It may not be a universal rule of Southern manhood, but if you look at the Southern men who have had the most impact on the history of the world — Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Z.Z. Top, Charlie Daniels and the like — they all have one thing in common: a thick, manly beard.
Therefore, we’re calling it a rule.
A Real Southern Man can grow a thick, manly beard … even if he chooses not to.
A beard has many practical purposes, to say nothing of its sheer aesthetic allure. It can cushion the blow of debris thrown up from the horse along the path in front of you. It gives Southern ladies something to do with their hands as they gaze upon you adoringly. It protects one’s chin from potential scalding when eating soup or drinking a hot beverage. If long enough, it can keep one’s neck warm in winter months, eliminating the need for those rather metrosexual-looking scarves all the skinny jeans-wearing hipsters seem to favor.
Beards are all the rage these days. Competitive bearding has not only elevated the growth of facial hair to the level of sport, but has also successfully conjugated “beard” into verb and gerund forms … no small feat. But how does one begin to grow an epic, Southern beard? As the title of this post spoilerifically proclaimed, in three easy steps:
Step One: Be Genetically Capable of Growing A Beard
Okay, that’s all I’ve got. you see, I’m not even able to get past the first step. I don’t know if it’s the scant traces of Creek in my blood or some other genetic curse visited upon me from generations thence, but I can’t grow anything wider than a goatee. My chin is all aboard the beard train, but my cheeks get motion sick and have decided to stay home. So, though I can grow a nice, bushy beard below my mouth, the rest of my face just looks like I haven’t bathed for a while, covered with spotty, pathetic growth.
I have friend that have a five o’clock shadow before noon. Not me. I get one at about 6:30 of the third day. I can’t even grow sideburns. It’s sad, really.
So, if any of you Real Southern Men out there have the remaining two steps to fulfill the promise of this post, feel free to chime in. I’ll be in the corner lamenting my follicly-challenged cheeks.
And don’t even get me started on chest hair …