All about beards is happy and proud to welcome William to the featured beards section. William’s beard story is an important one because of his steadfast resistance to the onslaught of anti-beard criticism that he faced once he set out to grow his beard. William stood firm against all the anti-beard naysayers and refused to give up on his beard. Instead, William became fiercely dedicated to growing his beard and is a strong advocate for beards. For this, William merits respect as he stands as a great example for all new beard growers who may waver in their confidence when subjected to criticism of their nascent beards. William demonstrated that by staying strong and dedicated, despite all opposition, he truly has grown a winning beard.
My name is William and I have been constantly bearded since January 2013. Living and working in the Netherlands, I decided to become bearded before the big “beard hype” over here…not for beard fashion reasons, but I was willing to change and wanting something different with my face. And I was getting bored with shaving once or twice a day… that was also a big reason, to be quite honest.
I work as a lawyer. I am married and have three children. I play the euphonium in a local band, love to travel, and am active in a confirmation group in a Roman Catholic church and Mary fraternity that dates back to 1834 . I love reading all kinds of books and papers. I am also active as a volunteer in the local carnival museum. My city is one of the most famous carnival towns in the Netherlands. Here I love to celebrate these festivities as a bearded Dutch man!
Scroll down to read Williams’s beard story and be sure to see William’s beard progression gallery and William’s beard gallery below. The photos on this page and in William’s photo galleries are courtesy of William and are used with permission. All photos are subject to the site’s conditions of use.
William’s winning beard story
What do you think about beards?
Beards are a choice every man should have, although each man has to deal with his possibilities to grow or not. It’s all about a man who has to have the beard genetics first. Then it is up to him to choose for a beard or not. But frankly said… a beard makes the man. That’s what I think about it. When I see pictures of men without or with a beard, I often choose the bearded pictures, because the look of a bearded man makes a man more attractive in his human appearance: a solid, trustful, and manly look! That’s my opinion on the meaning of un-bearded or bearded men.
What do you think about your own beard?
I like a good full, total beard with a good length. It has to be taken care of…not too wild, but also not too neat, somewhere surely in the middle. I am very satisfied and happy with my beard, because — and this is what it’s all about — I find that it suits my face and makes my face complete. The colors (the combination of blond, and dark) are fine for me!
When you were a little boy, did you ever think about growing a beard in the future when you would become a man?
No, I didn’t. It wasn’t a custom in my family. There weren’t clear examples, although my father tried it shortly but stopped it because of the resistance of my mother. And one uncle on my mother’s side wore a beard in a “Van Dyke” style for years. That’s where I could see that beard genetics were present in my family. But as a boy, I didn’t see it as a future thing for me!
What led you to grow your first beard?
It came from the curiosity from the combination of the following questions, which I answered afterwards with a big YES.
- Can I grow a good beard?
- Will I get used to the change?
- Would I like to be a bearded man?
- Will it suit me?
- Can I withstand the possible negative reactions?
Have you remained bearded since growing your first beard?
YES, the whole time.
Also see: William’s beard gallery.
Did you encounter a lot of resistance to your beard from people around you?
Oh yes… From the start, the reactions were resistant. And to say it diplomatically, they were not very mild. Most members of my family didn’t like my choice. Also most of my friends didn’t like the beard. Reactions in groups on birthdays to me as a person or one-to-one personally were in a sneering way, although reactions from people out of my “inner circle” were much more positive. And fortunately, a lot of people also were normal in their reactions. But to be quite honest, my wife still isn’t a fan and neither is my mother. But that’s okay for me. You can’t have all in life and my opinion about my beard in life has become: “You don’t like my beard. That’s okay. I didn’t grow it for you, but for myself.” This is because I am happy with my choice and that’s all that counts. I don’t mind what other people do. Let them be happy with their choices. And I am happy with mine.
How did you deal with all of the resistance to your beard? How did you overcome it?
It wasn’t easy. It felt very often as a rejection of me as a person. And it could (and sometimes still now) can feel very painful. But I was strong enough to deal with it and to overcome it. It was my decision. I wanted to be bearded and give it a chance. And finally people got used to it and opinions changed.
Why do you think that some people are so automatically against beards?
At first: beards in appearance always have an initial disadvantage because people are not used to beards on faces starting from the age of infancy. Second: beards call upon some people’s thoughts of being aggressive, thoughtless, unreliable, and dominant; the combination of those traits doesn’t contribute in a positive way to the general view of beards. And third: beards are for some people like clowns are; they are scary in some sort of ghostly Halloween way. There are more reasons I think. But I noticed these as some of the most important.
Are you dedicated to staying bearded now? Why?
Yes, I am still dedicated. It has become my new lifestyle. I never thought this could have such an impact on me that I don’t want to change anymore!
Do you believe that beards are compatible with or even enhance a “professional” appearance?
I don’t have a real opinion for that. I think that for some men it really is an improvement for their appearance and for some it isn’t. It all has to do with beard genetics, the form of a face, and of course a man himself has to feel good with it.
Do you know if your beard has inspired others to grow their beards?
Yes, finally it has. It took years, but some men in my environment chose for themselves to go for a beard. This was after first being a bit negative towards mine. Now it gives me a big smile from time to time. That’s for sure.
Do you encourage others to grow their beards?
No, not actively. Only when men ask me about it and have an interest to do so. Out of my experience of at first negative reactions and later on more positive ones… I only react in a way when people ask me for it. I’m still a bit careful, I think.
Why have you chosen the classic full beard?
It is just the sort of beard that is my kind of beard. The other sorts are not that attractive to me. I am a fan of the full bearded beardway!
Do you shape and trim your beard yourself?
Partly… Once every five or six weeks I go the barbershop. The rest of the time in between I try to do it myself.
How do you care for your beard?
I use several beard products like beard oil, mustache wax, pomade, and what I’ve come to like a lot over the last half year: beard balm.
Do you take pride in your beard?
Yes, I do. Frankly, when I look around, I feel blessed to have a beard the way that I have. It just is exactly the way I wanted, except for some details (see my beard complaints below).
What do you like best about your beard?
Its thickness, the full bearded “covering” of my face, and from time to time it is lovely to go through it, touching and feeling by hand.
Do you have any complaints about your beard?
Like its owner, my beard is very pigheaded. There are a lot of hairs that don’t grow the way I want them to. But that’s a point I can deal with. I have a good barber and, of course, other good ways to keep my beard in line!
What is your opinion of beards.org?
For me it was the very good support from the site that helped me to stay bearded and to keep my positive feeling about beards. It is good to share and to see all the worldwide pics from all other men who love being bearded in all kinds of sorts and ways!
What do you think about being featured on beards.org?
I feel honored and pleased. To get “beardly”noticed by a worldwide known beard site is not only a recognition of being valued as man with a beard, but also a confirmation that my beard can be noticed as a good, visible support for men who want to choose to grow a beard! Do it and make THE choice to grow your beard. Although resistance can be there, you won’t regret it!
William: today’s beard, 2017/03/14