For some guys, the ability to grow facial comes naturally.
For others, not so much.
So when Redditor balckbone decided to grow a beard on his typically clean-shaven face, he never expected it to cause drama within his circle of friends.
He turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to get some clarity, asking:
“AITA for not shaving my facial hair?”
For the Original Poster (OP), a year of attempting to grow out his facial hair had finally paid off.
“Hey, im a 22 M(ale) and over the course of the year i was able to grow a proper facial hair.”
“This is a big deal for me because i have what you call a “baby face” and im tired of people asking for my ID to buy beers or cigarettes so i alway try to act and look “mature” so that people don’t mistaken me for a minor.”
So he decided to show off his new, grown-up look to his friends.
“Last week, i had a zoom hangout with a couple of my friends. We haven’t talk to each other since July and I haven’t post my new look on social media so my friends were reasonably shock when they saw me with a beard but they were mostly positive.”
“Almost all of them said something along the lines of ‘I almost didn’t recognize you’, ‘You look good with the beard’, or ‘Finally, you don’t look like a middle schooler anymore’.”
But not everyone was happy about it, turns out.
“There was only one negative reaction from this girl (let’s call her A) who said ‘I don’t really quite like the look tbh’ which is fine because not everyone has to like it so whatever.”
“As we hangout, A keeps commenting on my look and how it’s really distracting and in her words ‘ugly’. At first I shrugged it off and just laugh but she said pretty hurtful things like how she doesn’t want to go in public with me if i look like that.”
“Everyone else has already moved on from the subject of my look (including me) and try to have a good time but she keeps bringing up the beard.”
At this point, the OP had had enough.
And here’s how the conversation went down from there.
“So I finally said: ‘Listen, i get that its a different look but can you just drop it? I like it and im not gonna change my appearance just because you hate it.'”
“‘Im just saying, you look better with a clean shaven face and i’d be really embarrassed if people sees me hanging out with someone who look like a hobo so until you shave that thing off, I don’t know if i can hangout with you…'”
“‘Are you serious? You won’t hangout with me just because i have a beard now?'”
“‘Well, im sorry you feel that way but im not gonna shave it off'”
At first the OP was worried about his friend, but she quickly turned his concern into confusion.
“She left the zoom room soon after that. My friends all just said ‘what’s up with her? Lol’.”
“So i texted her the next day to see if she’s okay because I thought it was more than just about the beard but something else and it turns out…there wasn’t a deeper meaning to it…she just doesn’t like how i look and won’t hangout with me as long as i have one.”
“I’m really confused because this is the first time she acted like this.”
“She ended our conversation with ‘Im hurt that you choose to keep your beard rather than our friendship. Some friend you are’ which got me thinking.”
“I mean it is ‘just’ a beard, it’ll grow again…but i don’t like the idea of someone controlling my appearance. So, AITA for keeping the beard?”
The OP added an update to address some questions in the comments.
“I keep my facial hair well groomed and trimmed. I also keep it clean (so there is no food stuck on it or anything). If you want to know what my beard looks like, just try to imagine a 20 something white guy with a beard so you get the idea of how i look.”
“A and i were never involved in any romantic relationship with each other. This is the first time she expressed an extreme opinion on my appearance.”
“The reason i texted her the next day is because i was worried that she might be going through some stuff and projected it on me but it turns out she just doesn’t like how i look.”
Redditors were then tasked with determining the OP’s level of culpability in what went down using:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
And, as you may have guessed, people were quick to tell the OP he was most definitely NTA.
To many, deciding to cancel a friendship over facial hair felt extremely petty.
“NTA. SHE chose the beard over your friendship, not the other way around.”
“Beard or not you didn’t intend to change your plans to hang out with her. She changed her plans to hang out with you. You are not at fault at all in this.” —Bibiicream
“Also, according to her, him choosing beard over friendship is bad, but she can end the friendship over a beard? Her way or the highway.” —Cr4ckshooter
“Even spouses don’t get to decide each others’ appearance. A wife can dislike a husband’s beard, but not demand that he lose it. A husband can dislike a wife’s super short hairstyle, but can’t demand she change it.”
“Respect has to go both ways. This ‘friend’ thinks that only her precious feelings matter, and that her feelings should be followed even above someone else’s personal styling/grooming.”
“She needs to grow up. Her feelings are not the center of the universe. Her lack of caring about the feelings of others says a lot about who she is and how much her friendship is worth.”—AQualityKoalaTeacher
Some even suggested calling out his friend’s hypocrisy by giving her a taste of her own medicine.
“I’d tell her that I really think her hair makes her look like she’s desperate and trying too hard. I’m just too embarrassed to be seen with her in public until she cuts it.”
“Better yet, ‘You look so pathetic with that disgusted/embarrassed look on your face. I can’t be seen with you until you change your attitude.'”—TitaniaT-Rex
“If she’s willing to end a friendship over your beard then she didn’t consider you a good friend to begin with.”
“She may not like it but say the situation was reversed ask her how she’d feel if you told her ‘I don’t like your haircut and I refuse to hang out with you until you change it'”
“I bet she’d be offended and go on about you have no right to interfere with her autonomy. If you can’t force her to change her appearance than she can’t expect to change yours.”—italy2986
“NTA – Hit her back with ‘I’m sorry you need me to look a certain way to keep your friendship’.”
“Wtf is that. What happens if your look changes due to an unforeseen circumstance like an accident? Is she gonna demand plastic surgery?”
“Enjoy No shave November.”—Yarragh
Perhaps A has been harboring romantic feelings for the OP which bubbled to the surface after he changed his appearance.
“Maybe, she likes you and was attracted to you pre facial hair. and she wants you to go back because she wants to date you. You still shouldn’t shave it until you want to shave it”—maxpower7833
“I was legit thinking the same thing.”
“The only time a woman would get soooo shocked and disappointed about another man’s FACE is if she’s crushing on him. She acted like an angry GF lol”
“Such a petty person though. You’d be better off without her. That’s weirdo behaviour and I would call her out if she was my friend”—tdeee10
“NTA. The only way I can see this possibly makes sense is if the was into you, but finds the beard unattractive, and she’s trying to get you to look attractive to her again without explicitly saying “Hey I’m attracted to you (without the beard)”.
“21 is definitely young enough to wind up doing something like that instead of just being open about it.”—TT-Toaster
Either way, the OP might have to rethink his friendship with A.
“I’m shocked your other friends haven’t given her tons of sh*t, she’s being unreasonable. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be friends with somebody like that.”
“I say let all your other friends know exactly what her problem is.”
“She chose the end the friendship over a beard, not you. She had a problem, not you.”—sweatshower
“NTA, SHE IS. She sounds shallow as f**k. Would definitely reconsider her as a friend if she has that much of a problem with a decision you made about your OWN appearance.”
“Not to mention…it’s a beard..you could literally shave it off whenever you want. It’s not like you drastically changed your face with plastic surgery or a face tattoo of a penis.”—fkalux12
“NTA. She was apparently willing to end a friendship over your facial hair; then try to guilt you about being the sort of terrible person who would end a friendship over facial hair.”
“She’s not wrong that ending a friendship over facial hair is some combination of really weird and really a dick move; she just doesn’t seem to realize who actually did it; notably not you.”
“I’m inclined to give SOs more consideration RE: preferred facial hair status, because if there’s someone who I want kissing me regularly and enthusiastically I want them to find kissing me to feel good; but friends who just think that a beard doesn’t go with the aesthetic of their group or whatever? Not so much.”—fuzzyfuzzyfungus