Discerning beard growers come to the site from all over the world and range from teenagers to seniors. Lorenzo Simonazzi, 21, from Savosa, Switzerland, joined the board shortly after a relationship ended. “I felt like I had to change something about myself,” he said. As a self-described perfectionist, he wasn’t sure where to place the neckline, whether to trim his mustache, and whether his cheek growth was full enough. Now Mr. Simonazzi is a moderator and spends about an hour a day talking to people.
He said the values he learned on the board included patience, feedback and goal setting: “It’s about not setting the bar too high. Don’t have too many expectations, appreciate what you have and focus on your strengths. “
While beards and a lumberjack aesthetic have been trending in recent years, the stigma around men tormenting themselves about looks persists. “I think the days of fathers telling sons how to do things are over,” said Coleman. “People are finally turning to the Internet.” In his daily life he does not talk about his engagement on the board. “I don’t know how people would react if they found out I was a moderator,” he said with a laugh.
Mr. Coleman sees his job as a form of volunteering that helps men feel good about themselves in every aspect of their lives, from job interviews to first meetings. “When you grow your beard, you feel more confident about who you are,” he said.
Mr. Peterka is now 10 weeks in his “beard trip”. Although he has received a lot of support, he is beginning to realize that no beard will happen to him. But he still plans to hold out a little longer. Even if he can’t grow a beard, the board has helped him rethink what he thinks is normal.
“I’m under five to eight and always thought I was little,” he said. “But then I looked it up, and five to eight are actually a third of the population. So wait a minute, I’m a bit average. “
“I think people grow up wondering, am I enough?” he went on. “Am I normal? I am ok Am I on the right path? “As a father, he hopes that accepting his imperfect beard will make an impression.” I want my children to know where you are and where you should be. “