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PS16 - Beard!

(Image by Michael Fox)

The title, "Beard!" might be a bit misleading, because this sub-series is more about the removal of the beard than the growing of the beard (which is quite boring and unremarkable, or rather, more so than the other boring and unremarkable things showcased on

First it had to be decided whether or not I was going to keep it for Frosh Week and the school year beyond. Decision time would be the morning Frosh Leader Camp began. In the meantime, I solicited feedback:
"WHAT ARE YOU .. CRAZY??!? KEEP THE BEARD$!@$!" - Steve Fox (Toronto)

"you should keep the beard"
"I have to get rid of it. I want to go on a date sometime this year."
"Are you holding a net pole? about whether or not you should keep the beard? send me link to your pole"
"Sort of. Let's call it an IM poll. =)"
"send link?"
"I'm just looking to talk to people about it after they see the pictures. No, there's no "poll" - I don't even have CGI access on my server. I suppose I could outsource a poll, but I'm irritated enough with having to outsource my guestbooks."
"I vote beard" - Michael Fox (Fall River)

Mike really got into the spirit of this discussion:

"i got yur msg of the beard! lol, its too big of a difference, u cant say one is better than the other, its liek 2 different people... beard makes you look older, maybe if you changed the hair with the beard, it would win, i dunno" - Andrew Johnston (1st cousin, Kitchener, ON)

"Can I get your opinion on my beard?"
"Looks good"
"No, I mean, "shave it or leave it." =) Most women don't like it so very much."
"leave it" - Catherine (Truro)

"Leave the beard, shave the head. *nod nod*" - Michael (Fall River)
"Haha--is this the newest round in reality shows? People get to phone in an vote whether or not participants should shave off their beards? Personally--I don't mind beards, however, moustaches scare the hell out of me. Now, as for you: I'd say shave. And keep your hair short too. If you're lookin' to impress the ladies, I'd suggest keeping the look in the last photo from that website (In Toronto). Definitely a good look." - Greg (Halifax)

Quentin Tarantino evidently does not like the beard. (Image by Michael Fox.)

"Thats a tough one Will. I doctored a photo of you and got rid of the stash, left a goatie and still cant decide. You look more artsy farsy with your current getup. Anti-stash presents less of that and more professor-dude...which I cant say is really great. Hmm,, ya know I'd try ditching then stash first and then get rid ofthe rest and start over if you want IT back...but I think a goatie with a little less "pointy" on the either-side-of-the-chin area is suitable and respectable if not a bold new look for the 23rd century." - Chris (Fall River)

"hi, William, i do not think your beard should bother you a lot:), for the reasons:1, a wise woman must be not only attracted by your beard, but your inner part;2, hair will not stop growing, so you will not be worried if you are unsatisfied after shaving it;3, for you have been keeping one style for months, you can do something just for a change;4, frankly, on my personal view, i am not much fond of beard:D. above all, my advice is shaving your beard:). Anyway, it is up to you. Whatever you will be like, your real image in my heart will not be impacted.:)" - Maria (Beijing) Awww...

"i think you should, actually.  beards can very easily make people look like pervs."
"Yes, some women friends tell me it makes me look kind of threatening and old when what they want is someone who looks younger and boy-ish."
"exactly. like, it seems you hang out with a lot of people who are incapable of growing beards.  so having one may understandably label you 'the old guy'." - Craig (Halifax)

"shave it"
"What, you didn't like my CSC226-stylin' looks? =)"
"nope, almost as bad as mine"
"Bah, Humbug. I thought I was pretty darn sexy, thank you very much. =)"
"hehe thanks... I'm leaning towards getting rid of it. I liked it while I had it, though."
"a change is good"
"That's what Sheryl Crow says. And she's a woman! So the beard *definitely* goes! =)"
"there ya go" - Kevin (Chester)

"Get rid of the beard"
"You think? Won't I look just like I looked in high school? You were the one who said I looked better."
"I don't remember."
"That was at the CPA Reunion Christmas Party at the Dome last December, remember? =)"
"Yeah Will. Let's see. I don't remember too much from then" - Lauren (Fall River)

"My vote is for you to shave the beard, as a rule I dislike facial hair on guys.  Oh, and the pic you said was "more than decent," is an AWESOME pic of you!!!  Very attractive"
"haha okay. I'm getting a lot of requests to keep it, though. Mike Fox made me banners without even asking. Sometime next week* I will make up a diary entry JUST about the beard (which I will not have by the time of the diary entry, because I want to go on a date sometime this year). =)"
"Well you'll have more dates than you know what to do with if you shave it, seriously!  That's an awesome pic!" - Heather (Fall River)
(* - August 28th: Conversation. December 16th: Work begins on this webpage. I really did have too many dates. =) )

"I think you look more handsome without your  beard.(just my opinion)" - Li (near Beijing)

"btw- yah i think you should shave your beard off...and you should also do something about your hair (ie. cut it shorter).  ya know like the 2nd last pic on your look the best outta all the other ones." - Jolene (Markham, ON)

"shave the sides off and make it a gotea (spelling?)"
"Meh, I don't like the gotee option, but I've heard that suggestion quite a bit."
"from alot of girls?"
"No, that one only from boys. Girls would like the whole thing gone."
"i think if you shaved it Completely off you would look like youre trying to look too too younge, and having it there makes you look 40 or something.."
"Well, I'm only 21. =) What's wrong with looking 18? Most of my friends are 18-19, anyway."
"by too too younge i mean 12; do you wanna look 12?"
"I'm in that dreaded in-between zone where 25 year olds don't want anything to do with me, but neither do 18 year olds, nor do my peers. It sucks. No I do not want to look 12, but I think I look more than 12 without a beard. But thank you so much for your opinion. =) It's good to hear that a woman is in favour of the gotee option."
"*shrugs* maybe its just the people in your area who are weird, but comming from me and all the Girls ive known, gotees are sexy...but its your choice" - Krista (London, ON)

"You look less eccentric without the beard." - Jon (Halifax)

The Process

The morning of Frosh Leader Camp. Wow, I look pasty. But this is the symbolic last photo before I get out the shaver. (This is not my bedroom, by the way. =) )

I decided to try the gotee for a few minutes, since I wouldn't have any better opportunity.

And thus ends William's five-minute gotee.

And then reality sets in.

The beard episode and the excellent fall that followed it have taught me the importance of self-confidence. I feel better than I have felt in years, and I can't put it any more eloquently than that. Anyway, life and happiness / success often comes down to attitude.

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