Owning my Masculinity and Maleness: a face that changes

On January 3, 2015 I shaved for the last time this year. Preparing for a photo shoot with my wife and Forte Fotos.

Ken Gilbert on January 13, 2015 by Forte Fotos at Santa Barbara Mission

Ken Gilbert at Santa Barbara Mission – January 3, 2015 by Forte Fotos

Then, preparing for DramaDogs’ February Shakespeare production of Jinny Webber’s “Tales of Woo & Woe: A Journey of the Heart” . . . I let my beard grow; keeping it short.

Tales Edit

Ken Gilbert – “Tales of Woo & Woe” – February 6, 2015 by Baron Spafford

In the past I have grown my beard for no longer than three months at which time I have sustained the smooth or scruffy face. After “Tales of Woo & Woe”, I chose to keep the beard having begun my research on living as a beardsman. There are many sites about this part of the masculine lifestyle and I became more and more curious about my choice and how to sustain my androgenic hair in a healthy and groomed way.

In April I contacted UrbanBeardsman about being featured in one of their weekly profiles. I sent them some images of my Forte Foto photo shoots. This was the week prior to their June 3rd publication of “Better with Age – the Grey Beard” for which I became the “Banner Man”. Strange and wonderful to see myself acknowledged in this way – “Grey beards represent wisdom, adventure, and that you’re a survivor! Oh the stories these beards would tell if they could talk. But as they say, a picture is worth 1000 words, so we did some research on Instagram to find some of the best grey beards out there: “Better with Age – UrbanBeardsman“.

By June 24th I was well into my commitment of sustaining and maintaining my beard, having returned to the barber chair (Franco at Member’s Only in Santa Barbara) receiving the barbered haircut and beard trim.

Many Websites, Instagrams, Pinterests, Blogs, and YouTubes address the issues of men and their facial hair. I am having fun owning this part of my face in the world.

2015-07-04 19.55.25

Ken Gilbert on Cota Street, Santa Barbara – June 24, 2015 by Forte Fotos

Then, just last week on July 26th I was published as the “UrbanBeardsman of the Week: July 26, 2015“. Be sure to take a look and check out the link to my Instagram @KenGilbertEmBODYment

There is no way to cheat the growing of a beard; the process takes time and attention, everyday, with beard oils, combing, brushing and trimming. Shaving is the easy choice. This is an experience of learning about myself, a fledgling member of the culture, and subcultures, of the Beards Men. I am having fun; exploring this part of my maleness and manhood to see and feel where I fit in.


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