On Shaving

I hate shaving. Why do I hate shaving? Well, for one thing, it requires attention and in the morning, I'm lacking that. It is painful, even when you don't cut yourself. I've tried electric and regular and both hurt in different ways. And I almost always get a cut somewhere. Usually, it's not that bad, but still a real pain to plug up when you are rushing to get ready for work. Plus, it's embarrassing walking around with a little clot of blood all day. Shaving messes up my sink with bits of hair and nasty used shaving cream foam. The hair also can clog up the sink after a while. Shaving costs money I could be spending elsewhere. After shaving, my skin is either very rough, or very oily. I just don't like the feeling after a shave, even after showering directly after.

So why do we shave? Well, there is the belief in our society that unshaven equals unkempt and unclean. Also, it is thought to be unprofessional in an office environment. Name me one CEO that has facial hair. Can't do it can you? Only one I can come with is Larry Ellison of Oracle and since he founded the company, that doesn't count. And it's not just CEOs but almost all the top corporate brass in the US lacks facial hair but has a golf handicap (but that's another matter). Take a look at any public company's annual report and look at the board of directors. No fuzz. Frankly, I think it's a discriminatory practice, but the facially haired do not get any help from the ACLU or other groups set up to fight against discrimination.

Some women don't like unshaved men. Now, that's understandable because it does get a little prickly at the early stages of growth which can hurt when cuddling. But for appearance, I think it only natural for a man to be unshaved and for a woman to like the look. A man should be manly and unshaved is manly. It brings him back to his roots as a caveman living off the land, when such dandy activities like shaving and manicures were nonexistent. The cavemen had no time for such wasteful niceties. And that's the image that should be maintained even today. We do have more luxuries and technologies in this day and age, but still, better things to do with our time than stem the hair growth that nature intended a man to have. And a man should look like a wild savage a little I think. We all have a little beast in us; displaying this vestige from our ancestral Cro-Magnon fathers demonstrates that, and celebrates our link to the past. And I personally don't think unshaven face looks bad. It's just another look. Some people it looks good on, some not, but it doesn't give me the same negative impression of a person having BO or stained clothing or something. Yet that is how many people in the world feel about facial hair. I think it is wrong to think this way.

So what is my opinion on women shaving? Arguably, this is more of a pain than male shaving, but most women don't have to do it as often, depending on hormones. My thought on this matter is that armpit hair on women has got to go. It really is the only body hair on a woman that I find distasteful. Other than that, I'm fine with it anywhere else, though with some more "manly" women it might be a good idea for shaving excessively hairy legs and arms and facial hair, should it appear. But that's just my personal opinion. I don't look down upon a woman with hair in these places, I just don't enjoy looking at the person as much as if she didn't have the hair. However, my opinion of the furry females in the areas of cleanliness and professionalism is not sullied by the extra hair.

And while I'm on this topic, why don't we touch on male body hair. I think it's fine everywhere except the back. On the back, massive hair is not pretty. But on the other hand, shaving here is not a solution and surgical solutions are both expensive and probably painful. For men, we can live with the distastefulness of excess hair where it shouldn't be because men aren't supposed to be pretty and care about stuff like this. Now, hair on some weird place like the palm of your hand or sole of feet, is another thing and probably is too annoying and embarrassing to live with and must be taken care of. And as we get much older, hair crops up in new places like the ears and eyebrows. But by that stage of life, we don't really care, we're just glad to be alive and if the young whippersnappers don't like my ear hair, they can shove it.

Now is a good time to expound on the subject of the non-hairy male. For some men, they just aren't hairy, and I can say with regard to back hair, I envy them because I personally find it distasteful even looking at my own. This non-hairy gene translates into uneven hair growth on the face a lot of time is these people and this looks weird, so for these people, it is advisable to keep a regular shaving routine because that looks better than uneven hair growth. Also, some people have light hair or different color hair appears in different parts of the face. It's not a big deal, it's just that these people can't grow a beard. While I am going off in this essay on all these great things about being bearded, it really is an unimportant thing in life. In fact, if I was naturally unhairy and never had to shave, I'd be glad. One has to be happy with who they are, be it hairy or non-hairy. Given my hairiness, I'm proud of it, but I don't contend that hairy is better than non-hairy.

Another benefit of not shaving is the ability to stroke a beard. Nothing connotes a thinking man like the slow and deliberate stroking of the hair under the chin. It makes my online news-reading at work look like I'm pondering a long memo on the new depreciation schedule for capital equipment. Similarly, I'm finding it a cool feeling for the wind to move the beard hair. Sort of tingles. Also a similar feeling when swimming and the beard is moved by the water. It slows me down, but I'm not swimming for speed, so the added resistance actually increases my workout.

An unshaved man says, I walk to my own beat and don't have time for silly things. I'm a mover. A shaker. An untamed beast with a lust for life and a desire to partake in all its bounty. It says I don't give a crap about what is expected of me. I choose to not shave because I'm not ashamed about the hair that God gave my face and choose to expose it in all its glory. I should be judged by my actions, not looks. If my unshaveness makes others think I'm a slob, it's only because they have the wrong opinion of facial hair. It isn't dirty. It's a way of life.

Also, being unshaven has some benefits for the city dweller. A scruffy face on a regular person makes the bums feel more comfortable with their facial hair, since they are unable to shave that much. And it's nice to make the bums feel at home. When walking home late through a shady area, being unshaven has additional benefits. Just untuck your shirt, mess up your hair, stagger as if drunk and yell incoherently, and you're good to go safely as you traverse through a crack neighborhood. No one will bother you. In this case, the unshaveness by itself does not make you appear scary, but it does help when done in combination with the other things I mention above.

And finally, a benefit that isn't applicable to most people, but is to me: The camouflaging of nose hair. When you have enough hair in the mustache region, it masks the unsightly hairs coming down from the nostril region, hence reducing the frequency of clipping in that area. So, that is more time and effort that is saved.

I haven't shaved in over 3 weeks. In that time, I have enjoyed the carefree existence of not shaving. Waking up is still painful since it's early and my job crappy, but the realization that I have no shaving to contend with makes the task of getting up a little easier every day. I don't know if I'm going to maintain my facial hair. Really, it might be too much work to keep a beard for me and my style is more to just let it go and they may be too much for me. Also, I expect to see the problems of food in one's beard and other problems of facial hair that I have not yet experienced. I might compromise to one shave a week. That is an amount of aggravation that I can tolerate and makes more sense than letting it go and shaving it all off every 3 weeks or so, since the undertaking after 3 weeks is large.

I'd just like to say to all the people shaving because they feel forced to by the world around them, "Let the hair grow." No one at work will say anything because they'll be worried about offending you personal beliefs. As well they should. Because your personal belief is in the freedom of choice in facial hair. Whether to have it or not is a decision for oneself to make, not society. While they're wondering whether you've just adopted a new religion or something, you'll be doing your job same as always, or even better now with the added confidence that exudes from you newly fuzzed face.

Amusing passage from Twain on his French Shave experience.

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