Discrimination is still alive in many areas of the business world, and that’s Beardism. You can’t be turned down for a job based on your skin color, your religion, your sex, your sexual orientation, but you can be turned down for a job if you have a beard and won’t shave. I heard one such story recently on the Facebook Fan Page for my site, The Society of Bearded Gentlemen. This gentleman said this is the 2nd job offer he’s passed on because they wanted him to shave. He told me he wears a short, well groomed business beard. Doesn’t make any sense to me at all unless the job is with machinery which could potentially be dangerous. Other than that, if it’s a health regulation, they do make beard nets.
I suggested to folks that next time they’re asked to shave to get a job, to tell their potential employer that their beard is an ‘Act of God.’ That should put a damper in the conversation eh? It’s just crazy that something as benign and as natural as a beard could cause such issues. When did we decide men couldn’t be men? I know I wrote an article on The Feminization of the American Male where I pointed out the causes of the increased popularity of shaving to the Military (WWI), the Hippy Movement, and to the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1970’s. It’s disheartening to hear about Beardism and it’s affects on men.
What me and many others who run Beard Groups, sites, etc are trying to do is to get Society to see that as Bearded Men, we aren’t criminals or other nerdowells. We are Men, and men grow beards. So now to get a job in many places, you have to ‘remove’ something that is totally natural to your body and repeat this everyday of the work week. I scream ‘bullsh*t!’ I had jokingly asked about a job at our local Starbucks, which is in the Target Store here. The young woman laughed at me and said 1, we don’t hire people your age, and 2, you’d have to shave. Well Target itself is very beard friendly to say the least and Starbucks is too for that matter, so I’m not sure what was up with her. She could’ve potentially opened them up for a lawsuit though it seems to me.
Even the US Military has realized the bearded men are important to their operations. In countries like Afghanistan, men who shave are not trusted by the local citizens. The Military began to allow members to grow their beards out in order to win favor with the locals so that they could interact with them and be regarded as believable. Then they come home and can’t get a job unless they shave. ugh.
I’ll step off of my soapbox for now, but I may come back to this and refresh it at a later date.
As always, thanks for your time!
Gary W Norman
MULTAS BARBAS GENTEM UNAM – many beards one nation
The Society of Bearded Gentlemen @ BeardedGents.com