Every week or so I take a disposable razor and line up my beard, trimming the hairs that have gotten too long and shaving the ones that have crept up my face and down my neck.
I expect if you're reading this, you probably do some version or other of a similar routine. Perhaps yours is much more stringent, perhaps more lax. Maybe you shave daily. Maybe never.
Or perhaps you're here because you're looking to get a grooming regimen going.
My question to you today though, Brooklyn Groomers, is why do we do it?
What is it in me that makes me take the time to apply cosmetics when I scarcely take the time to make my bed or even call my family? Why do you do it? What, if anything, are you seeking to accomplish? To prove?
I imagine our answers would be as varied as our grooming routines themselves.
And that's why I find Men's Grooming such an interesting topic for exploration.
Part of the Brooklyn Grooming mantra, and one idea that founder Mckenzie Santiago returns to time after time, is that our products and brand are not intended to boost your vanity or pride, or to augment your no-doubt already-thriving ego. Instead, one of Mckenzie's goals has been to provide a line of products that you can use to take care of your body in a healthy, nutritive way to make you feel good about how you present yourself to the world.
But what you do with your products, be they Brooklyn Grooming's or not, and what role they play in your life, is strictly up to you.
Before I take a hiatus from the Brooklyn Grooming Blog, I want to leave you with a final bit of grooming advice.
Though we do not seek to promote vanity, your sense of self and where you belong in this world are of utmost importance. Some believe that personality itself is simply the performance of our own personal identities.
I believe that the jokes we make, the sides we argue and the points we seek to prove through spirited conversation are our efforts to carve out a niche---to leave a mark---to shout from that proverbial rooftop, "this is who I am!"
The face we show the world, the care we take in its presentation, is an extension of that primal urge to matter.
What does it say to the stranger on the street when he casually notices that my beard is a shimmery, soft tuft of fur to be envied? What do people believe about me when I enter a room having obviously taken a few moments to make sure my hair is my version of "presentable"?
That I give a shit about how I'm perceived? That I'm focused on my hygiene? That I am someone who takes preparation seriously? I hope so.
More importantly than how you're perceived by others is how you perceive yourself.
If you're wearing a beard as a mask or if you're trying somehow to achieve a level of beauty in order to fill a void within yourself, perhaps you're approaching the idea of men's grooming all wrong.
So I say love the canvas you are. Decorate it to show the world outside the beauty that you recognize within. (One thing I love about Brooklyn Grooming is that all our products are natural and organic: I believe their use is a way to promote the appreciation of true, natural beauty.)
Love yourself, not because of the way you look but because of who you are.
Beauty does not lead to happiness. It's happiness that is the foundation of beauty.