Trawling through online beard forums is an enjoyable if slightly baffling way to spend a few hours. Users weave fanciful descriptions of their face hair, from “bear-like face blankets” to “flaxen face-locks denoting dignity and wisdom.” Those accused of being obsessed with their beards prefer to think of their face-hair love as a healthy passion. These are all very romantic ways to discuss what are essentially tufts of groomed pubic hair sprouting from faces. It’s no secret that beard incidence has risen like the mercury of thermometers in weird global warming winters. A recent Guardian article even worryingly asks if the trend has reached saturation point, and questions whether men will go clean-shaven to distinguish themselves from the shaggy-faced masses (perish the thought!)
I wonder if it has something to do with the correlating rise in men’s rights groups; emasculated possessors of the y-chromosone celebrating the activity of cultivating thick chin hair as a way to reclaim their masculinity. Hundreds of thousands of onesie-wearing cartoon-watching dudes who play children’s video games well into adulthood, denied the chance to enact the axe-wielding, damsel-ravaging manliness portrayed in Game of Thrones, and surrounded by hordes of feminists calling cunts out for being chauvinists asked themselves: how to be manly? And apparently the answer was to sport a majestic beard. Less analytical reasons for the beard-spike include the fact that wizards have beards, the fact that shaving is a pain in the ass, and the following images of babing beard-owners that support a recent study’s finding that 60% of women find bearded men more attractive than their clean-shaven counterparts.