Where are all the Asian Beardsmen?
In November of twenty seventeen filmmaker Justin. Chang decided agrout his facial hair for the first time I had never tried to grow out my facial hair before because I was just scared to do so like I wasn't sure how it's GonNa turn out you know. My Dad actually has a pretty boss mustache. And he's known as the Asian Guy with the mustache but I didn't know if I had heard of those genes just in his Chinese American and he says people always treated his dad's moustache like an exception to the norm. A lot of Asian. People were impressed that he could grow it out. On a lot of non Asian people read more impressed and sort of I think I signed him like these masculine values. That a lot of Asian American men MM stereotypically are not granted I think part of that too is because he grew up in Tennessee and Texas and in the sal you know facial hair was even more of a signal. Oh masculinity down there and it helped him get by email. Think that something like phase. Here's that big of a deal but like everything communicates. Justin didn't go up in the south like his dad ad. But he's from San Bernardino California where they're also wasn't a very big Asian community just an always has some scruff but he had never let his facial hair grow now in his late twenties he was about to travel across the country to film a documentary. I found my own production company called J school and we focus on telling stories of underrepresented represented people in other words people caller women and the Lgbtq community and movember provided him with an excuse movember also known as no shave. November is an annual event where men are encouraged to grow mustaches for the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues. The Movember Foundation a global men's health a charity which began in two thousand three has always focused on educating man about prostate cancer. Anticipation cancer but in twenty seventeen they expanded their mission to include spreading awareness about mental health issues and suicide prevention in issue that was really meaningful to Justin quick onto warning. There's a short mention of suicide coming. Yeah I had a friend when I was younger. Who took her life and it really is what I attributed sparking my career path onto a creative journey and it was my only outlet when I I was younger to write in sort of tell stories as a coping mechanism from when my friend died so when I saw that Movember had expanded its causes to also covering suicide aside if I like the perfect kind of aligning of the stars that I want to try going on? Facial hair was 'cause I believed in and since he was on the road working on his film there there was no one around the laugh at me if it look bad so he started growing at his facial. Hair Okay Caroline. I think this is a good time to admit that we don't have much personal experience. Dance with facial hair right ADA and we're also not Asian American men but we've decided to explore this topic Asian American men and facial hair. Because we've heard it's a thing he's like kind of a thing right now. It's definitely think there was even this article called. Why Asians Dread Movember about difficulties? Some Asian men have growing facial higher. I laughed because I get it. I understand because I know that. Some dudes can't you know what I mean just like hey some dudes like me aren't six feet tall. You know what I mean. It's like you're dealt a hand play it. I do think that there is something very specific about men feeling like they can do anything that that they see other men being able to do. I know some Very Very Astute East Asia gentlemen and if I'm really breaking down what I feel too was them. It's probably jealousy and breaking you know whether jealousy comes from this idea that they can fit into Western perceptions of masculinity better than I can also. It's important to question when you hear the phrase. He's Asian men and facial hair. Do you think of East Asian men Southeast Asian men South Asian men. These communities can have very different issues regarding facial the hair I grew up in a six. I don't have a choice. Beer's become such a hip thing so for me. It's very interesting to observe because I keep a beard for very different reasons. Both to my parents were really worried about me going airports because I mean I'm a brown dude with a beard people get uncomfortable. I can see it in old y people's faces when I am boarding a plane so this is our investigation. What's the vocabulary we don't know what does that have? A Moustache flavor saver. Chinstrap is just like when it goes your sideburns. Connect your cheekbones connect your Chin and how do other people feel about their facial hair. This is something that loves those bugging let me about to because she was so good looking back in the day but first. Let's go back to Justin so he's on the road traveling across the country doing interviews for a documentary series called ritual which is about NFL players and their pre-game superstition and he's also a few weeks into his facial. Missile Hair journey by week three like I had a pretty good moustache. I was pretty sure wasn't able to grow a full beard. I was manicuring it the best I could. He's googling photos those of Johnny Depp. Michael B Jordan and Robert Downey junior to get inspiration on how to style his facial hair into a goatee one day. He was in Denver Filming. Maria's Thomas a a superstar wide receiver for the Denver Broncos who also happen to be doing movember for the first time and he actually flies out a barber from la every every couple of weeks to do his hair and he was doing well for the first time too and his barber was giving him shit basically for being like him. Ed Others Asian duties grown up way better than you can. You can't beat the Asian Guy. So how did that make Justin fail. I dig any offense to it even though like it clearly had racial overtones overtones because I get what he was saying like. They didn't expect me to have such a full mustache. Goatee and this Guy Thomas. WHO's like obviously way tougher for the Niamh as an NFL player? He could barely grow the peach fuzz. It was just kind of a very self aware moment where you're like. Damn I can't handle a tackle or run. The forty yard dash or catch a touchdown in the end zone or win the super bowl ring like he can but for damn sure I cannot gross facial hair this might sound like a nice happy ending of Justin's the number story but it's just the beginning he soon finds out that not everyone has positive reactions to his facial hair one of my friends who will remain nameless she goes. How's your new former birth control but we'll come back to them later so we've learned not the ability or inability to go facial hair can be a source of insecurity or pride for certain men men but for most it's still purely aesthetic choice just like I put my hair in a ponytail or choose whether to wear makeup a certain way for a lot of men facial hairs away the former identity through their appearance? But what if your facial hair could actually affect your job prospects. We're going to take you to Hollywood where your appearance. Especially as an Asian man competing for a limited amount of rules can either get you a coveted role or lead to rejection desmond. Jim I'm an actor on generic barnacles implant season villain in season two saga shake hosts. A podcast called the Bollywood boys and I have facial head. Desmond is an Australian actor Who's been in shows like reef break now chocolates and missionary chronicles and most recently got cast in Marvel's Falcon and the winter soldier? Saga was in a web series called unfair ugly about a Muslim American family in Orange County. He is the Co host of the PODCAST. Bollywood boys and on the cast of the sketch comedy. Show that get Brown. We got them in a room together to talk about their facial hair. Visual here right now is recently shaven. It's an attempt at the Tony Stock Goatee and I haven't pulled it off in addition to Desmond's goatee. He also has long black hair. That goes just past his shoulders that he sometimes wears in half ponytail. Saga wears his hair shorter but he has a full beard like like the beard. Easiest of beards that anyone could possibly have. My beard hair is like as thick as wire. It feels like wires. You're coming out of my face from every possible poor. It's pretty intense. It's a lot of maintenance earns when saga says his beard was high maintenance. He wasn't joking so a lot of work. You you know like I got a shampoo rush it so the shampoo can get like in their condition. It I brush it against the conditioner. Rinse that out and I tell dry air dry for like five minutes. I blow dry. I gave some beard oil and brush that in and I gave moustache wax soccer. Who is Pakistani American? started his acting career without facial hair. In the beginning he wasn't booking anything his agents eventually dropped him. He says he started growing his beard out of laziness. I remember the first year that I grew out my beard. Maybe maybe four or five conversations that I had daily whereabout my beard. The first thing anybody would say to me would be dude sick beard bro. Dude how did we get itself full on my God. That's such a nice beard things like that easier or fuck. It feels like okay. It's catching atun on. People are watching me. I'm doing something right. At least I can grow a beard to get some people's attention because like in this industry you can be Super Knbr talented by the look and you're not going to be seen and so definitely helped get me into a lot of doors in two dozen fourteen. He started art decorating his beard and putting the photos on instagram. We're in Venice and we're sitting like this grassy area and there was like these little white flowers I I was like hold on analogy. Hey grab fifteen of ood beard and then I posted a photo on instagram and got like a couple of hundred likes and this is when like getting a couple of hundred likes. It was like Oh shit. This guy got a couple of hundred likes. He also decorated his beard for Christmas using miniature ornaments and for Easter. He put peeps committee eggs in his beard with toothpicks. By November of two thousand fifteen he had collected a series of these beard photos and a reporter from buzzfeed interviewed for story. The article coincidentally came out the day. Okay before his ten year high school reunion which he thought about skipping. I was really hesitant because people have done things and like they're working regular jobs they are married and have kids and like what do I have. You know I was what twenty eight I feel like. I haven't accomplished anything at this time. Caroline did you go to your high school reunion being in no did you. Yeah I I still have really good friends from high school so I thought it was Super Fun but I totally get it. If you don't don't WanNa go but it sounded like he wanted to go. He just needed a confidence booster and that oddly enough came from his