Mark Searcy, 33, NE, art director
“There are many benefits to having a beard—warmth, protection from beard burn while making out, not having to shave every day, etc.—but ultimately the only reason I have one is because I simply enjoy beards. I enjoy looking at them. I enjoy having one of my own. I’ve had mine for about seven years now. I started growing it as soon as my face would allow enough hair to at least cover the empty patches on my baby face. I had to patiently endure a whole year, waiting for the sides to fill in. About three years ago, I added a handlebar mustache. I like the idea of groomed mustaches and am fascinated with old portraits of gentlemen and their distinctive facial-hair variations of olde. I am tired of the way our culture has turned to jeans ’n’ tees for everything. It all feels so lazy and dated. ?I look at old, classic photos and wonder what happened to the fedoras, the suits, the ties, the bearded gentlemen. Bring back the gentlemen!”
Brush up on your facial hair history with our web exclusive: Whiskery History, Trendsetters of the Bearded Northwest.