In Praise Of The Stubble, Hesitantly

Keeping up a sharp appearance is a bloody pain in the a*** I say.

By my calculation, 6% of my waking hours are spent on grooming my stubble for what I do for 18% of my waking hours, namely socializing. That’s a lot considering I spend 53% of my waking hours trying to earn a decent living so that I can afford to spend the 6% of my waking hours looking good for those 18% of my waking hours spent trying to flirt with and woo the opposite sex.

Damn, that’s a lot of hard work. But what’s got to be done has to be done. It’s a no holds barred world out there, sharp living calls for sharp moves. And for that you need a sharp appearance. No doubt about that.

At the workplace, a stubble gives you that air of confidence, an air of being a go-getter.

If you are on top of your job, it’s an asset and an easy path up the corporate ladder.  However, if you belong in the class of the mediocre – no there’s no need to be ashamed of that, 88% of the worlds population falls in this category – it can be an even greater asset. So if you are faking your way through work, that air of confidence, that air of being a go-getter goes a long way in helping you climbing the proverbial corporate ladder.

On the social front, it can work as a magnet.

It gives you that “on the razors edge” look that can weaken the opposite sex’s legs, so much so that even jellyfish speak about it in their circles. It gives you that from-the-border-of-wild look, that slightly rough under the collar appearance. And women get madly attracted to this type of slightly dangerous breed. A dash of charm added to the mix increases your chances of reciprocation by 50%.

Of course if you are a slob with a sloth-like physique, or one who is about to go to seed, beware. Beware, again.

Fat + Stubble = Doom. Which is why you have to spend at least another 6% of your waking hours burning the fat and the alcohol fuelled excesses of the previous night.

And that seems easy compared to the most important 6%, the part of your waking hours you spend grooming that stubble.

You begin by growing out your beard a bit, assuming you have an even growth. This may mean a couple of days wait, or even a month if you are genetically challenged. If you don’t have even growth, forget about all of the above and turn the page.

Now that you have a decent growth, you’ve got to cut it back. Begin with a razor blade and clean out the neck area, you don’t want to look scruffy. Then mark out the shape of your stubble and shave off the unnecessary parts. Then get a beard trimmer and set it to Grade 1 and move it over the remaining part of the beard until you get a uniform length. Do not perform any of these actions when you are under the influence of, or in a post hangover state. The lines get messed up and you might bleed, thanks to that unsteady hand.

Then every morning you have to stand with a magnifying glass in front of the mirror and examine each strand of hair and evaluate how fast your stubble is growing. You will be shocked to see how many strands of loose hair need to be disciplined. Then you have to use face cleansers and shampoo to keep the hair soft and supple and under control.

And you have to repeat this process every day. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until the day you want stop and change your look and go back to being one of the uncouth hordes.

Told you it was hard work.

This story appeared in StyleSpeak Magazine, Aug 2010 Issue


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