Tuesday, April 27, 2010

#83: Making Excuses to Grow Facial Hair

Notre Dame Students are usually well-groomed.  Knowing that they can meet a potential employer or future partner in a long term relationship at any hour of any day, Notre Dame Students keep their hair conservatively combed and their faces clean and smooth far more often than not.  Sometimes, however, Notre Dame Students have an urge to do something different; they have an urge to make a change so radical, that people think of them differently.

While very few men on campus regularly keep beards, mustaches, or any other type of facial hair, Notre Dame Men love to occasionally grow them.  Because they see this facial hair as a social taboo, these same students also must think of elaborate reasons (or events) that require them to grow it. 

The most prominent of all the events that allow Notre Dame Students to grow facial hair is the Dillon Hall Stache Bash.  One of the more well known SYRs around campus, the Stache Bash is a dance where the men attend sporting unique and hilarious mustaches.  In order to properly prepare for the event; almost all Dillon residents spend a month or more growing out their facial hair so that they will be able to shave it into a mustache when the event comes.

Other Notre Dame Students that are not “privileged enough” to live in Dillon [cough] must think of their own events and reasons to grow facial hair.  Many take up the hockey tradition of the playoff beard during the lead up to final exams and refuse to shave until after all of their exams have been taken.  More daring Notre Dame Students even give up shaving for the entire season of Lent (see #74).

Another popular facial hair tradition that is unique amongst Notre Dame Students is the appearance of ‘service beards’.  Most notable in the weeks following Spring and Fall Break (see #58), but most remarkable following summer long research stints in Africa (see #1); ‘service beards’ are grown by the selfless Notre Dame Students that sacrifice time to do research and service work in developing countries such as Haiti, Uganda, and West Virginia.  These students grow their beards, and keep them around longer then could possibly be comfortable mainly to remind all of their friends how great of a person they are for doing extensive service work.

While Notre Dame Students may actually make a lot of excuses for why they feel a need to grow facial hair, the reality is that these are just pseudo reasons that allow the facial hair to be socially acceptable at Notre Dame.  Most Notre Dame Students don’t care as much about the reasons as they do about the actual facial hair; which they grow as an attempt to get other people to see them differently.

Facial hair can make a person look like they are more serious and it can make them look like they are less serious.  It can make them seem older, or more liberal, or more conservative.  It can make a person appear to others like they are entirely different, but it doesn’t actually change them at all.

Which is why all Notre Dame Students, eventually shave.


  1. I'm surprised there is no mention of the ridiculousness during leprechaun tryouts

  2. ha, what a coincidence bob. i actually just got done making my case for the ugly playoff "beard" that is unfortunately attached to my face...and it is sticking around another 2 weeks at least thanks to the red wings last night