Beard, no beard

Shaving is one of those things that us of the non-Jewish disposition have to use as our confirmation of manhood – shave mitzvah, if you like. You don’t shave until you can grow facial hair, and you don’t grow facial hair until you’re becoming a man. Well either that or you’re a weird ape-child who will be featured on a Channel Five ‘documentary’ at some point in your life. Basically, it’s something you look forward to as a kid, and it’s something you tell your mates you’re doing when you start doing it (or before, just to look cool – what japes I had as a youth!).

So why, having just shaved, do I feel resolutely disappointed by this whole arrangement? Because running a sharpened blade across the contours of your face in order to groom facial hair and thus keep yourself from looking scruffy isn’t as much fun as it sounds like it should be. But why? Well let me explain:

It’s a chore: if I don’t do it, I look like a rogue 12-year-old trying to grow his first Mexican bandito moustache. Thus, if I don’t want to be stared at or derided by my peers for looking like a twat, I have to shave on a semi-regular basis.

It hurts sometimes: regardless of all the soothing shave gels and face creams I don’t own, there is still soreness, pain and cutting involved. It’s self-mutilation if anything, and to be honest I’m not a big fan of it.

I can’t even grow a beard properly: as mentioned, my facial hair output would be embarrassing for someone who hasn’t even hit puberty, never mind a 26-year-old. As such I find it a bit of an insult that my body feels the need to make anything grow on my face at all, thereby forcing me to hack it all off again. My face is a conceited little shit.

The cost: if you want razor blades that are sharper than a particularly blunt lemon then you have to buy anything branded and of reasonable cost. Unfortunately, ‘reasonable cost’ here refers to things that cost about £10 for four blades. And that’s not even mentioning the fact they’re in massive security packaging and some over-zealous cashiers feel the need to check you’re not about to hack someone’s balls off with them.

The lies: if you shave more, it will grow back thicker – this is the route to a wonderful beard. LIES.

The advertising: if we didn’t have to shave, we wouldn’t have Gillette. If we didn’t have Gillette, we wouldn’t have their adverts. Of all the badvertising in the world, theirs has to be among the worst.

Why can’t we all just have Paul Baribeau beards? At one point in my life, I will have one. Even if I need cosmetic surgery to make it happen. Though I do suppose without the ability to shave we wouldn’t be privy to such wonders as this little ditty from Picnicface:

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