If you’ve seen the newest season of America’s Next Top Model, you’ll know that there is a new type of “TyOver” (read: a Tyra Banks makeover) in town for male contestants: Lace Front Beards.
Yeah, you read that right. Fake beards.
It’s an interesting concept in it’s own way. I mean, a beard supports that rugged and “masculine” look, according to popular Arab viewpoint. And among Muslims, beards are popularly worn — whether religiously or culturally. But, seeing a fake beard appear on TV shocked the heck out of me! As shocked as I was watching Tyra’s crew glue on the beard to male model Denzel Well’s face, I wondered: What do the men think of it?
So, I asked some bearded men what their thoughts were on the lace front beard trend, and some of their responses were a bit… hostile.
…Whether they responded with some good ol’ Arabism:
“It’s stupid .. they are trying to be like us Arabs but they don’t have that original touch.” – Mo, 19
Or with that good ol’ hypermasculinity:
“It’s not cool… It’s a wanna-be attitude. If they can’t grow a real one they are going to be half the man they are trying to be by sticking a fake one on.” – Sudhodhen, 28
With religious insight:
“Just make sure you know that anything that’s not associated with our natural body is haram. It’s just pure entertainment. Just like plastic surgery.” – Abdelrhman, 23
Or with some honest good-hearted advice:
“NO! If you can’t grow out your own beard then you should just rock the clean-cut look. It might do the job of taking the place of something that isn’t there, but it looks blatantly fake and when people find out it’s not real, you’ll just be ridiculed in the end anyways.” – Anthony, 21
With a dash of sexism:
“Honestly, women use fake hair and eyebrows so I feel like men are falling in that trend to have something attract women. I wouldn’t support it.” – Hweih, 26
“A beard is manly. But accessorizing is womanly. I mean, come on. Tyra thought of it. Next thing I know people are gonna be pulling my beard saying, ‘Is it real?'” – Mohammed, 24
“I’ve seen it, and it’s just weird. Like you just see how artificial it is. Kinda how someone can call out a weave.” – Alex, 24
Deep and real:
“A beard is earned and cultivated, not given or bought. It’s a right of passage for some and a lifestyle for others. The truth is that this trend sickens me and it’s actually really lame.” – Mario, 20
Or just straight up beard privilege:
“That’s a thing?! That’s gross… it’s like wearing a Santa wig all the time… Why don’t people just grow beards?” – Faizan, 20
Apparently, the lace front beard trend doesn’t sit well with these men. There’s an obvious pride that comes with beard-growing. From this woman’s perspective, beards are the best, and if you can work a beard — whether real or fake — give it a go if you feel like it! I wanna hear how you feel about fake beards in the comments below.
Props to Mo for sending us a picture of his very own real beard: