How many Dad’s, brothers, Uncles, cousins or other relatives do you have with a beard?
Once a sign of stature, man-hood, fertility, and prominence had disappeared over the years with the “manning down” of men.
Clean-cut, no beard, tight jeans, and boyish looks dominated the mainstream media and of course Hollywood.
It was cool and popular to appear less manly and beards were thought of as dirty, nasty, symbols of crazy disturbed men, who were lazy and lacked the zeal, zest, and gusto to take care of themselves.
However, throughout the bible there are many instances where beards were a positive symbol in society.
When some of King David’s men were attacked, clothes torn and beards shaven, he ordered them to stay in a certain location until there beards had grown back in order to avoid public embarrassment and disgrace.
Within the military community, especially special forces, many are encouraged to practice relaxed grooming standards and have full-blown manly beards.
Studies have shown that it intimidates those without them and also emboldens/empowers those with them.
Native American men are well known for having long hair and many of those who would be in recon often talked of serious degradation of natural awareness when made to cut their hair.
Recently there has been a massive resurgence of the beard and acceptance of it within the mainstream and Hollywood.
Many men now find themselves with unexpected challenges growing and managing a manly beard.
For most, the first time their facial hair reaches a certain length, they find themselves with “beard itch”.
Most often those who aren’t accustomed to it end up shaving back their growth and decide it’s too much of a hassle.
The other issue is the appearance of gray hair, that wouldn’t typically show. Men have been known to appear 10-15 years older with their beard and are often times unrecognizable.
One of the more recent and vastly popular Hollywood movies that glamorized the beard was 300. In this movie the story of the 300 Spartans who single-handedly stood against King Xerxes to allow those citizens to escape certain death. In the end the 300 were slain and become prolific heroes and legends of world lore.
As with women the shine of a man’s beard is equated with his physical stamina, strength and prowess. Those with lackluster beards are often the subject of less approval from the women they court.
Like them or not, beards are here to stay and have become and will remain an iconic part of society, economic, and social stature.