Style

Strong, Differing Opinions on Men’s Grooming Face Off

She hates beards, I love them—and it all comes down to kissing.

It might seem strange to some that I—a woman whose upper lip has nothing that a Sally Hansen bleach kit can’t handle—would produce a feature on men’s grooming for the October issue of D Magazine. But those who know me, and particularly those who drink with me, are aware that my feelings on men’s facial hair are strong and impassioned.

I guess I am something of a beard enthusiast. I don’t necessarily like long beards, or weird beards with braids or dreads or beads or other embellishments, but I simply believe in beards. All men, in my opinion, look better with a healthy coating of fur—with the exception of one, and that is Jon Hamm, whose face is so extremely good looking it should never be covered up.

My beard rant also includes notes on kissing: when I close my eyes and lean in, there should be no question that I am smooching a man. And when a make-out sesh goes longer than a few minutes, my chin should be raw and red as a knee scuffed on asphalt. It was after I had shocked my coworkers with this diatribe, that my fuzzy-faced boss Tim Rogers spoke up: “You should talk to my wife. She hates my beard.”

I couldn’t imagine why any woman would prefer a clean shaven face (bleg) over a hairy one, so I peppered Christine Rogers with questions. As it turns out, Christine admits that men, her husband included, look better with rugged beards. However, her kissing preferences take precedence. Christine has a strong aversion to the coarseness of beards, which she is able to trace back to toddlerhood when she coined the term “shracky.”

“Etymologically speaking,” Christine wrote in an email to me, “shracky is a term used by some 2 year olds to describe the displeasure of kissing their dads’ cheeks dense with a five o’clock shadow after a day of making and taking calls, wearing three-piece wool suits, dictating letters to secretaries, and drinking martinis at lunch. When reunited after nine hours with the most important man in your life, you want a warm, soft cheek to snuggle, not something shracky, jarring the experience of said snuggle and poking your face. When it comes to kissing, this girl is partial to her long-standing, anti-shrack policy. Long live the soft cheek!”

So there you go, Tim Rogers’ wife likes the way he looks, she just doesn’t like to kiss him. Fortunately, I am a fan of both the look and feel of my husband’s scratchy salt-and-pepper whiskers. Unfortunately, my husband is an actor and in just a few months, he will play a role requiring him to keep a clean-shaven face. And when those dark days befall us, I will make the most of it and send him up to Flower Mound’s Lodge Barbershop to visit straight-razor master Rick King, get him a pack of after-shave cloths from Fulton & Roark, and invest in a straight-edge razor from Supply. And when my lips must meet my husband’s naked face, I will do what any good and loyal wife does to preserve her marriage: I will close my eyes, pucker up, and think of Jon Hamm.

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