Seems like the men have taken social and physical distancing quite seriously. Almost everyone has distanced themselves from razors and trimmers.
Few days back, while I was coming home from grocery shopping, I noticed a man staring at me and I think he was smiling. I am unsure about his expression because of the overgrown facial hair on his face, which concealed his emotions.
After looking at him from a distance for a while, I noticed him - he was my next door neighbour. His "shutdown beard" has changed him so much in the last two months that anyone would now mistake him as the younger doppelgänger of Rabindranath Tagore.
Last week I was talking to my friend over a video call. During the entire conversation, which lasted between 40 minutes to an hour, he kept caressing his shutdown beard. He lives in Canada and due to shutdown, he has been indoors for a while now. The otherwise always clean-shaven person is now flaunting his facial hair, just how a farmer would show-off his crops.
I was trying to ignore the blotch of grey on his spotless face. But his rather incessant caressing compelled me to bring up the topic and I somewhat complimented him on his new look.
"You look nice with the beard," I said, when I realised that maybe I should not have said it. He suddenly became excited, he started blabbering about the effort he had to put in to grow his beard so gracefully.
I kept nodding my head and saying "hmm" after each sentence he said. By the time the conversation ended, I had acquired enough knowledge to grow a good quality beard and how to care for it.
But, a good quality beard, seriously?
Not just this friend of mine, but many other men I know have started growing their beards amid the shutdown and most of them have become unrecognisable due to their hairy faces.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my colleagues posted a selfie on Facebook with an ear to ear smile and a neither white nor black beard was housed on his entire face.
I woke up in the morning, picked up my phone and the first thing I was was that selfie. For a moment, I could not recognise the man. It took me a couple of minutes to recollect my last memories of him and how he looked before the pandemic.
Now that we are not going to the office on most days, men do not need to shave, comb their hair, take a bath or even change their pyjamas.
Most mornings, if not all, both men and women simply wake up and pull their laptops onto their bed and home office begins.
I then started noticing my male colleagues during Zoom meetings. Most have grown a beard, while few look horrendous and awful. But I must also admit that some look breathtakingly handsome with the facefull of a beard.
If the situation were normal, they would have to look somewhat presentable for work and that would require a bit of grooming, including regular contact with razors or trimmers.
The shutdown has turned us lazy, more than usual for some. Those who would otherwise shave two or three times a week have now taken a break, letting their beard grow freely.
However, since the shutdown, even the celebrities have started growing their beards, which has significantly contributed to motivate men all around the world to grow their beards and flaunt it on social media.
I must admit that many, if not all, look very handsome with their "messy hair I don't care" vibe and beard-faced looks. Owing to their facial growth, I have recently had a major crush on a beard-faced man.
His otherwise boyish looks never attracted me before, but the beard, oh that beard, took my heart away. I started following him on instagram.
In a way, shutdowns are not as bad. While it made the men lazier, it also brought out the good looks in many of them.