men with beard indian society

What Rural Indians Really Think About Men With Beards

“A man does not grow a beard. A beard grows a man”

Making a commitment is not easy and growing a beard is one of the serious commitment, especially for those who are not sure what to expect and how to be unique and better in so many beard styles out there. Because all beards are not equal.

You cannot simply wish the hair on your face appear overnight. There is actually a long process which involves a lot of patience before you get the right shape and don’t look stupid.

There should be not much of surprise that beards are now mainstream which was considered once as a fashion symbol for artists and hipsters. This enjoys more acceptability in modern Indian society and urban areas.

However, the beard still is seen as a representation of lazy, sweaty and unclean ‘animalistic’ people by some, especially, in Indian rural areas.

I can’t tell you how many times people asked me about my growing beard and what they thought about it. Below are few questions my villagers asked about my new beard look and my answers to them. 🙂

me with beard -deepanshugahlaut

Fig: My first attempt to the full beard. 🙂

Q: So, why are you growing your beard?
Me: I don’t’ know. I don’t want the daily hassle of shaving.

Q: It’s not considered good to have a long beard in Hinduism. Why don’t you shave it?
Me: I’m a faithful follower of Hinduism. Have you not seen Yogi and Sadhus? Actually, I believe there is no point of religion in having a beard and mustache. In Ancient India, the beard was allowed to grow long, a symbol of dignity and of wisdom, especially by ascetics (sadhu).

Q: Are you a Muslim? Why do have such a long facial hair?
Me: Please be mature. Every religion has its own kind of beard style. Isn’t?

Q: Does your face not feel really warm and sweaty?
Me: Sometimes, but it’s not something that I should be concerned. Now, it feels good.

Q: Wouldn’t you be better looking and natural if you shaved?
Me: I still look natural and young with my beard. I think it’s weird to not have a beard.

Q: Are you a hipster then?
Me: I’m doing what I think is good for me and would love to have what is in the mainstream.

Q: Is your face not really itchy all the time?
Me: Why? I wash and clean it daily.

Well, I ignored what other people think of me because I’m free to make my own choices.

I personally believe that it is practical for the rural living to have a beard because it not only adds a layer of maturity and seriousness to your face, look dignified but also saves you from daily hassle of shaving.

Science also says that facial hair is good for you.

  • It protects your face from Sun’s harmful UV rays and reduces the chance of skin cancer.
  • In winters, it helps keep you warm.
  • A beard reduces the chance of bacterial infection such as acne.
  • It helps you look hotter and feel more attractive.

In Indian society, there is also another scenario, where people still have the thoughts where you are not truly a man unless you have grown a respectable amount of hair on your face. Beard and mustache are the symbols of maturity and courage.

Last words, be it a fashion trend or spiritual belief, grow your beard if are comfortable with it. You need not to be clean-shaven just because of your social and career expectations because the way people think and behave is different now.

Note: There are certain careers such as Indian Army and hospitality sector that requires men to have a clean shave.

What are your thoughts on this? Anything to add? I would love to hear you all in the comments section below.

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