Bengaluru

Bengaluru’s bearded brotherhood defends their sartorial choice

Style statement:The Bangalore Beard Club — for men of all races, religions and creeds — already has eight members and an ever-growing online fan-following.— Photo: Special arrangement

Style statement:The Bangalore Beard Club — for men of all races, religions and creeds — already has eight members and an ever-growing online fan-following.— Photo: Special arrangement  

For Vishal Singh, fashion has always been a form of self-expression. But in urban India, where the pant-shirt combination dominates sartorial choices, most men are restrained while thinking about their appearances, he explained. “Men have shirts and T-shirts. Men have jeans and short pants,” said Mr. Singh, an event manager in Bengaluru.

This narrow range of options can lead men to pay less attention to the way they present themselves, leaving couture to the ladies.

But the Bangalore Beard Club is keen to break apart these gender stereotypes by encouraging men to think of their self-presentation – particularly their facial hair – as being worthwhile objects of their time and effort.

Founded by Mr. Singh in May, the Bangalore Beard Club — for bearded men of all races, religions and creeds — already counts eight members and an ever-growing online fan-following.

The number one reason members cite for growing a beard is that their confidence increases by leaps and bounds. “I want to make men aware that there are options. They will look like supermodels if they work on their look,” Mr. Singh said.

And make no mistake, maintaining a beard is a lot of work. Mr. Singh estimates that he spends over an hour a day oiling, washing, brushing and trimming his beard, and he spends up to Rs. 5,000 a month.

IT professional Prajval Jagirdar, winner of the Bangalore Beard Club’s ‘Best Beard’ competition, attributes spending Rs. 3,000 a month on grooming to the fact that most products are not available in India.

But beards – no matter how well groomed – still do not meet universal appreciation in the workplace. Mr. Singh began growing his beard last year once he left his position in human resources. Mr. Jagirdar considers himself lucky to sport a beard while working in IT.

“It is a professional stereotype to be clean shaven at all times. It can be a kind of forced lifestyle,” Mr. Singh said, adding that a bearded Indian employee can cultivate a reputation for rebelliousness.



‘The number one reason for growing

a beard is that confidence increases by leaps and bounds’



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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 2:26:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Bengaluru%E2%80%99s-bearded-brotherhood-defends-their-sartorial-choice/article14401760.ece

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