Growing a beard is one of the best decisions of my life. It’s given me more confidence and does a great job of hiding my double chin!

But it’s not all been plain sailing. For every beard enthusiast, there are also haters. Making fun of beards seems to come natural to some people unfortunately.

How you react is key. Letting it go will encourage more comments but being too defensive will look like you can’t take a joke.

This blog post will help you to respond in the right way to these beard insults.

“You look like a terrorist”

This is by far the most common facial hair insult I hear on a regular basis.

Hearing it from family and friends is bad enough. But when royalty use it as an insult, you know there’s a widespread problem.

I don’t get why people think this is funny. Terrorists are scum of the earth and are responsible for some of the worst crimes ever committed. Who would want to be compared to them?!

In this situation, first of all, you must stay calm. Losing your temper will not help.

Instead, try and laugh it off. I find mocking the so-called joke is the best way of dealing with it.

Simply saying something like – “I’ve heard that one before,’’ with a big smile on your face is a powerful statement.

Immediately they are on the back foot. No-one likes to be told that their joke is old news after all!

“You must get food caught in your beard all the time!”

Don’t get me wrong, eating with a beard can be tricky.

Burgers, drinks and anything with pastry are particularly difficult. Things can get messy very quickly!

I’m sure it’s happened to you at some point. Especially if you happen to have a beard of epic proportions. To be honest, it’s impossible to avoid.

The problem I have with this insult, is that they are making a personal comment on the state of your personal hygiene.

This is a load of rubbish. When you do get food in your beard, you deal with it. You use a napkin or go to the toilet to quickly wash your face and it’s sorted.

Funny enough, that’s how people without a beard remove food on their face!

So if anyone asks, just tell them that yes you do get food caught in your beard from time to time, but it’s no different to wiping a non-bearded face after a meal.

“You look like a tramp”

beard tramp

Not far behind the terrorist insult is the tramp one.

It comes from the fact, that a lot of tramps do have a beard. It’s true! Next time you’re out and about, take a minute to notice this.

But why is this even an insult?! These people have fallen on hard times and don’t deserve to be referred to in such a derogatory way.

The reason for this is people are referring to how scruffy your beard is. You are basically being insulted for the fact you want to grow your beard out wild and free.

But you have every right to do this! Just tell them what you’re doing is completely natural. Who could argue with that?!

However, if you want to avoid being called a tramp at all costs, a small amount of regular beard maintenance would be advisable. You can then make the argument, that a tramp wouldn’t be able to regularly maintain their beard.

To put things into perspective, you could remind them of the many heart-breaking reasons why homelessness is still prevalent today.

“You look much older with that beard”

old beard

It’s funny, as a teenager you’re desperate to look older so you can get served in pubs and be considered a grown up.

I have never had a problem with this. People have always said I look older than I am.

There was one occasion when a group of kids asked me as a 14 year old to buy them cigarettes, (they were underage.) I politely declined.

Later on at university, I started growing a beard. Not only did it save me spending precious beer money on razors, (result!) I also pretty much never got ID’d.

It also gave me a lot more confidence in myself.

When I did shave – things changed. If you’ve ever done this, you will know how shocking a transformation this is. It’s like a stranger is looking back at you in the mirror.

You’re probably wondering what my point is. It’s simple – beards don’t age you, they make you look better.

If you look at someone like George Clooney for instance. Do people say that he looks older with a beard?

Hell no! It’s the complete opposite. There are even articles on the internet, (such as this one,) trying to uncover the secret of his good looks. If anyone knows the answer, please let me know!

So embrace your ‘salt and pepper’ look. If someone says you look older with a beard, just refer them to George.

“You look like such a hipster”

hipster

It’s debatable whether this is an insult.

Some people have really embraced the culture. So much so that it’s transformed from a small, underground niche to a huge commercial market.

However, there is no doubt that the vast majority of the media are negative towards the hipster movement.

Why? They’re an easy target. As people who like music, art and culture that’s outside of the cultural mainstream, they don’t conform to typical values. Whatever that means!

My problem is not with the hipster movement itself. It doesn’t affect me in any way and people are free to live their lives as they wish.

What annoys me is the lazy stereotype, that everyone with a beard is automatically a hipster. Yes, people actually believe this!

It goes without saying, that this isn’t true. Beards are grown for many different reasons.

I would bet most of you did it because you liked the thought of having one, rather than being part of a cultural movement.

So, if anyone ever calls you a hipster because of your beard, the comeback is simple. Just refer to the fact that you like something in popular cultural and within the mainstream.

Examples of this could be Eastenders, Taylor Swift or Costa Coffee. No-one could ever accuse you of being a hipster liking any of those right?!

What’s the worst beard insult you’ve ever heard? Let me know in the comments below.