My first (and last) career out of college was in retail with a company headquartered out of Rocky Hill, CT. I’d shaved prior to all of my interviews, though I’m not sure why now, but the company I took a job with wouldn’t allow me to grow my beard out. I was told, ‘if you were hired with a beard, you could keep it, but if not, the most you can do is a goatee or mustache.’ Well huh. I’d worn beards mostly ‘on’ at this point, but now that I think about it, probably shaved at the incessant nagging from my mother. lol
I’m not good at shaving, it’s dangerous sport for me. Also why I never wore a goatee or chops or any other style that requires I keep my facial hair in a specific shape. Before you know it, my goatee is 3 inches wide on one side and pencil thin on the other. No thank you! This would cause me to have to take out the trimmers and razor, and before you know it, I’d have no facial hair. I hate to shave, it’s a waste of my time, it wastes water, and it’s just not for me.
Had an experience a few years back, as did many other beardies I’m sure, but I was contacted by Dr. Oz’s production crew. They wanted me to come to NYC for a ‘make-over.’ I asked a ‘make-over?’ She responded with yes! I asked if this would involve The Beard and she said ‘oh yes, we want to shave it off.’ I passed on it and then she said, ‘but you get two free nights in New York City!’ I said, well thank you, but I’ve been in NYC on many occasions and I’m not interested.
Last time I ‘tried’ to apply for a job, the young lady behind the counter responded with, ‘we don’t hire people your age, and you’d have to shave that beard off.’ Ok. I won’t mention the company, but it was a shock to say the least and thankfully I was mostly joking about an job application.
We as humans ask that, we as humans don’t discriminate based on color/race, sexual orientation, religion, age, etc for jobs and housing. Funny I don’t see ‘facial hair’ listed; and it most definitely should be. Most of Society, at least my experiences in American Society, is that when folks see a bearded man, they instantly have ‘first impressions’ without even speaking to you. You’re dirty for one, two, you’re probably a criminal of some sort, and mostly definitely use drugs. That’s like looking at a pregnant woman and assuming she’s a slut. Wrong answer.
I was recently at the 4th Annual National Beard and Mustache Championships in New Orleans, LA on September 6th & 7th 2013. I can’t express enough how friendly everyone I met was, and wow, all were bearded in one way or another. Even the wives and partners, friends and family were very cool too. Not a shred of facial profiling anywhere.
No one looked at another I’m sure, and thought, ‘what a loser, must be homeless’ or “I bet he shoots up.’ We were all Brothers in The Beard that weekend and it was glorious! I’d been asked by locals on the streets several times, ‘What’s going on? Why are there SO many beards in town now?!” lol It’s the National Beard and Mustache Championships! Each person that had asked, smiled when they heard my response and asked where? Where is it and is it open to the public? Yes, House of Blues, parade through the French Quarter first though! lol They seemed excited about the competition! It was a very cool experience all the way around! (Except the trip home wasn’t too fun-see post below!) lol
So c’mon Companies and Businesses, end your anti-beard policies!
Thanks for your time.
Gary W Norman