I hate shaving (I guess you could say it’s a pain in the neck, ha ha). Every morning I try to judge whether I can go to work with that little extra stubble – will anyone notice or care, or do I have to spend ten minutes lathering and scraping in order to make myself “presentable”? Not that it’s just a work issue. If I didn’t have to go in to the office (as has been the case at various times in the past) I’d probably still shave, but only every few days or so. I don’t feel dirty or scruffy or uncomfortable if I don’t, but it can cause some chafing and rashes among the women in my life (oh yes, and my wife and daughters too…). Other women I’ve asked about this tend to have more of a problem with scratchy stubble than with the softer fully-grown beards, although a lot of them still seem to feel that a full chin of hair is unattractive.
Not that it’s just a sexual turn-off either – apparently people have some kind of irrational fear/mistrust of facial hair, to the extent that it was rumoured that during one recent election Labour party candidates were told in no uncertain terms that facial hair would ruin their chances. The Beard Liberation Front continues to bravely battle this prejudice. And we all know that Disneyland employees must be clean shaven at all times. Not that I’m comparing Labour MPs to Disneyland staff, you understand. That would be silly.
I had a goatee at one point during my hair-experimentation years at university (this was around the same time that my head hair was so long that it hung halfway down my back), and the only thing I noticed was a tendency to pluck and stroke it (often while narrowing my eyes, pondering some complex matter and saying “Hmmmm…”).