For Those of Us with Beard-envy

Beardhead!

I don’t know about you, but I’m really pumped about 2011. There are so many things which sucked about 2010, I commenced this year wanting, nay, NEEDING change. Like millions of others, I made resolutions– in fact, I probably made more of those than I ever have, before. But they are secondary to gut feelings, intentions and the power of inspiration. Instead of resolving to work out every day until my body looks like it did when I played indoor soccer four days a week, I’m looking at my friend GD who beasts through frigid weather to run, no matter what (and he eats cleanly, too!). Let me make this hyper-relevant to the SM crew. It’s no secret that despite my ancient history with mutineer Vinod (KIDDING! You all wish!), Ennis is probably my favorite mutineer, evar. I’m not talking about his blogging skills though– I’m lucky enough to know him in real life, as a good friend.

Ennis is thoughtful, patient and occasionally funny enough that I laugh until I cry. Point is, he can be hilarious. He can also be sweet and kind, the best, most loyal, encouraging sort of friend, the person who texts you reassurance and silliness one day and a quiet, virtual hug the next, when it’s your Dad’s death anniversary.

So why am I making Ennis blush right now? Believe it or not, I have a point! I have figured out the power behind Ennis’ awesomeness. You’re going to love this epiphany.

Ready? No, really.

READY?

It’s.

His.

BEARD.

I am now convinced of this. So as I found myself filled with despair, that despite my 100% Desi genetics, I would never grow a beard of my own, the universe sent me an answer. The heavens parted, sunlight streamed down upon my Mac, angels trilled “AHHHHH!” and I clicked this link, which told me about BeardHead.com. Wot’s this? I can multi-task with my bearding? Not only can I copy one of my favorite people, thus grabbing some of his considerable skillz for myself, but I could keep WARM in this nasty, freezing weather, too? Sign me UP! Well, as soon as the Viking Combo is back in stock…

Image courtesy of Flickr user “naxoc”.

51 thoughts on “For Those of Us with Beard-envy

  1. that despite my 100% Desi genetics

    u’ve been genotyped? :-)

    for those who have been, i bring your attention to the harappa ancestry project. we’ve got ~10 already (i’m going to take myself out and put my parents in when i get the results back). looks like we’ll set up a stand alone website at some point. 2011 may be an awesome year for south asian personal genomics. you want to know if you really have scythian, right?

  2. though seriously, it would be interesting to find out if the nasrani have middle eastern affinities. would be trivially easy to find out. looking at my 3 largest chromosomes indicated pretty clearly recent ancestry associated with tibeto-burman groups in yunnan.

  3. I am just a DBD, but I don’t understand why beards/Sikhs are being pushed as cool/normative by the South Asian American community. Not that I’m particlarly against them (of course), but that is such a small part of South Asia/South Asians and not even very prevalent in terms of campus life in the US today–are you guys thinking about the future, too? That’s too narrow of a base. It’s worse than making vegetarianism cool/normative for South Asians, which I know you guys are (laudably) against–b/c it’s cool for a South Asian to be veg. or non-veg.

    None- of the men in my family or community have beards (in fact, it would be looked down upon–I’m not sure why–I’ll ask–I never thought about it back in India), so why is celebrating beards ok for South Asians, whereas celebrating veg or non-veg would be divisive for South Asians?

  4. Just look at the cricket players–beards are out in metro India!!
    Sure, it’s just fashion, but it’s weird that the blog is so into it!! Not bad, per se, just weird, to me–can you explain more? Thanks!

  5. @Seema – forget India, beards are now cool with the young hipster crowd here in Amreeka…or at least “ironic mustaches” are…

    hey, desi guys are typically a nerdy bunch (as razib khan has just taken pains to prove above) but at least they can rock the beard? or at least i’ve noticed a lot of brown guys sporting mustaches/goatees/short beards around campus lately.

  6. desi guys are typically a nerdy bunch (as razib khan has just taken pains to prove above) but at least they can rock the beard

    lol. fwiw, i am in the rare relatively hairless south asian category. i grow a chinese beard when i don’t shave.

  7. @ Alina-M, Whoa–I see what you’re saying, but moustache does not equal beard. Men in my family/community mostly have moustaches, but it is viewed as bad (quasi-barbaric) to have a beard. That is not uncommon of a view in South Asia!! Again, see Indian cricket teams!!

  8. this is a brown american blog. sikh beards are an interesting synthesis of one aspect of brownitude and hipster-chic. people riot and kill each other in south asia for stupid religious offenses too. so? that’s there, this is here. different concerns.

  9. and the post was meant in fun. it’s not a piece of qualitative or quantitative social analysis. chill. or get ~1 million SNPs typed for just $259!.

  10. ok, well then I guess beards are just popular with 3 crowds: muslims, sikhs, and college aged hipster guys.

    I never saw the appeal of them myself – they look kind of gross if grown way too long. a bit of stubble on the other hand, is always sexy, provided it’s dark and not blond (or god forbid, red)

  11. Desi cicketeers would be a lot hotter with beards

    they’re good insulation, right?

    I never saw the appeal of them myself – they look kind of gross if grown way too long. a bit of stubble on the other hand, is always sexy, provided it’s dark and not blond (or god forbid, red)

    lookist, heternormative, and racist in one comment. hatt-rick! :-) the beard does not exist to be objectified and analyzed by your female gaze!

  12. Razib, yes, I realize it’s a brown american blog–that’s why I’m interested in it. But, at a time when beards are really out in metro India, in what sense are beards part of “brownitude”? I’m not saying they’re not, just wondering what “counts” there. I’m just trying to say that beard vs. no-beard is divisive in South Asia, so why is ok to celebrate it, as opposed to veg. vs. non-veg. It’s not as if there aren’t large (millions and millions!) of South Asians who are anti-beard!! I am non-veg. but I wouldn’t not provide veg. options if I invited a lot of South Asians over for a party.

    • Seema, it doesn’t seem like you do realize that it’s an American blog…if you did, you’d stop bringing up what’s “in” in India. :) I haven’t been to India in 22 years. With all due respect to you and my ancestors, what’s “in” in India has no relevance to my life. Please stop making that comparison or mentioning what’s fly over there. You’ve made your point. Repeatedly.

      This was a sweet post, filed under “humor”. My Sikh friends in this country have to put up with enough bullshit for how they look, this is my tiny love letter to them; let’s not derail that. This is not about you or cricket or India. This is about a fun little company making fake beards that keep people warm! I’ve had a tab open for days with this “beard”-story, because it’s the first thing I’ve wanted to blog for SM in a LONG time…I’m trying to keep this light and positive, thanks for your cooperation with that, going forward.

      Oh, and I’ve been vegetarian since conception– I find diet to be far more divisive than facial hair. :)

  13. Apologies if I am a bit to earnest in my questions. It is just really weird to see “South Asian” in USA associated with “pro-beard” given how “anti-beard” so many 10′s of millions of South Asians take seriously–including my family–and I am in USA so South-Asian American now! My brothers would be disinherited if they wore beards!!

  14. lookist, heternormative, and racist in one comment. hatt-rick! :-) the beard does not exist to be objectified and analyzed by your female gaze!

    hahahah well what about those long sideburns you’re growing there, then, dare i comment on those? cause I like ‘em ;)

    I think years of attending a convervative islamic sunday school and being screamed at by bearded old arab guys for my attire has made me averse to beards :/

  15. seema, i’ve been joking. really beards aren’t so big of a deal in the states i’d think. we take a chilled attitude toward such personal grooming preferences and habits. i understand that in south asia beard vs. non-beard, or religious procession in front of mosque or temple, can be serious affairs. not so serious here.

  16. hahahah well what about those long sideburns you’re growing there, then, dare i comment on those? cause I like ‘em ;)

    nice that someone likes them (no names named, but anna knows of whom i speak!). i would say i feel unsafe with your female gaze, but i’m plainly too narcissistic to make that plausible.

  17. Razib, Yes, and that is a good thing in America as opposed to South Asia. Those things should be personal choices, not public ones–I agree. I am just disturbed by trying to say “South Asian Americans think beards are cool”–that is dumb. Some of us (many of us?) do, others don’t.
    Anyway, have been looking at brownpundits–interesting! kudos!

  18. Seriously, walk around a major metro in India and see how many well-dressed men have beards–not many!! Even in Pakistan from what I know from TV the better-educated class of men are clean-shaven or have a moustache.

  19. Anna, Ok, I didn’t mean any harm. But you can’t have a definition of “South Asian American” that is walled-off from the immigrant flow, now, can you–given how big it is? Not trying to be difficult–I view myself as an American now, b/c I am on track to get citizenship b/c of my education/future job–just trying to say why I felt entitled to way in–beards are seriously out in metro India. If you go to a club, we girls will make fun of a guy with one. Stubble is ok–and, of course, we would not be rude to a practicing Sikh–but he would not be at the club. OK, I’m done on the subject.

    • “OK, I’m done on the subject.”

      After eight comments, I hope so. ;) I admire your passion.

  20. I want one.

    Both one of the knitted beard things. And a man that wears one in the real. Seema needs to head out to Silverlake hipster-dom, beards are soo in right now. I like to think of it as the Zack Galfanakis effect.

  21. alina-m, alas, my grandpa was 1896-1996. but if i dad’s muzzification proceeds apace in his eldertitude perhaps he’ll grow a beard and it will be appropriate. interestingly, my uncles who are imams don’t have beards.

  22. alina-m, alas, my grandpa was 1896-1996 Grandpa khan went a hundred years strong then. I envy your genes; with my family history I’ll probably develop some kind of cardio issue at 67 and roll over and die.

    interestingly, my uncles who are imams don’t have beards. Really? I’ve never seen/heard of an imam without a beard before! I was close to thinking the beard was a requirement to keep the ladies out of the boys club. Apparently not.

    also, interesting how you come from such a religious family.

  23. alina, maternal. so not khan. he was sarkar.

    with my family history I’ll probably develop some kind of cardio issue at 67 and roll over and die.

    at least you’re female. a lot of the risk factors can be mitigated more easily last i checked.

    Really? I’ve never seen/heard of an imam without a beard before! I was close to thinking the beard was a requirement to keep the ladies out of the boys club. Apparently not.

    i think most of them have beards in bangladesh from what i recall. but remember that a lot of bangladeshis (i’m of this set as you know) have substantial east asian admixture. so full beard growing can be kind of difficult. if beards were a requirement to be an imam, some native americans could never be imams because of biology.

  24. Sikhs with their beards are not Hindus–though we do both celebrate Diwali. Still, it bothers me a lot that the very strong-anti-beard among millions of Hindus view would be marginalized.

    • Seema, no one said that Sikhs are Hindus. Your comments are veering in to bizarre and unproductive territory– kindly consider this a friendly warning. If you are so bothered by a fun post which was filed under HUMOR, this is not the site for you. If you can’t stop hijacking a thread to make the same, unwelcome, anti-Beard point over and over again, this DEFINITELY isn’t the site for you.

      There’s a difference between earnest and stubborn. I don’t speak for millions and neither do you. It’s poor form to dominate a conversation, and to not drop a subject that people have already explained, clarified, responded to, etc. We get it. You don’t like beards and you are offended that some of us do. Your point has been made; please stop repeating yourself. This will be my final attempt to engage with you about this. Thank you.

  25. I must say, the beard may protect against inclement weather, but it’s no match against the wink from Anna that is this post. I think my beard just grew an inch.

  26. I wish my beard grew thicker then the patchy mess it comes out as now. Ideally I would grow the moochie joined to the chops on the side, jeff from biker style or lemmy (motorhead) if that makes more sense. Ex girlfriends have always hated it, however I do enjoy curling my mootch :)

  27. Beards for men are like bangs on women. Every guy has to try one at some point in his life.

    I went through a beard phase last year, but it didn’t take. While the mane grew in full and lustrous, I realized I was yet too young to do it justice. The beard got more compliments than I ever did and, in a fit of jealousy, I cut it off.

  28. @rudie_c: Just grow the beard long and do the facial hair equivalent of a comb-over =) My husband has a few spots where it doesn’t grow, but the mass of hair hides it well. He’s currently trying to see how long his hair and beard can grow–a process which is only permissible thanks to his hallowed status as a grad student!

    • five weeks of growing and did try that… got to the point where i had to start putting a comb through it, however did look a little like king arthur or a civil war vet. :) i did enjoy getting a professional wet shave at my barbers, never done that.

  29. keep moving desis, nothing to see here,well, maybe this could be a teachable moment – see children this is what happens when you don’t know when to stop. hard to believe that this used to be an interesting and relevant blog, once. it really was, i swear. please believe me. i witnessed it with my own two eyes. …………………………..now, it is just a blog. rip, cool and relevant sepia.

  30. Interesting timing – after 10 years of being clean-shaven, I’ve decided it’s time to grow a beard again. I’m only one week in, but it’s already well set and visible from 100 yards. But, I have not thrown away my razors. My back and shoulders require a mow at least once a month.

  31. I don’t think I could grow a beard, or it might take ages for me to grow one,I guess. :) The best I seem to get is overgrown stubble. Even that attempt at a beard elicits comments from others that the beard makes me look older than I am. :( Where will I find peace? Sigh….

  32. Anna,

    I am glad that you have clarified that this blog has nothing to do with India. Just one honest question: Why have you guys (mis)appropriated one of the most important event in India’s history to name your blog [Sepoy Mutiny]. It would be much more advisable to rename it to something which better reflects your AMERICAN identity. For example.. um .. Coconut Mutiny !! Or better still, Coconut Tea Party :)

    • haha, that did make me laugh out loud (LOL) :D

      i swear if one of the lovely bloggers did a review of sunny leone’s latest blockbuster, i swear it the comments thread would go back to identity, what is really asian?, what is a desi name?, pro islam/ pro hindu….

      now back to topic, now i ask this, what do people think, say if a guy went for the full beard hair style would be best to go with it? you see because i always like the thought of growing it mop top style to blend with the “yeah rugged look”

  33. ” It would be much more advisable to rename it to something which better reflects your AMERICAN identity”

    Sajid.

    Why don’t you start your own blog where you can do what you want? Till then STFU

  34. “what do people think, say if a guy went for the full beard hair style would be best to go with it?”

    Do it if you don’t want to get laid

  35. Given all of this anti-beardism (even though SouthAsia is one of the more bearded regions of the world) you can see why ANNA felt the need to show me and my beard some love, no?

    And frankly, the objections to the beard post are … weird. What, because this is a South Asian American blog we have to hew to the median Indian preference on all issues? Neither part of that makes sense to me: South Asian Americans are not Indians, and no community blog ever sticks to the average opinion for that community.

    Can you imagine the New York Times receiving letters complaining “I read your recent article about beards and I want to remind you that the average male New Yorker is non-bearded and in fact most people in New York are anti-beard. If you persist in writing articles about beards, I suggest you drop the “New York” from your masthead”

    Sheesh.