By KATE HUNTER
Are you a beardist?
Do you dislike or mistrust gentlemen with more than a Tom Selleck-esque moustache? (Gen Y and beyond may need to Google).
Apparently the Victorian Police is beardist. A new ruling says facial hair, other than a neat mo is no go. But 17 members of the Victorian are appealing to the Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal, claiming the facial hair restrictions are discriminatory.
This, from ABC News:
“Under strict new guidelines, police are allowed to have neat moustaches, but no beards or other facial hair.
The Police Association secretary, Greg Davies, says the Chief Commissioner has the right to set presentation standards.
“The vast majority of our members are quite satisfied with the direction that’s come out,” he told ABC local radio.
“These members aren’t. They’ve got a right to pursue it through VCAT.
“While we support the members’ entitlement to go to VCAT on it, the legislation would appear to be in place that give the Chief Commissioner the authority to do it.”
Leading Senior Constable Michael Kuyken, who is representing the group, says the case is about preserving their individuality.
“As you are all aware the motto of Victoria Police is to uphold the right. Today is just one step in the lawful process of us upholding our rights,” he said.
While I support the rights of anyone, anywhere to argue against discrimination, reading this made me grateful that beards, their growth and maintenance are (generally) not a hassle for women. Because Lord knows we have enough to deal with. It’s bad enough having to control the hair on our heads, legs, in our armpits and around our bits.
If women had beards, the world would be a different place. There would be salons dedicated to facial hair. We’d get text messages reminding us of our six-week moustache maintenance appointment. There would be an aisle at the supermarket for beardy beauty products, and we’d compliment each other on how nicely our mutton chop sideburns are growing out. There would be colouring, curling, shaping and straightening implements. We’d wear our beards differently when on holiday.
Men rarely discuss their facial hair – unless they are just home from, say, walking the Kokoda track – a colleague might remark, ‘Geez, mate, you look like an armpit with teeth.’ But that’d be it.
Most men (and currently all uniformed police) shave off their facial hair, even though they complain they hate shaving. There’s a widely held perception that beards are as hiding something (Remnants of a taco? A criminal past?)
Some consider it a sign of slovenliness – ‘Your great-grandfather managed to shave in the trenches at Gallipoli, I think you can manage it too.’
The way I see it, men fall into 5 categories, facial-hairily speaking.
1. Mr Gillette. This fella stars his day with a shave and expects others to do the same. On weekends and holidays he might let it go (grow) a little and he might occasionally be adventurous with the sideburns (Midge Ure anyone?) But generally the baby’s bottom is the look he’s after. Particularly if blessed with a cleft chin. Example: Patrick Dempsey, Brad Pitt.
- A sub category here is Mr Patchy – this gent that could not grow a luxuriant beard if he tried. Even after months of free-range growth it remains wispy and sparse. If he were marooned on an island he wouldn’t want to be rescued for fear of people laughing at his sorry effort at facial hair.
2. Mr Wildman. This man refuses to shaves, clip or trim anything, ever. He probably eats the outer leaves of an iceberg lettuce. He’s a wild thang and doesn’t care who knows it. Often the hair sprouting from the top of his head is long too. He will sometimes wear his head hair in a ponytail or a plait, which is weird, as it has less chance of slopping into his soup than his beard. Example: Grizzly Adams, Brad Pitt
3. Mr Moderate. Not long, not short but definitely a beard. It’s hard to tell whether this gent actually wants a beard or is just lazy. This look is (oddly) acceptable in the modern boardroom, but is also popular amongst stay-at- home dads. Example: Richard Branson, Brad Pitt.
4. Mr Partial. This man finds it hard to commit and limits himself to the goatee or a moustache. I don’t understanding these guys at all. It would be like shaving just your left leg. Especially when a man with a moustache is often a very blokey bloke who would scoff at most other forms of grooming. Example: Almost any Australian cricketer circa 1980, Brad Pitt.
Sub-category is Mr Token, as personified by Shannon Noll.
5. Mr Hotfuzz. This bloke is sexy as, and he knows it. Young, snake-hipped, athletic. Can make a risotto while making love and designing furniture. No time to shave. As if by miracle, his beard grows exactly where it is meant to without George Michael-style sculpting. Beware boys, this look is like Halleys Comet. Your window is brilliant but brief. Example: Don Hany, Brad Pitt.
There is a lot of variety afforded by the beard, and maybe that’s what men like – and what those 17 police officers feel they’re being deprived of.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the bearded man?