Antithesis of Manhood: Beard Edition

Boy “hipsters” who spend $8,500 for “facial hair transplants” — calling such silliness an “investment” — are pretenders at manhood.

Why? From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (para. 2113):

Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry wherever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc.  Jesus says, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” [fn. Mt. 6:24.] Many martyrs died for not adoring “the Beast” [fn. Gal. 5:20; Eph. 5:5.] refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.

beardfatherWhen we prioritize the cultivation our own image — especially when we “invest” thousands of dollars to do so — we affirm what the Church rejects: “a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body” which “…can lead to the perversion of human relationships.” (CCC 2289).

In the case of elective cosmetic surgical procedures like “facial hair transplants”, a man would properly ask the following questions:

  1. Does elective cosmetic surgery warrant accepting the inherent risks and complications that accompany any surgical procedure? In other words, am I being a good steward of my body, avoiding unnecessary risks? What would happen to the people who rely on me if something goes wrong?
  2. How does elective cosmetic surgery advance and articulate the truth of my body as an “image of God” and “temple of the Holy Spirit”? (CCC 364).
  3. How does elective cosmetic surgery in the name of fashion or aesthetics exemplify the requirement of respect for human dignity in the practice of the virtue of temperance, so as to moderate attachment to this world’s goods? (CCC 2407).
  4. In light of the call to practice solidarity with “the least of these” — and as I consider whether or not to undergo elective cosmetic surgery — am I properly answering the call to perform corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, and bury the dead? (CCC 2447). Is a surgical operation to increase the thickness of my facial hair the best way to use my time, talent, and treasure?
  5. By spending my money in this way, am I glorifying and pleasing God?

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