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Regular readers may remember that last month, I let myself get talked into growing a beard as the result of a fundraising contest for Camp Quest. Well, I’m not about to suffer through an entire scorching summer with this extra insulation – but I’ve let it grow freely for a month now, and I think that’s more than enough time to judge the finished product. If you think you can handle the sheer masculine power, follow me below the fold…

Well, first things first: I’m just not cut out for mustaches. I decided to shave mine a few days ago because it was becoming intensely irritating to my upper lip. Just to prove I was making some effort to groom myself, I also decided to shave under my chin, which gives the finished product an appearance that I think is equal parts Abraham Lincoln and Amish. To see larger versions, click on any of the thumbnails:

Little-known fact: Growing a beard makes you evil.

This is definitely my good side.

Close-up in profile. Yes, I know it’s scraggly. I don’t own an electric trimmer, and I wasn’t about to buy one just for this experiment, so I decided to just let it grow and see what would happen. I know I have a ways to go before I achieve “wizard” status.

A contemplative moment.

I had to at least try for the badass look. I think the floral curtains slightly spoil it, though.

So, am I going to keep it? The honest answer is, probably not. Like I said, it’s hot this summer, and every little thing I can do to keep cool helps. In any case, I don’t think I’m the bearded type. In a few decades, I may be able to rock some Dennett-style facial hair, but so far I think I’m still too young to pull it off. But at least now I know what it would look like – so if I ever become a cranky professor or a lonely mountain-dwelling hermit, I’ll be all set!

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DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...