Prompt Series #4 – Do you like or have facial hair?

Question: Do you like or have facial hair?

In general concept, my whole persona may have been defined by facial hair throughout my middle and high school years. So I would say I absolutely like facial hair and change up my face at least a couple of times per year.

The thing you’d have noticed about me as I grew up was that I was taller than everyone. My personality was more mature as well. I appeared perhaps 5 years older than I really was much of my life. Such as a realtor who asked, when I was age 11, what high school I was attending. I hadn’t even started middle school yet.

This translated to an early start with facial hair for me. I actually had to start shaving in 6th grade. My sideburns were starting to grow and I was getting some random hairs in the neck area. Jump ahead to 8th grade, and the goatee was born upon my chin and the sideburns had fully matured.

The goatee was the most prominent feature on my visible exterior the second half of 8th grade. This wasn’t a messy patchwork of a few hairs. This wasn’t a particularly thin and see through area of growth. My entire chin sprouted its thick, dark brown, coarse hair.  The amount of attention this garnered led me to steal, or finesse, a phrase a friend stated when I decried that all people saw of me was my goatee. I was the floating goatee. The floating mass of hair absent a body.

8th grade also happened to be the moment I reached my final height. Everyone would soon catch up to me over the first couple of years of high school. But for a time,  people thought I was an adult at age 14.The school resource officer challenged my presence on campus one day, thinking I was a high schooler there to pick up the middle school girls. I was polite and respectful in my rebuttle and it became a joke between us the rest of the year. In the basketball league, parents thought I was a ringer. The president of the league though was close to our team, so he knew who I was. When I entered 9th grade, students older than me assumed I was a senior. A girl in a class thought I was an undercover cop. People asked if I could get alcohol, as if I wouldn’t get carded. I never cared to try, nor partook in such activity.

High school advanced along and the rest of the beard was able to be grown. By 12th grade, it reached completion. The mustache area still doesn’t grow in as fully as I’d like, but I can grow a full beard. Given I worked at a grocery store with some limitations through college, the beard was mostly limited to a goatee, if I had it at all.  When I got into my career, everyone was fine with all sorts of facial hair assuming it was well kept. So for the last decade plus I’ve rotated around from a goatee, van dyke, full beard, and clean shaven. I will never go with just a mustache, as it is a bit scary and it just doesn’t grow as well as I’d like to make it work on its own.

I personally think the facial hair makes me more distinct. My face is a bit round and the beard elongates my appearance somewhat to what I think is better looking. I have had people say that I look better with the beard. At this point, I don’t have any firm advice or preference from females, so  I don’t know how it would be received if I get married.  I eventually get tired of staying clean shaved and let it grow back out. I’ve never gone with the epic long look, as I’ve always kept it at probably 2 or 3 inches or shorter. The one element though that pretty much never goes away are the sideburns. I’ve pretty much had them since 8th grade and haven’t looked back.

I am clean shaven as of this post. However, it will not be too long until I probably change that up again. Especially as the next Star Wars movie gets closer. Something about the beard also makes me feel more Jedi-like.

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