My beard's clean, but I don't really give a f*ck what you think …

Since their ubiquitous climb to relevance and then subsequent hatred from the connected mob, beards have been one of the most polarizing “fashion” statements of the past decade. If not for uncreative hipsters grappling with a misguided idea of masculinity, ruining it for damn near everyone, the style might have been able to skate by without being marred. But nope, shit got ruined — this is why we can't have nice things.

For men, having hair on their face has become a cherry-picked symbol of what’s wrong in social strata these past few years: manufactured identity, unending trend consumption and the illusion of individuality. And while the media visibility of them seems to finally be easing up, a challenging affirmation has recently come to light through one BBC study: The bearded have been right about their health benefits all along.

The movement hit a brick wall when various “studies” were posted online about the unhygienic nature of beards. What many of them attempted to claim was that face muffs are a breeding ground for bacteria, and often contain real life human shit — regardless of how careful one is in keeping it clean. The very nature of growing out facial hair inevitably contradicted hundreds of thousands of years of natural selection. Bic, Shick, Gillette and one reckless journalist all knew better than evolution. Or so the Internet would like you to believe …

Dr. Adam Roberts of the University College of London has a different take on them, however. Rather than jump on the anti-hirsute bandwagon, Dr. Roberts studied the bacteria that grows inside of beards for a BBC special titled, “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor.” He and his team found that beards have a lot more antibiotic properties than people give them credit for. Of more than 100 different bacterial growths discovered in participants’ beards, many are actually capable of destroying harmful shit.

"Adam [Roberts] identified the silent assassins as part of a species called Staphylococcus epidermidis," the BBC writes. "When he tested them against a particularly drug-resistant form of Eschercichia coli, the sort that cause urinary tract infections, they killed with abandon."

Which is a good thing. Because if we continue on the path of abusing antibiotics as we do, Dr. Roberts claims an “antibiotic apocalypse” is conceivable — a time where all bacteria are completely resistant to the medical ammo we throw at them. Beards, he suggests, may harbor completely new structures that can be studied and possibly thrown into the mix to avert said disaster.

Fuck all this though — should it really be anyone else’s concern what people do and don’t do with their face? As a proper beard wearer, I’m quite glad this flash in the pan has exerted all of its energy. It’s finally burned out.

For the record, I know how to swing an axe and chop wood in my backyard regularly; I fix my own cars; I know how to smoke meat; I hold doors open for everyone, say thank you and I have more scars and calluses than I do self-knit scarves — I’m exactly what the Internet has tried to call a “man” in its never-ending quest for definition. Which in itself is completely backwards.

I grow a beard because I do — there’s no internalizing a social hierarchy about it, and I never feel the need to ostracize myself from the business world inside of the anti-status quo. Honestly, I can’t justify the insane prices razor companies try to swindle out of its consumers by claiming things like facial hair has shit inside of it or that women aren’t going to fuck you if you’re hairy. That’s not true. I fuck just fine.

It grows tiresome, being an avid reader of online bullshit. “Do this, don’t do that, you’re a dick if you’re not wearing that and doing this” — the hell has this world come to? It’s inarguably worthless to push most agendas online, especially ones that have to do with other people’s choices.

“Do you” is and should always be the only two words anyone should care about. The fuck out of here with judgmental propaganda. You don’t like something, don’t like it; you do like something, like it — it’s really that easy. Neither I nor anybody else should have to defend something as inconsequential as a choice of facial hair.

Now when we bearded guys do have to defend choices, though, we can always bring up Dr. Robert’s findings and put the argument to bed quick. Any argument to the contrary is invalid.