No Shave Novembeard Week Four: Beards know no bounds


NIU Ombudsman Tim Griffin speaks during Faculty Senate Wednesday afternoon in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center.

Connor Rice

It’s my body.

In my unkept escapades this month, I’ve come across more than my fair share of guys who have continued to shave. Some prefer a smooth face, and who am I to judge one’s personal preference?

But, inevitably, I have also encountered some interesting dynamics in gender and relationships. There’s always the girl who “won’t let” her boyfriend grow a beard. I’ve found this to be an altogether common situation, and I consider it increasingly troubling.

When one’s partner shows controlling behavior, even in an instance as inconsequential as this, I’ve often found it symbolizes that things aren’t the way they should be. I have personally dated a couple of girls who made my life an endless nightmare by attempting to dictate things like my wardrobe and attitudes, and the “beard test,” as I’ve dubbed it, has never failed to be an early (and moronically ignored) signal that they were secretly miserable sociopaths. These types of relationships turn you into a pathetic distortion of yourself, and is, straight-up, not worth sticking around for.

But the thing is, this works both ways.

Week One

Milford Sound in New Zealand

Week Two

Milford Sound in New Zealand

Week Three

Milford Sound in New Zealand

Week Four

Milford Sound in New Zealand

Society has long-held, rigid, backwards standards for both men and women. I’d love to get into how things like football and pro wrestling have irreversibly screwed up millions of American boys (even myself, to an extent), but that’s an argument best saved for another day. Since our focus this month is body hair, let’s talk about the double standards in shaving.

Men: I know you don’t want to hear this, but it’s preposterous to expect women to keep up with stricter “hygienics” than we’re held to. Armpits and legs should be allowed to be treated with as much laissez-faire as faces are, should the individual choose to do so.

It’s 2011. We should be starting to deconstruct the norms that keep personal preferences and infinitesimal choices from being points of ridicule, be it a woman who doesn’t want to shave her legs or even a man who does. In fact, I’m going to go so far as to encourage women everywhere to participate in No Shave November in the coming years. If we are to expect this kind of flexibility and acceptance from you, then who are we to not reciprocate?

Nobody has any right to tell you what to do with your body, and that goes for everyone


Milford Sound in New Zealand

              Nicole Gault | Northern Star


Long, gray beards are often considered synonymous with knowledge and wisdom. If that really is the case, then we should all be thankful Tim Griffin is the NIU Ombudsman. Students have gone to him for sage advice on everything from parking tickets to rent disputes, and now he shares with us some of the magic behind the beard.

Date of last shave:  June 1, 1977

Grooming techniques:  Brush once or twice per day.

Best compliment ever received: “Magnificent!”

Favorite beard (besides yours):  Kris Kringle