The story of Samson and Delilah features a man who loses his power when his hair is cut.
While no one is suggesting anything as drastic as that, a person’s hair is still important as part of their identity.
Losing your hair can be traumatic.
For many people, that includes their signature facial hair.
A young man grappling with whether he’s making the right choice about his own facial hair turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for perspective.
Redditor Geauxphish asked:
“AITA for refusing to shave my beard for a wedding?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My cousin is getting this married this week and I am one his groomsmen. His fiancée put everyone, including their mothers, in a group chat.”
“His fiancée’s mom says that she wants the groomsmen to shave their faces. We all have beards but 4 out of 5 of us are bald through genetics.”
“My beard is part of my style and it’s the only hair that I can grow so I am proud of it.”
“She says it’s only hair so it’ll grow back. To me it’s more than ‘just hair,’ so I told them that I would shave my beard if she shaved her head because after all, it’s ‘just hair’.”
“AITA for refusing to shave my beard?”
The OP clarified:
“The bride is totally cool with beards. It’s her mother that wants us to be clean shaven.”
Ordinarily Redditors would weigh in using four voting codes:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was definitely not the a**hole.
“NTA as long as your beard is clean and groomed. I can understand wanting it neat, but asking to shave is rude. Some guys look better with facial fair.”
“As a woman I would equate this to the bride wanting me to wear a certain hairstyle (would do) vs wanting me to cut it to a certain length they desire (would never do).” ~ the_truth_suckss
“I was going to say ‘a nice beard trim with some shaping could be a reasonable request’ but it sounds unnecessary in your case.”
“If you want to keep the peace, you could say that it is likely that you will break out in acne if you shave and that would look worse for the photos, but I’d just say ‘nope’ and leave it at that.” ~ melodypowers
“Tell her you’ll shave your ‘bottom beard’ hahahaha. NTA by the way.” ~ bluep3001
“NTA, not even close especially when it’s a non-issue with the couple. What did she say after you suggest she shaves her head?” ~ asiantorontonian88
“NTA. Just like people cannot demand a hair color, they can’t demand you shave. Tell them since it’s only hair, it shouldn’t matter to them.” ~ czechtheboxes
“NTA. Your beard, your choice.”
“What’s up with people and their dictatorial wedding theatres? These ridiculous demands seem to be on the rise.” ~ ironmagician
“NTA – your beard is not a prop!”
“Side note, I really hate these brides/wedding planners who think they can make ridiculous requests just because they’re getting married.” ~ sillierabbittrix
“Keep your beard! The bride is cool with beards!”
“The bride’s mother doesn’t get a choice on what other people look like!” ~ Take_The_Dog_Out
“NTA. This is most important—the bride and grooms opinion, not [mother-of-the-bride].” ~ saltydottie
“Bride and groom should not have a say either.” ~ Curlytomato
“In things that can’t be changed in ten minutes, they do, within reason.”
“If I tell my bridesmaids we’re all going to have our hair braided or put up in combs, that’s just how you’re asking them to look for the day. It doesn’t have any effect after the wedding.”
“If I tell my bridesmaids we’re all dyeing our hair blue, or blonde, or ‘natural colors only,’ no. Unless we’re all into colors and do it all the time, and are all into it.” ~ jupitaur9
“If you looked the same as when you got asked to be in the wedding party, there is absolutely no reason you should be asked to change.” ~ CitronSeason
“Yeah, you should have refused. Nobody gets to tell someone else how they should look(beyond maybe clothes) at a wedding.”
“I don’t know where this kind of thing started, but it is extremely arrogant and entitled.” ~ velocibadgery
“I don’t even understand this? When I get married, the women who I ask to stand there with me will be there because I love who they are…”
“I can’t imagine asking one of them to change a dang thing about themselves to appease me.” ~ truthlessheroes
“I asked people to be in my wedding because they are important to me.”
“It feels like it would be so weird to look at wedding pictures and see my loved ones not even looking like themselves.” ~ AmotherEeep
“I mean even if your friend was going through a blue hair phase, the fact that she had blue hair at the wedding would only add to the memories, not take away from them.” ~ truthlessheroes
Reddit was fine with the OP keeping his beard for the wedding. The prevailing opinion seemed to be that if people want only people who look a certain way in the wedding party, they should only ask people who look the way they want.
Redditors were against brides and grooms making demands beyond clothes and minor hairstyle choices. They were firmly against asking people to cut or dye their hair.
When it came to the mother-of-the-bride being the person to make that demand, Reddit ruled it a definite no.