Posted on January 8, 2019
by Steve Janowick
Any fans of Duck Dynasty out there?
A few years back, when the show was cresting its zenith of popularity, you could certainly include me as one. What jaded, cynical suburbanite man wasn’t? The Robertsons represented everything good and right. They were a self-made, tight-knit family holding true to their country values-having tons of fun along the way, and they looked pretty damn cool while doing it all.
The long, unkempt hair and beards were not only their collective trademarks-they also symbolized and encapsulated the simple yet rugged lifestyle they chose to live. They were men of the earth. More comfortable in the woods than on a city street. More adept with a shotgun than a grocery store cart. And damn if that ominous, haggard look didn’t add to the mystique of the lifestyle.
I remember an episode when one of the brothers cut off his hair and shaved his beard for a charity event. And I’m not exaggerating when I say he want from a Grizzly Adams man’s man to a nerdy accountant in a matter of minutes. His whole persona was gone. His identity vanished. He was now safe. He was predictable and benign. Even a little wimpy. Yea, some of the girls thought he was “cute” but who the hell wants that label?
There’s something about the process and journey of growing out your hair and beard that brings out the inner caveman. He lives in each of us. Of the billions of DNA in each man’s code, there’s certainly a few stragglers hanging around from the Stone Age. And those bad-ass strands tell us to skip that trip to the barber and throw away that disposable razor.
And let it grow!
About six years ago I did just that. I skipped haircuts for a little more than a year and half. It grew just past my shoulders in that time. My beard was not super long, but it was thick and complimented the vibe. Let me say, I never felt more like a man than during that period. I was a combination of Jesus, Jim Morrison and that scary guy who has the black eye and missing tooth in his mug shot.
It’s a look that says, “I frankly don’t give a flying fuck”. And that irreverence is both empowering and attractive. And there’s certainly no gray area when it comes to people’s reactions to it. Love or total disdain, there’s no in-between. And that especially goes for women. Most didn’t prefer it. But the ones who dug it-REALLY dug it.
And I’m not talking about perfectly clean and styled flowing locks of beautifulness either. I’m talking rugged, as is, and unkempt. Not dirty and disgusting, but scruffy and tousled. Like you just came from the hunt or from the west coast leg of the Sticky Fingers tour with The Stones.
So, if God didn’t curse you with a Phil Collins circa 1985 hairline, and you don’t sport a beard with more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese, than take that leap and grow them both out, dammit!
…and release your inner caveman!
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