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J’adore/ J’abhor

It's Movember, the month when blokes grow moustaches to raise money for charity. Turns out the Muddy crew have VERY mixed views on men's facial hair. Where do you stand?

J’ADORE says Katrina Harper-Lewis, Muddy Herts & Beds editor 

No longer just the reserve of hipsters (glitter beards anyone? Er, pass!), a healthy covering of kempt facial hair is perfectly acceptable these days – and I speak as someone whose husband stopped shaving one snowboarding trip about four years ago. Incidentally a holiday is a good time to venture into new beard territory as it means you get the awkward, teenage-boy-style ‘growing-in’ phase out of the way before showing your face in the office.

As for my husband, whether he’s become attached to his facial fuzz or it’s down to sheer laziness (shaving daily is a time-suck after all – plus, stubble is the devil’s work when it comes to bathroom cleaning), the beard has stuck around. And I’ve grown kind of fond of it, too. I do have some ground rules though. Too immaculately manicured and it can go a bit Rylan Clark; left to get too bushy and it takes on a life (and shape) of its own (think Jim Carey in Lemony Snicket). Although obsessive beard grooming is a no in my book (no man should spend more time in front of the bathroom mirror than his wife), it’s a yes to beard oil – an annual stocking filler, as it means I no longer have to recoil at the offer of a smooch for fear of getting stubble rash.

I still find myself doing a double take when I glance over at photos on the windowsill of my beard-free beau on our wedding day. He certainly looked a lot younger then (considering it wasn’t that long ago) – almost baby-faced come to think of it but more refined? No. In the same way that silver fox hair can add instant je ne sais quoi, when it comes to a choice between baby’s-bum bare-faced and bearded, the beard has it.


Image: Movember


J’ABHOR says Muddy associate editor Kerry Potter

Obviously it’d be churlish to moan about a charity initiative – go forth and freely sprout your Movember moustaches, guys. However, on the wider issue of male facial hair, I find it a prickly subject. Literally – I find kissing a man with a beard is akin to kissing a dustpan brush (not that I’ve actually done the latter – I’m not some kind of pervert).

My husband periodically grows a beard and let’s just say it’s not exactly my favourite look of his. But last weekend things reached a new nadir – he shaved off his latest beard into a retro moustache, as part of his Halloween fancy dress outfit. We went to a party as Charles Manson and Sharon Tate, and he certainly looked convincing as a psychopathic murderer and cult leader, in his US prison-issue orange boilersuit and ‘tache. He did not, however, look attractive. We may have crawled home at 2am but by 9am the next day the bum fluff was gone, washed down the plug hole under threat of divorce proceedings. Harsh, yes, but fair.

The aversion is as deep-rooted as a hair follicle, stemming back to my early childhood. One of my favourite books was Roald Dahl’s The Twits – remember Mr Twit and his repulsive beard? The image of him picking mouldy Cornflakes from it and eating them has haunted me since about 1981. Whenever I see a photo of George Clooney, looking rakish with his salt’n’pepper stubble, I imagine him doing the same when Amal isn’t looking. Not so sexy any more, eh?

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