A beard is a tough thing to pull off in our current climate. It’s seen by authority figures and anyone in the Baby Boomer generation or older as rebellious, sloppy, and lazy. Amongst the younger set, anything longer than a half an inch or so is immediately perceived as hipster and faux-masculine. A long beard on a 20 year old is akin to his $450 painted axe he bought for his reclaimed-wood dinner table in his $2200 a month loft in Brooklyn his parents pay for.
But the rumblings of a return to real masculinity are picking up steam and with that, I believe we’ll see a return to the beard’s credibility. It won’t be worn in irony or as a desperate attempt to have some semblance of testosterone, but instead will be accepted as a man embracing his own masculinity.
In the meantime, here’s an interesting infographic about the history of beards and what they’ve meant at different times and in different cultures.