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Entries in Adam Lisagor (2)


H. Ross Perot - Adam Lisagor Is Keeping His Beard

As promised, the second installment of our interview with Adam Lisagor has posted for your bearded enjoyment....

Q: Do a lot of your friends have beards?  How does corporate culture impact your bearded decision (or not)?
Not many of my friends have beards, actually. And that may be for many reasons: their careers may preclude the option, their personal style may conflict with the ruggedness of a beard, but I think most often it's just that their sissy faces can't really support the follicular activity. Every time I have the beard conversation with a friend, it's always, "Oh, I can grow hair here and here, but it never comes in here." And all I can feel is sad for them, the way my friends felt sad for me when I was 15 and hadn't yet sprouted in my crotch or armpits.

I'm self-employed, and even if I weren't, I work in an industry that favors those who look like shit at all times (the sitting-in-front-of-a-computer industry). So I have no impetus to ditch it for the furthering of my career. I read once that as a CEO, H. Ross Perot actually forbade the wearing of beards among his male employees, which just strikes me as pure fascist bullshit and I'm glad he lost the election because I'M KEEPIN MY BEARD, H. ROSS.

Also, at 32, I've sort of settled into my level of stockiness and girth. I wouldn't like to see what my bare cheeks look like at my current BMI. This is always a consideration for any bearded man.

Q: What beard - throughout history - has inspired you?  Do you have a bearded hero?
I've always admired Stanley Kubrick's beard, because he always looked like he cared just enough to get dressed and trim his beard to avoid overgrowth, but that he had enough on his mind to keep him from caring too much. And I think our growth pattern is very similar, even on the head part of the beard, which I guess, is just called hair.

My other bearded hero is this guy, and I don't know his name. The "show me you're nuts" guy from "Kentucky Fried Movie" (1977). It's the way guys in the 70s used to wear a beard—just classy.

Q: How do you feel about the current beard trend?  Is this good for the movement? Do you feel there might be backlash?
How do I feel about the current beard trend? It's fine, I guess. If all the beards went away tomorrow, I'd feel better about having mine. It never feels good to look like everybody else out there. I get so dismayed when I go to a party, or am out in public in a major city like LA, where I live, or Portland, where I go often, and see so many dudes that look just like me. It comes down to Freud's narcissism of small differences, where the more they look like me, the more reasons I have to find to distinguish myself from them and hate them. Like, "Oh, that guy? His beard and glasses make him look so Jewy. Jew Jew Jew Jew JEWY JEW. [Note: I'm clearly Jewish, but there is no greater compliment to pay to a Jew than to tell him he doesn't look Jewish.]" Sameness breeds a lot of hatred in counterculture. No one wants that. So I'd be fine if the trend took its leave.

Q: Did you attend SXSWi?  What did you think about the amount of beards that were there?
I was there for Interactive, but honestly, I didn't notice. Again, I live in LA where beards abound, so there was nothing out of the ordinary about Austin during SXSW.

Anything you'd like to tell us/share/link to?
Today on, the men's style show I do with my partner Jesse Thorn, Jesse did a post about facial hair options which I found pretty good. Someone wrote in to ask us about facial hair and Jesse fielded the question (since I don't really contribute to the blog, but Jesse does an amazing job), basically instructing the dude to avoid goatees at all cost, which is a solid piece of advice, for sure.

I guess I've never asked my girlfriend of seven years, Roxana, how she feels about my beard, or whether she'd prefer me clean-shaven. I know for sure that it's better to be either clean-shaven or have a longer beard because a short beard or stubble is just irritating to the face of the person with whom you're necking, so that's a consideration. But she has a good sense of style, as the editor of the men's style site Nerd Boyfriend, and I trust that she'd tell me if I looked like a doofus.

Adam's sweet beard & iJustine


Adam Lisagor: A Human Under His Beard  

Sometimes B-a-B receives killer tips from fans who scout beards on our behalf.  We were beyond thrilled when a loyal reader introduced us to Adam Lisagor who runs (or writes at) numerous blogs, but is best known for lonelysandwich.  Adam is a resident of Los Angeles and is keeping the city legit by rocking some killer face fur.  He was gracious enough to send B-a-B some interesting facts and FAQs of him and due to the absolute awesomeness of his answers (spanning from Stanley Kubrick's beard, his thoughts on H. Ross Perot, why chin-pads suck, to Freud's narcissism of small differences), this is going to be a special two-part interview.  

One thing is for certain - Adam is serious about his beard.  Luckily, B-a-B is a firm believer that good things come to obsessive-compulsives who fixate. Adam feels that "beards are certainly in fashion, and there aren't any signs of that momentum slowing." Here's a blog post he wrote about his beard a couple years back, in response to a TIME article about their growing popularity.

Below are a few topics that B-a-B was privileged to talk to Adam about....  

Part I 

Background (via Adam)

In its current full-breaded state, my beard has been living with me since 2003. I had a girlfriend during college that was always encouraging me to grow a beard, and I'd experimented with facial hair configurations from the time I could get a patch of hair to coagulate on any spot of my face, but a beard always seemed too manly and, for lack of a better term, too dad for me. And I'm one of those adult males who was emotionally 17 for some time into his 20s, and then 23 until about the age of 30. So a beard was out of the question, at least until I was paying all of my own rent.

The Experiment, Gilligan, & Jim Jarmusch

My first experiment with facial hair was a small tuft on the point of my chin. A Maynard G. Krebs, as I've always called it, after Gilligan's beatnik character from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Mind you, this wasn't a chin-pad, which is, was and always will be a mortal sin in the world of facial hair. This was a small patch which signified the wearer as a member of the counterculture in the 90s, when I wore it in my first year of college. I'd been a jazzbo, and the look suited me. A huge fan of Jim Jarmusch and his prematurely gray hair, I even attempted to dye mine gray at one point but I did it wrong and it hurt my face.

Sideburns Central, Luke Perry, & Training To Go Beard

Next came sideburns. Real Luke Perry specials. Something every young man should try once, and certainly better than the other extreme, which is whitewalls, which is the anti-beard, and great if you want to look like you're most at home at a petting zoo or a Civil War museum. During and particularly after college, I smoked a lot of weed, so of course I grew pork chops. Pork chops are training ground for a full beard. And in 2001, beards weren't the rage as they are now. So I had to ease the world into my hairy face, or vice versa. The world had to ease me into my hairy face. Just look at the size of that J!

The Dude 

Anyhow, as soon as I grew out of my unemployed post-college phase and joined the working world, it was time to try a beard out. And it worked for me. In the 80s, my dad always had a beard, and he looked pretty good. As an adult, I look a lot like my dad, so I sort of think of him in the 80s whenever I see myself bearded. Now, he's done more of a van dyke (which I'm not a huge fan of unless you're The Dude) but it can look not bad on a distinguished older man. Here's me, bearded, and my dad, van dyked.

Remembering Your Face

Every so often towards the beginning of my beard tenure, I'd have to shave it off to remember what my face looked like. See this picture for what my face looks like. But I hate to shave. I hate it. Even in a hot shower, it'd bug the shit out of me, so I'd just stop shaving. And I think that's where the beard mostly came from—laziness. So in addition to signifying membership in a counterculture, it signifies laziness, which is most often part and parcel.

Avoid Enhancing Fleshiness

By now, at 32, I've gone at least 3 or 4 years without having done more than close-crop the beard, and I don't think I will shave it any time soon. My normal grooming regimen is about every two weeks, I'll pull out the Wahl and give it the once over with a #3 guard, and then a #2 and then clean up the neck area. But most important, MOST IMPORTANT, is to go gradually into a bare neck. Don't, under any circumstance, make a sharp edge at the bottom of your beard and leave that whole patch of under-jaw bare. Because it will enhance the fleshiness of your skin and make you look like a dork. In grade school, I'd always get A's on map making by feathering the borders of the land and the water. I apply this philosophy to my beard trimming and it hasn't failed me. Oh, and no chin-straps, fellas. No way, Jebediah.

The Signature Beard & Shooting Lasers

And my beard has, by this point, become my signature. My face is pretty easily maleable, and I have no problem changing my look, so I'm quite sure that many people wouldn't recognize me if I were to lose the beard. Likewise, my thick plastic frames. At some point, I'll get laser eye surgery (so I can shoot lasers from my eyes) and I'll no longer need glasses. But I'm quite sure that I'll still wear non-prescription frames because I like frames and they're sort of my trademark. To an obnoxious point, actually. I get a lot of "Oh, here's a picture of a guy that looks just like you!" and it'll just be some schlub with a beard and glasses, but an entirely dissimilar face. I'll make it clear here and now: knock that shit off, people. We are actual human beings under our beards and glasses, unique like snowflakes and unlike that analogy.

(Stay tuned for Part II....