
If you are one of the thousands of men who grew their beards with inspiration or assistance from All About BEARDS, I express to you my hearty thanks. If you grew your beard without inspiration or assistance from All About BEARDS, I thank you for growing as well. And if you have not yet grown your beard, I invite you to visit our guide on how to grow a beard and start growing for the future right now!
At the start of a new year we often focus our thoughts on the possibilities ahead. The new year represents an opportunity for a new beginning. Yet every day is an opportunity for a new beginning.
Every day there is an opportunity to start growing a new beard. If you already have a beard, every day presents an opportunity to improve your beard through better care and grooming, growing it longer or trimming it shorter, or trying a new beard style. Growing your first beard the right way or improving your existing beard can boost your confidence. In that way, you and your beard are growing stronger.
Here we are again at another all about beards anniversary. Today marks twenty-two years since that little site started out on its mission to promote beards, share information about beards, and celebrate beards. During this time, we have helped thousands and thousands of men all around the world to grow their beards. This, “adding beards to the world”, is among our proudest achievements.
Adding more beards to the world is one of the best ways to increase acceptance, and even respect, for beards. The more beards there are, the more the general population becomes accustomed to them. The more the general population becomes accustomed to beards, the more accepting of beards people become. With that, more people are less likely to harbor that pesky old anti-beard bias that surprisingly and stubbornly resists fading away. The anti-beard bias was much stronger in the early days of all about beards. And it was even stronger for years and years prior to that. Anti-beard bias, however, still remains stronger than many may realize. Plenty of people still feel entitled to tell new beard growers and established beard growers alike that they should shave. A milder form of anti-beard bias allows for limited beard growth, but not too much, with the limit defined by the beard critic. Grow your beard a bit beyond stubble length and you may hear, “That beard’s too long. You’ve got to trim that down.” Here at all about beards, we think that beard critics do not have the right to dictate what restrictions must be imposed on a man’s beard.
Anti-beard bias will never disappear completely. However, we are happy to see that it is much weaker now than it was twenty-two years ago. In recent years beards have made great gains in numbers and in acceptance. We could not be happier, except for the movement to continue in favor of beards.
Ready to grow your beard? Be sure to check out our tried and true beard growing guide and start growing today!
We will always keep growing. We are all about beards.
All About BEARDS celebrated its twenty-first anniversary on January 17, 2017. This video featuring photos and video from selected beards.org photo shoots marks the momentous occasion! Many thanks go to all of the site’s friends from throughout the years.