Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Mini-Beard

In response to the assignment from MBB creator adspar, the following is the first in a series intended to provide an introduction into the world of facial hair.

The smallest form of a beard consists of only the hairs directly below the lower lip. In beardom, like in real estate, location is everything. This mini-beard must be below and adjacent to the lips, and not include the upper chin. It must also not extend horizontally more than half way to the edge of the mouth. When this style is worn, the hair should not be larger than the size of a quarter. The shape can vary, but must be geometric. The most popular polygons are the triangle (must be isosceles, but not necessarily equilateral) and the rectangle.

There are many widely accepted names for this beard-ito, with the three most popular being:

Soul patch – named because of its popularity with jazz artists in the middle of the 20th century

Stinger – this applies to triangularly shaped beards pointed down (as seen on WSOP winner Joseph Hachem)

Flavor saver – usually intended as an insult, implying that it will trap unwanted debris, like food

The mini-beard is not regarded highly by MBB. It is dark and mysterious, often giving a shady connotation. The root of this swarthiness lies in the mini-beard itself. Not everyone with facial hair is able to grow enough hair in the mini-beard region. Some highly regarded facial hair experts loathe mini-beards, as they feel that exploiting this ability is evil.

Not surprisingly, the mini-beard is most commonly used by individuals who hold themselves in high regard. More specifically, people who think they are better looking than they really are. It is important to understand that for this reason a mini-beard is not a man beard.


ADSPAR said...

"The shape can vary, but must be geometric. The most popular polygons are the triangle (must be isosceles, but not necessarily equilateral) and the rectangle."

hahahaha top notch work, intern.

Mox said...

I am intrigued by this intersection between non-Beardery, Beardery, and Man-Beardery. And non-Man-Beardery. At what point does a mini-beard grow bushy or luxurious enough to pass muster for Man-Beardery? And could one's Man-Bearderous accomplishments alter this perfect ratio?

ADSPAR said...

I've long been contemplating the riddle of if and when a beardless man could be a Man Beard. I do think there are times when it could happen, but certainly some bit of facial hair, even if not a full beard, would add to such a man's qualifications for Man Beard status. For example, consider the case of Floyd Landis. He certainly doesn't sport a full beard, but his thick stubble help his case. A problem with the minibeard is that it might actually detract from Man Beard status, unless perhaps it was worn as part of a military uniform code of facial hair.

Brian said...

i think that one of the goals of MBB is to help define this fine yet sometimes vague (if that makes sense) line between these conditions. it is not unreasonable for ones man-bearderous actions to contribute to their man-beardedness.

however, i think the important point to take from this post is that a mini-beard alone is not enough to constitute manbeardedness. further, the minibeard is unique because it actually adds un-man-beardedness.

this is an awesome discussion.

Mike said...

All I ever needed to know about the mini-beard I learned as soon as I compared it to the beards of Darwin and Saddam. Four pictures spoke volumes.

adspar said...


The significance of your recent comment cannot be overstated, because it is of such vital importance to everything this blog stands for. To learn about the ways of Man Beards, the single most important thing we can do is look to Man Beards themselves for guidance.

Would Saddam Hussein ever wear a mini-beard? That question is fucking absurd. Would Charles Darwin? Not a chance.

Let's go down the rest of the list of Man Beards, and ask if they would ever mini-beard themselves:

* Chuck Norris - no karate way
* Jean Reno - no french way
* Jesus - no holy way
* Maximus - no badass way
* Mel Gibson - no jew-hating way
* Michael McDonald - no soulful way
* Sean Connery - you're the man now, dog!! (no canine way)
* Walter Sobchak - who's the fucking nihilist here anyway? Not a chance.
* Will Ferrell - definitely, but only in mockery of the minibeard and those who wear it
* Zeus - fuck no.
* Floyd Landis - probably, but only in a performance enhancing drug-induced stupor.

The message is loud and clear. Man Beards don't wear minibeards, except under extreme circumstances.

Eric said...

I would argue that a confirmed Man Beard would in fact lose Man Beard status for attempting a minibeard seriously. When something is popularized by Howie Mandel it clearly goes against all things Man Beard.

adspar said...


I think you're absolutely right, and your key word is "seriously." Looking to the Man Beard example of Will Ferrell, it is abundantly clear that when he minibearded himself for Ricky Bobby, he was mocking the minibeard, which brilliantly inverted the Man Beard characteristic and ADDED to his own Man Beard-ness.

There is a possible caveat, which is that a Man Beard could perhaps be so full of irrational exuberance that he attempts to "bite off more than he could chew" by self-minibearding. We would never take away from someone's Man Beard-ness because he tried to fight 10 men at once, or because he tried to kill too many kings, or because he tried to sing a beautiful song that required more vocal range than he was capable of, so under some circumstances it could be conceivable that a Man Beard might do the minibeard because of another Man Beard trait.

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Anonymous said...

I m keeping this mini beard under my down leap from its grown.But the most sad thing is that because of formality,I m going to cut it soon.Few days ago i had a interview in my university.When i enter the interview room,the takers start to shout what u keep,it against ur cultur nd society nd they start to attack me personally. only for that beard they had given me nil.I think it totally injustice...what u think friends.. sjk