So Someone Called You a Neckbeard


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    There is a lot of talk on the Internet about “neckbeards”, usually used as a pejorative. I get messages from men saying they don’t want to grow a beard because their school mates will make fun of them and call them neckbeards, and I frequently see memes denigrating what are usually fat men wearing fedoras as neckbeards. I’m going to tackle this issue by separating the actual neck beard (a beard that grows on your neck) from the anti-social personality aspects of being “a neckbeard”.

    The Actual Hair on Your Neck

    In addition to the face, many men grow hair on their necks. Men who wear short beards tend to shave their necks, because they are trying to get a neat beard look. However, men with long beards have no need to shave their necks. As the beard grows, it eventually completely covers the neck, obscuring any hair that might grow there. It also becomes much more difficult to shave your neck where you have a long beard, and for this reason, most men with long beards do not shave their neck beards.

    Neck beards used to be in-style. One of my 54 beard styles is called the Chin Curtain, which is a beard style that has been used by men for centuries. It involves shaving all the hair on your face except that which grows under your chin–thus, your neck–and up to your sideburns. Chin Curtains are actually hard to grow. Not every man can grow a thick, full neck-beard, let alone one that continues unbroken up the cheeks and sideburns.

    neckbeard

    Source: Flickr Commons

    neck-beard

    Calvin Ellis Stowe. Source: Flickr Commons

    I recommend Chin Curtains be worn by only those men who have thick and full beard growth, and who want to try something rather unique. For men with thin and patchy beard growth, the Chin Curtain is not the style for you.

    And this brings us to the etymological root of the phrase “neckbeard”. Young men who are growing beards for the first time tend to grow them slowly. They come in patchy at first. This is especially noticeable on the necks of men who are fat, because fat men’s necks can’t be hidden by chins. Thus, young fat men who are growing beards for the first time and who are socially awkward have been dubbed “neckbeards” by their mockers. While not all neckbeards are fat, many are, and they have become iconic of the subculture.

    The Personality

    Let me start by saying that I am fat. I’m not trying to make fun of fat men with this blog post, because I know the struggle. What I want to hone in on are certain personality quirks that neckbeards exhibit that move them from the “fat men with beards” category to the “neckbeards” category.

    There is an entire subreddit (two of them) dedicated to this. I encourage you to study these subreddits, which should be interesting to anyone who is fascinated by subcultures.

    To be blunt, neckbeards are not the kind of men we want to be, because neckbeards fail at the social challenges of life that lead to success. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I inevitably will because no one wants their lifestyle challenged. This guide is not for those who are happy being neckbeards. I’m writing this as an honest, helpful guide for those young men who are neckbeards and don’t want to be–who inexplicably find themselves living as neckbeards and don’t know how they got there, and who want out. To do so, I’ll break neckbeardism down into it’s five basic pillars.

    1) Awkwardness Around Women

    Neckbeards are awkward around women because they have no experience with them. Healthy boys grow up with at least some limited interest from girls. This interest gives them some experience and confidence around women, enabling them to be successful with women as young adults. Neckbeards, being fat, pimply, or having some other imperfection, grow up with no interest from the opposite sex. This robs them of the social education they need at a young age to know how to act around women. Even neckbeards with sisters and female cousins still lack this necessary education growing up, because behavior around female family and potential romantic partners is, obviously, completely different.

    This awkwardness manifests as over-politeness, which is often mocked by others using words like “m’ilady” and other archaic language. Neckbeards make the mistake of thinking that being nice to girls will get you a girlfriend. Instead, this locks them firmly in the friend-zone. Out of desperation, and fear of being rejected, neckbeards remain overly friendly and accommodating, which is great for making friends, but very bad for making romantic relationships because women, like men, want partners who are confident. Confidence and honesty are bedmates. A confident man will tell a woman what he actually thinks. This truthfulness is an attractive quality. A neckbeard with no confidence will tell a woman what he thinks she wants to hear. This is the opposite of honesty–it is cunning, which is an unattractive quality.

    nexkbeards-women

    neckbeard-sex

    Sometimes neckbeards go too far the other way and become cocky, arrogant, and rude. These behaviors come from the same place as shyness–inexperience with women. A neckbeard’s arrogance makes his own inexperience obvious, completely backfiring on him and making him undesirable.

    neckbeard-romance

    For fat neckbeards who are awkward around women, the cure is not easy, but it is simple, and there are two steps. The first step is to not care what women think of you. This doesn’t mean that you are rude. You are polite, but you pursue other things that interest you without caring what others think. If you truly don’t care what a woman thinks about you, then this gives you the confidence to ask her out. If she says no, you are not crushed, because you have no fear of rejection. If she says yes, you don’t make a big deal out of it. You treat her with respect and courtesy. You understand that you both are trying to get something out of this relationship (respect, companionship, admiration, honesty), and you not only give it, but you expect it. If you don’t expect it, then you open the door to being walked all over and eventually pushed into the friend zone.

    Here’s the second step: lose weight. I say this as a fat man. I know how hard it is to lose weight. I realize that it is much easier said than done. But the harsh reality is that healthy men find romance easier than fat men, and they have many more options.

    2) Hygiene

    Neckbeards are often accused of having poor hygiene. This is often an untrue stereotype–neckbeards can have excellent hygiene–but neckbeards give the appearance of having poor hygiene by wearing thin, patchy beards, and suffering from the side effects of obesity, which include acne, excess sweating, and bad breath.

    smelly-neckbeard

    The only fix for the side effects of obesity is to lose weight–a topic I won’t cover here (as I am unfit to do so!). However, I can help you with your beard.

    While I respect your decision to grow a beard, I encourage you to shave every day until your beard comes in full. Young men, in their excitement to finally be growing whiskers, tend to leave unsightly patches on their chins and cheeks, and thin, scraggly mustaches. These do not look good, and many people will mistake your conscious decision to grow a beard as simple lack of hygiene. Instead, shave with a straight razor until your beard starts growing in full–which should happen in your early 20s.

    If you are a grown man and you still have a patchy beard, then read my guide to growing a full beard. In short, there are a few things you can do:

    • Minoxidil. Minoxidil (Lipogaine) is a natural substance that dilates your capillaries, bringing more nutrients from your blood to your follicles. If you have follicles on your face, using minoxidil every day will cause you to grow a beard, no matter your age. It takes months of use before you see an effect, and you have to use it forever, but it works. Read my guide to beard growth serum for more info.
    • Beard growth vitamins. Use beard growth vitamins if your diet is unhealthy, or you feel like your beard is patchy due to your bad diet. Read my guide for more info.
    • Testosterone. Many men lack testosterone, especially those who don’t do much physical activity. Ask your doctor if you need to take a testosterone supplement. I recommend TestWorx. Also, here is a great guide on how to boost your testosterone naturally without drugs.

    3) Lack of Style

    Neckbeards are ignorant about style, mainly because only a small percentage of clothing can fit them. It is hard for a man of style to be fat. Go into any department store and take a look at the clothing available to “Big & Tall” men–tshirts, polo shirts, and jeans. That’s it. Slacks, dress shirts, sweaters; none of them fit. This is why you see neckbeards in their stereotypical style: jeans and tshirts.

    milady

    Neckbeards wear fedoras for sheer lack of clothing options. The only items of clothing they can wear like everyone else on earth are hats and shoes, so they go ape-snot bonkers and wear fedoras with everything. The fedora has become an icon of the neckbeard because neckbeards try to wear it with everything. What they don’t realize is that fedoras are to be worn outdoors only, and only when wearing an overcoat.

    neckbeard-fedora

    Neckbeards in fedoras look silly in the same way a man in a tshirt and a top hat would look silly. The tophat is an archaic hat style, that is typically only worn for formal occasions like weddings. Fedoras are also an archaic hat style, but even when they were in their prime, they were only ever worn outside and with other outdoor clothing like overcoats.

    fedora-neckbeard

    Finally, the most popular fedora style neckbeards wear is the trilby. The trilby is a fedora with an exceedingly short brim. This hat style was originally worn by women. It is a feminine hat. So we have a fat man wearing a strange hat with a short brim, and the whole thing comes undone.

    Here are some style guidelines for neckbeards:

    • Get some shirts tailor-made. Stop shopping in department stores if you can’t find anything your size. Instead, buy your shirts online at Tailor4Less or Paul Fredrick, which will have dress shirts in your size.
    • Never wear a hat indoors.
    • If you wear a fedora, buy one with a wide brim.
    • Do not wear a fedora unless you also wear an overcoat.
    • Fedoras are not “better” the more stripes, feathers, badges, and other nonsense they have. Get a simple, single-color fedora, with maybe a band.
    • Try cutting your hair. Long hair rarely looks good on big men.

    For more tips on style, read my other blog, Scotch & Smoke Rings.

    4) Atheism

    Angry atheism has become a hallmark of neckbeards. I’m not going to comment on the validity of atheism as a philosophy, but instead I’ll focus on respect. Neckbeard atheists are often depicted as being loud, rude, and crude. This behavior comes from a lack of respect for people of faith. Since neckbeards rarely find a voice in the real world (being timid, lacking confidence, and suffering from bullies), neckbeards turn to the internet to form relationships and spout ideas. One drawback to this is that, on the Internet, you rarely see the face of the person you’re talking to. This leads men to dehumanize their opponent in an argument, leading to trolling, online bullying, vulgarity, and snide, immature mockery. This behavior is justified in the mind of the neckbeard, because he really thinks of religious people (especially Christians), as stupid, and even dangerous.

    neckbeard-atheist

    Instead, neckbeards should develop respect for people they don’t agree with. This respect will likely come with age, as they are exposed to more people in the real world, and discover that people can be interesting, intelligent, and even fun to be around, even if they believe something you oppose. However, it will advance the career and social progress of a neckbeard if he learns this lesson early in life. Employers don’t like hiring men who alienate others in the office, and women find arrogance repulsive.

    5) Japanophilia

    Finally, neckbeards tend to be Japanophiles. They love watching Japanese animation (anime). They listen to Japanese and Korean music (j-pop and k-pop), and slowly begin to identify with Japanese culture.

    This is a natural reaction to being rejected by their own. Because they have failed to find respect and romance in the Western world, they turn to the East, often aided by romantic yet unrealistic depictions of Japan in anime, comics, and film. Leaning towards atheism, they think they have more in common with a culture not dominated by Christianity. They collect anime posters and figurines. They have at least one katana. Their eyes light up when you say the name Hatsune Miku. They want to date a Japanese girl, because they mistakenly think Japanese girls are more likely to date them than Western girls.

    neckbeard-japan

    The grim reality is that if you were to pluck a neckbeard from his home and plop him down in the streets of Tokyo, he would have less success in his social relationships than he does today. While the East is fascinating, their cultures suffer from many of the same struggles found in the West, because the Japanese are human too. Japanese men and women still have to play the same cat-and-mouse romantic dance that Western men find so tiring. In fact, Japan is actually suffering from an economic decline brought on by a flatlining population and a low fertility rate. The Telegraph recently reported that 50% of Japanese don’t have sex–this includes the married.

    Japan is also not an atheist country. 80% of the population practice Shintoism, a traditional religion of Japan that emphasizes ancestor worship. Another 34% practice Buddhism. If a neckbeard were to show the same kind of contempt towards these Japanese traditions as he does towards Western religion, he would deeply insult everyone around him and make few friends.

    While there is nothing wrong with admiring Japanese art and culture, the problem is in abandoning reality for fantasy. It’s foolish thinking that the Japan depicted by anime is in any way real, or that somehow if only you had been born in Japan, your life would be better. Such fantasies are forms of escapism, which, though understandable, are not the aspects of a healthy personality–and are therefore unattractive to potential mates, friends, and employers.

    The Long and Short of It

    I don’t have it all figured out yet. Sometimes I lack confidence. Sometimes I’m too arrogant. Heck, sometimes I wear a hat indoors. I don’t offer myself as the perfect example of the anti-neckbeard, because I’m still growing. My hope is that young men who feel lost in society can use this post as a cornerstone upon which they build up their confidence, personal style, and statesmanship.

    For young neckbeards that need specific steps, or don’t know where to start, here are two suggestions:

    1) Focus on your career. You don’t need to have everything figured out yet, but spend your time thinking about what amazing adventures you will get into as an adult–adventures that fulfil the practical needs of your life, like salary and health care. Shadow professionals. Intern at companies that interest you, or become a trade apprentice. Research the salaries of the jobs you like best, or find people who work in those careers and befriend them. Pursue this first, and the rest will come in time.

    2) While you pursue career, don’t completely block out romance. If you obsess over work too much, you may wake up in your 30s missing the children you never had and the wife and companion you never pursued. Instead, keep your options and eyes open as you live. Go out with friends when invited, and invite friends to your events. Take advantage of social opportunities at work and school. Most importantly, talk to women. Once you get used to talking to women as coworkers or classmates, you’ll find it easier to talk to women as friends, which makes it easier to pursue a woman for romance.

    The only person who can rescue you from a neckbeard life in the friend-zone, is you.



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    About the Author

    Brandon M. Dennis
    Greetings, fellow beardsmen! I'm a beard health expert and journalist working out of Seattle, Washington. I'm also an author, marketer, and story-teller. Read my swashbuckling fantasy sea adventure novel, The Tale of Cloran Hastings, and click my name to learn more about me. Enjoy the site!
    Brandon M. Dennis

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    Comments

    1. Muffinsticks says:

      Not so sure about some of the stuff at the end… as if you can’t watch anime and have a successful career, or be primarily interested in japanese culture and not really others =P Not saying this cuz I’m defensive, I’m not even a neckbeard nor a japanophile. Just seems like an unrealistic expectation of neckbeards who want to be a respectable adult.

      Maybe you didn’t mean it that way, if so, sorry and don’t mind me.

      • Muffinsticks says:

        Oh, I enjoyed the rest of it by the way :3 It seemed fair and friendly til the end.

      • No worries my friend. I’m not sure how someone can have a full-time career and still find time for a devotion to anime, to the extent that many neckbeards do. For me, I love reading, playing MMOs, and building model ships, but I haven’t done any of those things for years because my work and family consume my time. My family rarely goes to the movies because we are just so busy. So I find it hard to imagine a successful businessman who stills has room in his life for such a passionate hobby. Hobby is, I think, a light word, as many neckbeards really identify personally with their devotion to Japanophilia, and turn it into a lifestyle.

        It’s quite possible for men to be able to multitask better than me. Maybe I just use my work time poorly. I wanted to leave room for Japanese culture and art in the anti-neckbeard’s life, while making sure to emphasize that his Japanophilia must be demoted from “lifestyle” to “side-interest” in order to maintain a successful life.

        Thanks for your comment. I wanted the end where I talk about the anti-neckbeard to be challenging and humorous, not unkind. I look forward to reading more comments to see if I need to revise it.

        • Muffinsticks says:

          I see, I can trust you didn’t mean ill of it.

          It seems biased to say that one can’t find time to be passionate about anime. If you can find time for MMOS and building model ships with a busy schedule and a family, then others without those interests would be able to pursue their own hobbies that seem to soak up all their time, be it anime, or hunting, or anything else. Because yknow people can watch anime as a hobby or interest or even as a passionate interest without it going to the absurd lengths that people who are disconnected from reality may take it.

          I can say your last few paragraphs gave me the impression that you see anyone who watches anime as someone who is obsessed and a japanophile and most assuredly does nothing but watch anime all day.

          I tend to overanalyze and take things too seriously however, and I can tell it wasn’t meant to attack anyone. That’s just the tone it seemed to have to me.

          • Please read my last comment again. You’ll see that I said that I do not do those things that I enjoy, like building model ships and playing MMOs, because I don’t have time to do them and have a career and be a father.

            I have no greater bias against Japanophilia than I do against model ship building. My point is that all the time we spend on our hobbies could be put to better use. Imagine what we could achieve if the hours we sunk into watching TV or playing video games was instead spent learning a language or learning a trade like welding. Women, friends, and employers are much more interested in men who can talk intelligently about roaring value of the Swiss franc, than those who can recount every plot twist of Sailor Moon.

            • Muffinsticks says:

              Oh whoops, I misread. Sorry bout that.

              I don’t largely disagree with you. I see now you were just trying to outline a sort of “perfect” manly self.

            • I honestly don’t understand how you imagine others cannot do such things in their spare time. Anime is literally just animation, it’s the same thing as getting home from work and turning the trash on tv on.

              People in jobs from 8-5 have plenty of after-work time to do a majority of things, that includes gaming and building model ships. You have children, but it sounds a little like you need to work out with your partner on if she can take the kids for a few hours so you can have some relaxation and you do the same for her every few days.

              I do watch anime myself, though it all sits around for weeks until I decide to watch a series, simply because although I like to watch it, I find other things a little more enjoyable.

              I think your points in the actual article are fine though, I didn’t get the sense you were saying only the neckbeard likes or does such things.

            • I do agree that most people have time for leisurely activities outside of work, like enjoying anime. My point is that, while this is technically true, I believe most neckbeards (remember, this article is just neckbeards) indulge in hobbies to an unhealthy degree. From what I have seen, many neckbeards move beyond “this is my casual hobby” to “this hobby is my identity”–and that, I think, detracts from career, romance, and life.

    2. Good read, except for the fat part I was tht person a what now seems long time ago.

      One interesting to say that Japan or Korea or wherever is not necessarily a bad place to go. It is for many people way to reset their life. Expectations, people everything changes. Working holiday visa is easy and awesome.

      Time management. I am now married and have a kid, half Japanese hahaha 😉 anyway the key is treating life as day in the army. Strict schedule and routine frees up crazy amounts of time. Not enough to play MMOs but enough to read comics, play games, hit gym 2-3 times a week. Run almost daily and play with the kid, I love biking with her.

      Confidence comes from doing hard stuff and overcoming. So as a not fit person one advice I would give to a neck beard teen is start running, sign up for Meathon. I did it in my 30s and it changed my life, also when you do get your working holiday visa and head to Japan u will enjoy yourself more. Plus Japanese love running :)

      • Routine and a strict schedule are very important tools–I couldn’t agree more! Keeping myself to a strict schedule is where I fail. This may be why I feel like I’m constantly working. When I adhere to a strict schedule, I am happier and I get more things done.

    3. Random bypasser says:

      “My point is that all the time we spend on our hobbies could be put to better use. Imagine what we could achieve if the hours we sunk into watching TV or playing video games was instead spent learning a language or learning a trade like welding.”

      I think that’s pretty close-minded view of things. Why would learning a new language or learning how to weld be more meaningful to someone, than enjoying their time with games or TV? Learning a language is easy, but maintaining it is hard – learning a language for the giggles is pretty pointless, since that skill will diminish when not used. I would say it’s worth it only if you plan on moving abroad or see yourself using it daily in the future for whatever reason. And I’m saying this from an experience – I’ve learned and then pretty much forgotten two languages, mostly because I don’t need more than my native language and English in my daily life.

      As for learning a trade…unless you plan on making it your profession or it ties in with your hobbies, I see no purpose there either.

      Also, saying that “Women, friends, and employers are much more interested in men who can talk intelligently about roaring value of the Swiss franc, than those who can recount every plot twist of Sailor Moon.” is pretty weird as well. I have plenty of friends, including women, who are interested in various subjects, including video games and anime. Maybe your statement holds true in your little sphere of existence, but it certainly does not in mine – generalizing to that extent is never very good.

      The reason I felt like I needed to comment was that those sentiments reminded me way too much of my parents generation – how games, comics, TV and etc. are just meaningless waste of time and we should be spending our time more wisely. Yet they never really elaborated on what I should be spending my time on or why it is somehow more meaningful .I think we should all just make sure we enjoy every available moment as we best see fit. Just because I like to spend my free time consuming fiction in every form possible, doesn’t mean I’m somehow wasting my time. Unless someone tells me that the meaning of life can be found through welding, then I will continue to “waste my time” instead of honing my welding skills. Watching TV with your SO, playing video games with your kids, playing board games with your friends – I wouldn’t give those up for anything.

      Rather than trying to negate or judge the lifestyle and/or choices of other people, I think it’s just better to say that they don’t suit your personally. In the end, we all will have to look back on our lives and decide if we spent it well or not. Through books, video games, anime and movies, I’ve experienced so much more than I could have in my own life, that I will have no regrets.

      • I explained in an article on bloggingwithclass.com that reading is a luxury for the rich. I think the same is true for hobbies like ship building and Japanimation.

        Look, if one is a multi-millionaire who will never have to “work” again, then he should feel no shame in indulging his curiosity with hobbies. However, if one is not there yet–if one has not achieved his ambitions, created a successful life that supports his family, and become the best man he can be, then any time spent doing anything other than achieving those goals is time wasted on oneself. Of course, learning a new language or learning to weld is complete self-indulgence, unless those talents can be used as a practical way to make a living, which was the point I was aiming at. If I sound too much like your parent’s generation, then that is only because they are the generation that lived through the great depression, or defeated Hitler. Past generations knew the meaning of self-sacrifice, and because of that, achieved great things.

        I think many neckbeards are men who long for something more. Men who want wives, thriving careers, and children. Men who want castles of their own, and fortune enough to do some good in the world. Any man who has this in his heart, and spends his life lacking the confidence to do anything more than play video games and collect Japanimation figurines, needs the swift kick in the pants that I’m giving here.

        For those men who really have become the best men they can be, have achieved all the greatness they every want, and are completely and utterly fulfilled with their lives, then this article can be happily ignored by them. My bet is that most men don’t feel this way.

        I certainly don’t.

        If one’s meaning in life is to do what is most pleasurable, then neckbeards need not change. I would argue that most neckbeards actually don’t enjoy their lives as much as they would like to, despite spending all their time doing things they like.

        This is because the meaning of life is more than self-indulgence. The happiest people have the means to give, because they worked hard during their youth to earn it. Read my article on children. In it I explain how most people, in their old age, don’t regret the anime they never watched or the novels they never read, but the children they never had and the greatness they never achieved. People whose lives are the most fulfilled have done hard things well.

        • Muffinsticks says:

          Hard work and self sacrifice will make most people happy, it seems pretty universal. But there’s really no need to condescend people who choose not to make every waking moment about work and money and family. You don’t need a castle to be a man, and not every man wants tons of money, or an ambitious career, or a family. And you really expect everyone to never read a single book until they’re elderly and millionaires? Really? I almost started to agree with you… I think you have a good message, but you’re a tad extreme with it.

          You can be the WW2 era hero you wanna be, and it’s cool to inspire others to do the same if they see fit, but people aren’t wrong for disagreeing, and they’re certainly not an automatic neckbeard.

          • I do not think he was condecending at all. Disagree with him, it is your right just as it is his right to speak his mind. I think the key paragraph in his reply to you was this:

            “For those men who really have become the best men they can be, have achieved all the greatness they every want, and are completely and utterly fulfilled with their lives, then this article can be happily ignored by them. My bet is that most men don’t feel this way.”

            If you feel fulfilled by working every moment then do your best to do so, if not then don’t but whatever you do, do your best to be the person you want to be.

            • Muffinsticks says:

              That paragraph implies that you can only ignore his advice shamelessly if you’re the best man you can be. And he bets that anyone who isn’t this sort of ideal man is sad and needs his advice.

          • Part of being a healthy, well-rounded adult is having time to wind down. This is where hobbies play their important part. Watching movies, reading books, and watching anime are all fine and healthy hobbies.

            The problem is when these hobbies become lifestyles. When one’s time is spent on hobbies to the extent that other aspects of one’s life suffer, such as career, family, romance, and finances, then one needs to reevaluate how one spends his time.

            This article explores the personality quirks of “neckbeards”, which is a term I did not invent that has gained mainstream usage to describe a certain subculture of antisocial men. One need not project what I describe here as neckbeard behavior onto other people in other subcultures.

            Again, I will say that I wrote this article for neckbeards who want to learn more about how their behavior is perceived by others, in an effort to reevaluate their own priorities and change.

            • Muffinsticks says:

              A lot of what you’re said doesn’t reflect the attitude you expressed just now. If hobbies are important, why does the anti-neckbeard need to give up his hobbies? I don’t doubt that you want to be helpful, but I’ll criticize your words anyway because they ring false.

            • He need not give them up. Rather, he may enjoy them in moderation, instead of making them part of his identity.

    4. That is in fact not a fedora
      also in gif with sword that is super impressive clean cut with really good edge alignment

      • Muffinsticks says:

        Lol I was staring at it, searching for signs of editing or fakery, but saw nothing, and also thought it was a nice cut. Nobody judges people with guns and shooting ranges, why judge people who wanna cut bottles with swords =P

        • It is a weird technique though very cartoonish. but swords are cool, if person wants to spend time practicing. Why not? Would be more awesome to use realistic traditional technique but hey whatever make it fun

          • I agree; the hobby is harmless. My point is that moderation is important. The man who works hard achieving greatness has earned the right to collect swords in his spare time. The man who doesn’t, hasn’t.

    5. Ockert Smuts says:

      With you up untill the end. “He has stopped watching anime, because he is too busy with his successful career to waste time on cartoons. He no longer owns anime figurines or wall scrolls because he sold them all to pay off his debt…”
      Like how, to be accepted into Society, I had to give up my love for corney Scifi shows and sell my dorky Stamp collection?

      To quote Mr C.S Lewis:
      “To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence.”

      Someone confiden in themselves should be able to continue their hobbies in moderation and still be able to find someone special (Wife or Husband) who shares or accepts their hobbies.

      • Excellent comment. I admire your quotation of C.S. Lewis.

        I should probably clarify my anti-neckbeard segment. As I said in a response to Muffinsticks above, I think spending time on hobbies like anime is fine, if done in moderation as a way to wind-down and decompress from a hard day of work. The problem is when these hobbies become lifestyles–when a neckbeard identifies with his chosen hobby–when that hobby moves from being something he does to something he is.

        I’ll edit my concluding segment to make this more clear.

    6. The last part of your post is deeply condescending. I’m not fat, I’m not socially rejected for my appearance and mannerisms, I don’t wear fedoras, I apparently have a good dress sense and all in all the biggest physique problem I can really complain about is my wonky nose. I have all the reasons in the world to tell “neckbeards” to smarten up, lose weight, find a replacement for anime/an obsession with Japanese culture and all that, but I don’t. Meanwhile, I think that you think you’re in a much better place than them because you get sex and money. You’re the American dream come true!

      Well, look. First of all, you’re generalising women to an incredible degree. I think very poorly of most feminism because it’s over the top, politically correct policing, but your views are nothing but sexist. Are you sure ALL women are attracted to confident men? Are you sure ALL women are attracted to men with with big life plans? Are you sure ALL women are attracted to money? Hell – are you sure all women are even attracted to men? You portray women as this single entity, this hive mind whose inner workings have been deciphered by your incredible talent for crafting a self-improvement scheme, and while I can see your point, the way you get it across is archaic. And that’s putting it nicely.

      Second, you’re assuming that you’re the model that every neckbeard should follow. Every NB should aspire to have your lack of interest in solely Japanese culture, every NB should aspire to dress like you, every NB should aspire to have a wife like you, sex like you, kids like you, a job like you, money like you. See the problem here? There are plenty of lifestyles out there, yet you’re marketing yours as the best. Honestly, I felt quite a lot of pity for you, because you seem to have become self-absorbed by your own “successes” whilst forgetting that not everyone wants or needs massive amounts of money, a family, or sex, or anything you necessarily want.

      This takes me to my third and last point: Money. You believe that everyone should be trying to earn a fortune by working. You’ve even admitted, with a seeming lack of intentional irony, that you don’t have time for entertainment because you’re so busy working and with your family. That is, quite frankly, ridiculous. You’re overworking yourself to a degree where you openly admit you don’t have time to disconnect and actually enjoy some time by yourself. You’re not working to live, you’re living to work. I grew up without a father. I have one parent and one brother, so there’s 2 children for 1 mother. We don’t have tonnes of money. In fact, I can only just afford to pay a minute amount of rent for a small and shabby flat with two friends, but you know what? I’m satisfied! I have a partner, I have entertainment and time to enjoy it, and generally speaking I can dedicate weekends entirely to myself, my partner and friends. I don’t have a job that provides £200K a year and I will never want one, because that would tear my life apart. I’m happy with £2000 a month because I don’t need anything else than that. Yet you seem to be obsessed with the idea that more money = better life, and honestly, I think you’ve lost your sense of perspective.

      • My goal is not to advocate a personality change that makes a man attractive to all women, all employers, and all friends. If you can find someone who is, let me know. I’d like to meet him. I take it for granted that not all women are turned off by Japanophiles–that in fact some women love anime, love video games, and count themselves as part of that subculture. It is so obvious that I felt it did not need mentioning.

        Instead, my aim is to explain to neckbeards that many women, including the ones they want to be with, value honesty, confidence, and ambition above self-indulgence and cunning. I don’t think I’m far from the truth when I say that most women see Japanophilia as a turn-off. Some don’t. Most do.

        I make it clear that I have not found the success I describe in their article. If I was any way unclear, let me emphasize–I am not skinny. I am not rich. I don’t have a million-dollar savings account. I don’t own a home, and I spend far more time watching Netflix than I should. I fight the same struggle my readers do. I don’t say what I say because I want everyone to be like me. On the contrary; I have so many deficiencies that I would urge men to be better than me.

        Instead, I paint a picture of the men we could become, and architect a path to get there. I’m on that path too.

        Like you, I also grew up without a father, who died when I was a kid. I was not raised in riches, but I was happy. My mother loved me and did her best to give us a happy childhood. I am perfectly aware that money does not buy happiness.

        It does, however, buy power. Men can use this power to do good or evil. I believe that good men should earn as much money as they can to do as much good on Earth as possible. This is a personal belief that I am trying to aspire to, and I have in no way come even close to achieving it. I realize, however, that not all men have these ambitions, and are perfectly content to make minimum wage during the day, go home and play video games all night.

        I think that lifestyle is selfish. I think men who are perfectly satisfied with making a little money and then consuming it all with their own hobbies and interests is self-indulgent. Being satisfied with your life is not the meaning of it. In my opinion, self-sacrifice–that is, doing things you don’t necessarily want to do, and keeping yourself from doing the things you’d rather be doing–as a means to achieve something greater, to produce something truly beneficial to the world, is.

        Bill Gates could spend every evening playing League of Legends and watching Dragon Ball Z. Instead, he’s trying to cure malaria. I do think one is better than the other. If you think I’m judging, it’s because I am.

        Now, let’s bring this all back to neckbeards, because much of what we have discussed pertains to a much wider audience. The stereotypical neckbeard, as depicted by countless reddit memes, is the man who prides himself on being able to recount the dialogue from every episode of Naturo, and uses the word “kawaii” in casual conversation more than once each day. My advice to the neckbeard is not to squelch is interest in Japanese art and culture, but to shift his priorities away from being an encyclopedia of anime, to becoming an expert in something more practical that can earn him a decent living by which he can achieve his dreams.

        If he has no dreams, because he is satisfied where he is, then my advice can be happily ignored. I think that lifestyle is selfish, and I won’t repent for believing that. But to each his own.

    7. Excellent article, while I jokingly refer to myself as a neckbeard around close friends I do not actually fit the description (it’s essentially an inside joke due to me and one of my oldest friends both used to have literal neckbeards)… sadly the title doesn’t even apply anymore, my beard has filled in real nicely and is almost 20cm long now (still trying to figure out how to deal with the front being straight hairs and the back and sides being curly… so far the best I’ve figured out is combing it but it doesn’t really help much).

    8. Reading through all the comments and seeing a lot of acid directed towards Brandon’s comments on anime, I think a good many folks took this article a bit too personally. The way I see it, there is a distinct difference between enjoying anime and being an outright japanophile. That difference is quantity. I’ve known some neckbeards in my time and probably would have fit that stereotype in my younger days had I not met some of the people I did. My wife and I both enjoy anime from time to time but in moderation like Brandon says. I focus on my career, my baby boy, and my wife, but we still find time to unwind and enjoy ourselves. I mean, obviously I find time to come online and read a blog about growing beards :D.

      Brandon, this was a great article. It cuts to the core of many of the problems that what I refer to as man-boys have. Thanks for this one!

    9. I’m no neckbeard, but I agree with this part about anime.

      I got lots of attention from girls growing up. I was totally myself.
      But, when I hit college I started watching anime, and I started identifying with this damned “Japan” culture.
      I became more self-conscious and less myself around others. Attention from girls gradually faded.

      During university (computer science) attention was completely gone, because it was a predominantly male environment. I only started to come back to my senses about one year ago, when my “Japan bubble” bursted.
      I am finally a free man again.

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