Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sartorial terminology for facial hair

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I have been walking around with the above beard for sometime. It is a styled full beard that, depending on various factors, is more or less pointy. In the past few weeks people have been complementing me on my goatee. A barista at Metropolis coffee one of my favorite haunts in Edgewater, last week began to so complement me on my goatee and then stumbled over himself saying "Well Iguess its not a goatee is it, but I... uh... the pointy bit ..."

I have come to conclude that the cause of this sartorial confusion is due to the preponderance of the untamed "I could be an Orthodox monk if I didn't like sex so much" beard that I am told is all the rage among hipsters who can grow facial hair. And I have observed that the untamed monk beard has become more common among those sporting facial hair.

As a goth, who does not feel the need to have my beard eat my face, and as clergy, who is married and Protestant and thus the monk avenue isn't realy available to me, I am perhaps in a unique position to help clarify satorial terminology of facial hair.

Most assume that the circle of hair around the mouth uper lip and sides of mouth and chin is a goatee, I in fact assumed this until very recently. Such a style of facial hair is a Genial (or as I like to say a moutee, because its fun to say). Technically a goatee is simply the tuft of hair on the chin that makes one look like a goat. Also not a goatee is a mustache and a hair on the chin (often pointed like my current styling of my beard), but rather a Van Dyke. There is also the soul patch but I know only one person who pulls that off successfully so we will simply pass over it in silence.

I did have a moutee for about six years (about 11 years ago), and then decided to shave it off and my wife discovered I had no chin and hid in the bathroom for a couple of days, and I began growing a beard immediately. The point of my beard evolved over time but it's been pointy since about 2003 or so, I think.

In fairness as another friend of mine said the satorial terminology of facial hair is obscure and arcane, and even highly disputed. This handy guide slightly contradicts what I said above and backed up by the Wikipedia articla on Goatee. I offer it as a potential handy guide and if you must have a term for my styled beard it appearantly is a "ducktail", it would seem. But even according to this slightly different taxonomy of facial hair I do not, I repeat, I do not have a goatee!