Television and film programs have never been more diverse than it is now. With a wide variety of shows catering to different audiences, entertainment is becoming an incredibly representative, multi-faceted industry. The different genres also guarantee diversity of types of entertainment—horror, comedy, drama, and sci-fi products are consistently of high quality with great acting, soundtracks, and cinematography.

With this growing diversity, it seems strange that beards of all things are the exception that don't receive proper treatment in the media. Indeed, the beard is often neglected on screen and is used in stereotypes rather than being an accepted and normalized character detail. Bearded individuals are generally often untamed or decrepit. This gross misrepresentation of the characters suggests to men that beards are dirty and make a man appear unkept. While beards can have this effect, it only occurs when the beard is itself not well groomed. I recently shaved my facial hair to try and empathize with the commoners who lack the same genetic endowment, and though I regret the decision, I also have a greater appreciation for my jawline and the hair that protects it. A man who maintains a clean, groomed beard is in for a treat, as his beard lends him several great benefits besides looking great.

1. Beards make you not weird, but feared

If you can grow a beard, then you should never feel ashamed for the gift you've been given. Those who beard-shame you are just jealous that you can grow one and they can't. Beards also lend you some street cred that'll make you feel pretty safe when you take a walk at night. Nobody's going to approach the guy with the beard because they're afraid—afraid they'll never grow a beard as dope as yours.

2. They're a winter blanket on your chin

Those have the dreaded baby-face encounter frigid winds and cold temperatures that attack the chin. Going from the warm cradle of a blanket beard to feeling naked and bald outside is an experience I'd never wish upon even my worst enemy—beards are the coats that shield us from the harsh cold of the winter, and would you leave your coat at home in the closet?

3. You're more healthy with a beard

The BBC reported on a study by the Journal of Hospital Infection detailing how among individuals who worked in hospitals, those who shaved were more likely to be carrying infections. Those who had beards had microbes that essentially acted as antibiotics, protecting the men by eliminating dangerous pathogens. Talk about a killer beard.

4. They provide the illusion of maturity

He who shaves does not just cut his hair; he also cuts years off of his perceived age and transforms himself into a vapid man child. You're taken much more seriously when you've got a nice goatee and sideburns to show you're a credible and developed individual. That'll lend you some gravitas in arguments and conversations, and while the baby-faced children around you struggle to seem imposing, you'll be the king presiding over them, dominating the debate.

5. Shaving's just not worth it

Shaving involves putting a blade up to your jawline and neck and pretty much scraping off hair right to your hair follicles. I've never shaved and not cut myself, probably because the hair follicles are a little rougher and just resist shaving. If you mess up, you're looking at cuts in a dangerous area that can start bleeding and keep bleeding for close to a half hour without proper treatment.

The choice should be clear. Shave some time. If you can grow one, don't shave the beard.