Sunday, 17 November 2013


We're only two weeks into the month of Movember and the race to see whose boyfriend sprouts the fugliest abomination of facial fuzz is already heavily underway. For one entire month, women from all around the world are forced to face this dia-follicle frenzy as men make the not-so smooth transition into grizzly, unkempt beasts, each one sporting a variety of designer trims more hideous than the next. Landing strips, bootstraps, the horseshoe - yes, they have names. It's prickly business for a girl, one that is bound to hit Gillette sales hard in the nuts, and while the cause from which this travesty stems is truly amazing and profound, I couldn't help but wonder about the general consensus regarding facial hair for the other three-hundred and thirty five days of the year...

The way a woman feels about a man's facial plumage is the same way she feels about Jennifer Lawrence's new pixie cut. You either love it or hate it, and while most of us prefer an alabaster sensation against our sensitive and well moisturised skin, one has to acknowledge the distinguished presence and sex appeal that a well-groomed beard can contribute to a man's appearance. Some say it's that sense of primal aggression and mystery that makes a girls panty drop while others find it unruly and repugnant. What's behind the curtain of facial pubes anyway? Was shabby chic the ultimate measure of manhood and masculinity or was it all just a bunch of fluff?

"Unless you're a poet, a caveman or of Mediterranean descent, there's simply no excuse for looking like a former apartheid police officer." I was making my trademark cameo appearance at a friends birthday party recently when I bumped into an old colleague who had some pretty strong opinions (amongst other things) about a man's furry features. "A light five a clock shadow is one thing and even acceptable if he's able to maintain it, but when you're kissing a guy and it feels like you're being mauled by sandpaper, then it's time for some Sensor Excel etiquette."

"This one time, at Stellies..." Nadia proceeded to tell me about the unfortunate incident from whence her prejudice of facial fuzz had come from. She had once decided to brave the world of facebook dating and found herself hooking up with the only guy that hadn't sent her half-naked selfies or close ups of his genitals. Not that appearances mattered to Nadia, but his profile picture did depict him as clean shaven, slick and smooth just like his online flirting. "He arrived sprouting what looked like a ten-day beard which actually made him look a lot older than he was. It was borderline paedophile which would have usually put me off but I could see how handsome he was underneath the welcome mat. I didn't pay much mind to it and thought it was nothing a decent razor couldn't fix."

The date went really well and even ended up with a two hour make out session and a couple of hickies in the parking lot of Gio's Pizzeria. Nadia went to bed feeling great about herself but when she woke up in the middle of the night by some tingling sensation on the lower half of her face, she let out a shriek of horror that nearly woke up the entire campus. Who was that monster staring back at her in the mirror? When Vitamin E cream failed to sooth the burning inferno, Nadia had realised that she was a victim of first degree facial burn.

"I looked like a cast member of the Walking Dead! Half of my face had been left behind in the parking lot along with my sobriety and dignity. I don't get it. A woman will always find time to preen herself to perfection before a date no matter how hectic her day was, so why can't men offer us the same courtesy by shearing off their facial fuzz?" Nadia showed me some before and after snap-shots and she really did look like beef carpaccio (on a bad day). It looked extremely painful and apparently took nearly three weeks to heal.

"The worst part was that I really liked him and had to dodge him every time I saw him at campus. I was mortified. There was even a mother of all scabs that formed which eventually just fell off my lip. I seriously thought of donating it to the science labs. I don't care how sexy it looks on a guy, stubble equals trouble. It's impractical, painful not to mention hideous. When it comes to my personal choice, a guy's got to shave it or save it!"

If a man wants to grow a beard or a mo there's nothing we can do to stop him as long as he understands the physical and mental pain he's putting us girls through. Whether you're attracted to the rugged bush or not, there's actually a legitimate reason for fear and loathing in Las Visages. I wonder how well it would go down if women stopped shaving their legs and bikini lines for thirty days? How about armpits or vaginas? Now that's what I call social awareness.
When it comes to facial grooming, I mous-tache you a women like men the same way they like our legs? Silky smooth? 

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