Beards and a chance to hide yourself

Like everyone, I am partial to having really weird thoughts. 

Earlier this week, I thought: I really like being a lady, but I kind of wish I could have a beard.

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Beards via

Style has never been something super important to me, but lately I’ve been thinking about what do I *like* wearing, what makes me feel good?

Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow have discussed their deep love of caftans as a wardrobe of choice, and although I love this idea, I have a feeling my general large-boobedness would make me look like a tent and not in the cool chic way, but in the grimace-at-old-photos way. I recently said to a coworker that I want to wear old, worn-in hippie clothing that drapes over me in a casual-chic kind of way.

“Do it,” she said.

“Yeah, but I’ve gotta come to work.”

“Oh,” she said. “Maybe not at work.”

All of these things – beards, caftans, worn-in hippie clothing – have a common thread, which is to be seen but to be protected. 

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I’ve found myself reaching out to different online communities lately, joining in, reveling in the conversations and replies and chance to interact with people outside my daily norm. But this, too, is a way of being seen but also shielded. I can duck out of the comments if I want. I can carefully craft what I mean to say. I can pick and choose who and what I interact with. 

“Lady beards would be great,” I told a friend, “because you are allowing yourself to be seen but you are also unknowable. Only you know what your face looks like underneath. They’re like yoga pants for your face. It’s comfortable and kind of lazy but still socially acceptable and protective.”

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I guess that’s the balance we’re all trying to strike, anyway. What is me? What is the best version of me? What is the vulnerable version of me? What is the version of me that has her walls up? What is the version of me that is acting in my interest instead of responding to the expectations of others?

And anyway, I’m not sure beards are a particularly good look for me.

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