Facial Hair: Fetching or Retching?

Dimond High School is a melting pot of different styles and opinions. Walking from class to class, I see polka dots, frills, chains, accessories, and…beards. Beards in a school full of adolescents. What in the world is with the beards? Facial hair is generally not associated with high school aged young men— at best, it’s most often associated with college students, or even college graduates. High school guys with beards are a foreign sight, indeed. This is a foreign sight that I am seeing more and more often, however. So what is motivating the young men of Dimond to say “no” to shaving? Is it the “maturity” that facial hair seems to show? Do they feel that they must prove their “manliness”? Is it an extension of No-Shave November? Or is there simply a lack of good quality razors? If high school guys want to grow facial hair, they must be doing it for some reason. And in my experience with high school boys, their number one motivation is—you guessed it— high school girls. So, one more question: What do high school girls think of their untrimmed counterparts? Opinions from girls around Dimond aren’t as varied as you might think. Some girls are open to the idea of facial hair. Sarah Cain and Elika Roohi, both seniors, agree that a little “scruffy” can be cute. However, Sarah is quick to point out that “high school boys tend to go overboard.” Many of Dimond’s girls who aren’t necessarily opposed to facial hair are quick to point out that most high school boys simply are not capable of growing facial hair in high school, not well, at least. For example, Jessica Salyer, a junior, thinks that “if a guy can actually grow it and it looks good,” they should go for it. But then there are the girls who are totally against facial hair in high school. “Facial hair is a no-no!” says Bianca Brown, a senior. Kjirsten Tornfelt, also a senior, thinks that it’s “gross, except on older people.” Emily Klopfer, a junior, is of much the same opinion, saying that “in high school it’s weird.” Both Emily and Kjirsten agree that it’s more acceptable and less bizarre once you’re in college. Ashley Strauch and Brittany Hippe, both seniors, have more drastic views on facial hair. “Only guys like facial hair,” said Brittany, and Ashley said, “guys should only have facial hair if they want to make a statement that they never want a girlfriend. Ever.” Overall, the reaction of Dimond’s ladies is tepid at best towards facial hair. In the opinion of most of the girls I interviewed, if it’s done right, facial hair can be cute, but most guys just cannot pull it off, particularly in high school. But what about the boys’ point of view? Turns out that they have differing opinions on facial hair as well. Kagan Weatherly and Justin Oller, two clean-shaven seniors, are mostly opposed to facial hair. They both feel that they wouldn’t “look good” with it, but seem to regard the task of actually shaving their face with less than enthusiasm. “It’s a waste of time,” said Justin. Teachers don’t seem to have strong opinions on facial hair, unless it interferes with the learning environment. For example, both French teacher Aline Hopkins and math teacher Carrie Melville agree that facial hair is “okay as long as it’s clean.” On-again, off-again beard grower Griffen Imig, a senior, has a unique opinion on his facial hair. “I just decided to grow a beard one day. Most of my idols had them, from Hemingway to Sean Connery, so I figured I’d grow one, too.”