A few weeks ago a friend of mine suggested that I shave off my beard. He said it would make me look younger.
I shaved off my beard. I did not look younger. I looked every day (and then some) of my 68 years.
The suggestion was made because I have a white beard. I no longer had the luxurious dark brown beard that I had when I first started to grow a beard in 1972.
Twice before I have shaved off my beard only to be confronted with a face that I did not like. I could not imagine spending the rest of my days looking at that face in the mirror during my daily shave. Oh no. Not that face. Gravity had taken its toll. I had a saggy face. I had jowls.
White first began appearing in my beard twenty years ago. A white whisker here, a white whisker there. I wasn't alarmed because the "little bit o'gray" gave me a distinguished look. However, all too soon my whole chin was covered in white whiskers hairs. My chin had disappeared.
I am fortunate that I have an angular face with high cheekbones. A well trimmed, dark beard completes my look. To those of you who think I am too narcissistic, get over it. I don't apologize for caring about my appearance. I don't apologize for having a healthy self-esteem. After having spend the formative years of my youth constantly berated by my father for being "stupid looking", I am thankful that I got away from home at an early age (joined the Army) and came to the realization that I wasn't any "stupider looking" than many of my fellow soldiers.
Self image and self esteem is so important to mental health. There is that fine line between self esteem and conceit. I am not conceited. I know the difference. I know conceited people. I know good-looking conceited people and I know not so good-looking conceited people. I also know people who have a healthy self-esteem. I notice that those people who have a healthy self-esteem aren't necessarily good-looking in the Hollywood measure but they are very attractive none-the less because of their healthy self-esteem. I've also noticed that the so called good-looking conceited people aren't so attractive once you get to know them and their conceit. They are very unattractive.
Having said all that, I look better with a beard. I look even better when I color my beard. Now where did I put my Just For Men?
By the way Pop, I'm still "stupid looking" but a cute stupid looking.