Bearded on the Job

October 17, 2013

Bearded on the Job

Recently while interviewing for a job that would have put me on public view in front of a particular company’s clientele, I was informed that my facial hair would not be a hindrance toward my potential in being selected for the sought-after position.

Perplexed at such an inane (and what I considered self-evident) statement, I swiveled my head and with raised eyebrow played the moment over in my memory, hoping I’d misheard or misunderstood the sentiment of my could-be new employer.

How do you mean?

“What I mean is that your beard is allowed…”

I hadn’t misheard. My eyes widened, their upper and lower lids repelling each other at a distance great enough to stretch the skin of my face—I hoped—just enough to keep my mouth shut. (Never say too much at a job interview.)

You see, Friends, I have heard stories—ones I’d hitherto written off as urban legends—about those poor, hapless sons-of-mothers whose jobs in certain sectors require that they scrape the masculinity from their faces each morning (before then tying silk nooses around their glabrescent throats). But I had never found myself in the thick of such a situation.

My beard has been called a lot of things: big, soft, awesome, to name a few. But “allowed” is one I hadn’t heard before. And though it was a compliment insofar as it didn’t demand I remove the beard, it also implied that my very beardedness exists solely at the discretion of my employer.

I happen to think that’s bullshit. My beard is ON MY FACE. I didn’t win it via illegal gambling in underground casinos. I didn’t get it at Macy’s One-Day Sale. I didn’t have it applied by tattooists or henna-hawking eye-brow threaders on Canal Street. It’s my face.

The idea that beards do not “portray professionalism” is just ridiculous; moreover it is arbitrary and castrating. Let’s explore…

First let me tell you a lawyer friend of mine has confirmed: WE HAVE NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO FACIAL HAIR. So, off the bat, it is not illegal for companies to require that your mug be clean-shaven. (However, it is your responsibility as a bearded man to seek other employment should they try.)

Apparently the “Pursuit of Happiness” doesn’t include beards, even though I’m pretty sure it’s a part of my own MANifest Destiny—that is, my beard is more than just a sexually dimorphic androgen-dependent secondary sexual trait. It’s a lifestyle.

For some, it’s a religious symbol, and others are forced to grow them because shaving creates medical dilemmas such as the dreaded pseudofalliculitus barbae (extreme, chronic infection caused by razor bumps).  These instances are legally protected.

Have you ever encountered "workplace discrimination" because of your facial fuzz? Do you think beards are too indicative of individuality which prevents the fostering of teamwork in the workplace? Or are we operating under rules that were simply created based on outmoded social mores?

Sound off in the comments section below....




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in GROOMING BLOG

Spring Weekend Getaway
Spring Weekend Getaway

April 07, 2017

For those of us who have been cooped up indoors most of the winter, the first sign of spring has us begging for adventure. As the weather continues to get warmer, the opportunities for weekend vacations become more abundant and increasingly more enticing.

Continue Reading

Spring Cleaning
Spring Cleaning

February 21, 2017

The days are growing warmer, the sun is setting later, there is an anticipation in the air as branches begin to bud, promising soon to bloom. Spring is indeed nearing! At long last, it is time to do some winter cleaning.

Continue Reading

Valentine’s Day gifts for your one and only!
Valentine’s Day gifts for your one and only!

January 19, 2017

We've put together some our favorite products to give to that special someone, or why not treat yourself to something nice!

Please visit our  V A L E N T I N E ’ S   D A Y   S H O P !

Continue Reading

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Join our e-communiqué list for new product notifications
and promotional discounts and 
GET 10% OFF on your first purchase!
USE CODE: BGNEWS
We will never spam you, unsubscribe anytime.
*(Except Gift Sets)