May 3, 2010
By: Evan J. Thomas
Attention Men! The beard is making a comeback, of sorts. Throughout history we have seen variations of the beard. Men with beards or facial hair like Abraham Lincoln have been described as wise and knowledgeable. Bearded men are also seen as being masculine making the bearded look a sexually desireable trait. On the other hand, bearded men can also be seen as dirty, crude or eccentric, for example look at how Joaquin Phoenix transformed his look during his acting hiatus as he boasted an unkempt beard. In many cultures beards are associated with nature and outdoorsmen.
This time of year we have the NHL Playoffs and for decades players have been sporting their playoff beards. These playoff beards have become a yearly tradition and are a staple in the NHL. One of the most noteworthy playoff beard moments from back in the day included the red headed and red bearded Lanny McDonald of the Calgary Flames holding up the Stanley Cup in victory.
In the world of Major League Baseball we had the Boston Red Sox and the beards they flaunted during their 2004 World Series campaign. The standout of that group was the “Captain Caveman” scruff look of outfielder Johnny Damon. Damon and his teammates then known as the “Idiots” grew out their facial hair as a sign of team unity. On the other side of the beard spectrum we have the facial hair hating New York Yankees. After the 2004 season, Damon jumped ship to the rival Yankees and spurned the Red Sox Nation. Due to the Yankees rule of no facial hair or long hair, Damon obliged to the rule and cut it all off to the dismay of his loyal following. Along with the Yankees the Cincinnati Reds have a no facial hair rule. Both organizations want their players and staff to have a more “professional” look.
In the pop culture of today we have the Dos Equis beer commercials chronicling some of the bearded guy’s life conquests. In movies there is Alan from The Hangover, the portly and thick bearded social moron but overly hysterical character played by Zach Galifianakis. We also have the masculine ass kicking of the legendary bearded actor Chuck Norris. Some of Hollywood’s leading men have been known to grow some worthy thatch including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and the Sir Sean Connery.
Rock stars usually have the most creative beards. Slayer’s guitarist Kerry King has the shaved head look with his trademark braided goatee beard that comes down to his stomach. ZZ Top’s legendary dueling beards are as famous as their guitar solos.
Men, don’t be afraid to show off your growth, facial hair growth that is. Your facial hair will be your ultimate accessory no matter how you make it. Be creative with it; try different ways so it works for you. It’s all about the style so make it your own.
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