Seth Gross, 35, N, bar owner
“I’ve never seen my dad without ?(a beard); as my brother and I became adults (my dad) would express disappointment, friendly of course, at our lack of trying to grow one, and for keeping our hair too short! After high school, I moved to a fishing and logging town in Alaska. Beards were ?everywhere. Some of the beardos we’d see up there blew my mind. Beards that are more than four decades old! It created a sense of normalcy—a big beard was typical. Another reason I love beards is my personal distaste for manicured facial hair. Focusing on what part of your face to shave and what not to shave, without irony, seems a little vain. Heck, even just shaving on a regular basis seems like you’re trying too hard. ?I feel lucky to be part of a community that embraces beards. My beard-growing goes with my life philosophy: not why, but why not?
“(Yet) I have been contemplating a change; all my friends at work have implored me not to shave. This leads to what might be a drawback to having a big beard: it becomes who you are, a permanent part of your identity. Without the beard, would I get the same respect from friends and strangers? Would I miss being part of the club? Are these things I should worry about? As far as this particular beard: although I still struggle as far as sideburns are concerned, this beard is definitely my best yet.”
Brush up on your facial hair history with our web exclusive: Whiskery History, Trendsetters of the Bearded Northwest.