(Retyped from The Men's Style Spring 2003.)
Only women shave! Or so says Tim Ross, whose life's been
a breeze since he threw in the towel. And soap. And razor.
Go facial? It sounds more like a final directive in a porn movie than its real intention. Gents, this is a brotherly call to arms to beard on . If the puberty fairy has come to your joint then it's time to get in touch with your primal roots and get hairy as all get-out. It's tough, it's rugged and it will save you five minutes a day because you won't have to shave.
I've been sporting a beard for more than 18 months now and, unlike my Deepak Chopra headband and lace panty set, it's changed my life. So put your feet up as your old pal Rosso takes you through the ins and outs of taking the train to Beardsville.
Sounds tricky, but most gents start growing a beard when they get struck by a curious condition scientists call "I can't be fucked shaving". Stubble turns into fuzz then into beard and, before you know it, junkies are mistaking you for Russell Crowe at suburban train stations. You start by not putting the Remington on the old lamb chops and you just keep going!
Although your mates may mock your attempts to beard on, most do so only because they have lady faces and can't grow one themselves. On the whole, men rejoice when you go facial; I have found blokes are totally beard-curious. That doesn't mean they want to hold your hand and buy Diesel jeans with you, they just reckon having a shot is tops! If there's something in our primate past that makes us want to hit each other with clubs, there is also something that makes us say "Fucking tops!" when a mate stops shaving.
If I were a real man the answer would be "stuff 'em". If I want to look like Bill Oddie from The Goodies, I bloody well will. But it is a fact that all beards need to have the girlfriend test. The test goes like this. If they like it, it stays. If they don't, you keep it and live without sex. We blokes are simple creatures: if your missus and one female friend reckon it looks OK, that's all the reassurance you need.
We've all seen blokes who haven't shaved while on holidays going around talking up their beard. It's not a beard. It's called "not shaving". There's a difference. You have a beard when you commit. Committing is having a beard in your passport or driver's licence photo or using your own image for a Jim's Mowing service.
Many men go out and buy electric clippers and trendy scissors in order to make themselves look like Craig David. If you want a Craig David beard, sit down on a Sunday morning in front of the telly with a Texta and a mirror, watch Video Hits and make yourself look like a complete wanker by all means, but remember there are easier ways to get punched on public transport. Don't bugger around - go to a barber, spend $10 and let Enrico do the work for you.
There you have it. Beard on, you crazy diamond, and remember what they say in Russia: "I'll give you two bottles of vodka for that tractor."