|I want to like this. But it looks kind of grimy, don't you think?|
Everyone looks better with a beard don't they? (Well, all men anyway. I don't think it's a particularly good look for me. Which is annoying because the amount of hair that I tweezer out of my face to avoid looking like Brian Blessed would be enough to knit a small hearthrug by the end of the week.)
Actor Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean, Johnny English and the self-parodying Ron Anderson in The Tall Guy) for instance, is nobody's idea of a heart-throb. Yet Lord Blackadder was eminently shaggable, It's amazing what a ruff, earring, codpiece and - of course - an elegantly shaped beard will do for a man.
|Yes I did just objectify Rowan Atkinson. I am a monster.|
The Shipwreck Beard
In much the same way that all dogs are only one step away from reverting back to wolves, all men are a short skip and a jump from becoming shaggy, grunting primitives. And one of the first indications that a man has lost touch with the civilising effects of society, is the growth of a massive shaggy beard.
Think Tom Hanks in Cast Away. Or The Count of Monte Cristo after years of imprisonment in the Chateau D'If. At the beginning of each episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, a crazy-eyed man in rags with wild hair and an even wilder beard would stagger onto the screen and gasp "It's..." When the end of civilisation is upon us, all men will look like that, probably.
The Supervillain Beard
So, how can you tell if you're dating a supervillain? If he lives in a heavily guarded lair inside a volcano, that's probably your first clue. A maniacal laugh is another giveaway. Also a repeated desire to take over the world and make all lesser mortals submit to his will. But if you're still not sure, then check out his facial hair. If he's sporting a teeny tiny immaculately groomed goatee or similar, then yup, you're probably dating a supervillain.
The God Beard
You how you how you can tell for sure that beards are totally awesome? Because God, himself, chooses to sport one. At least in his 'Father' and 'Son' manifestations. Harder to tell with the 'Holy Ghost' because that's rather more ineffable. So it stands to reason that all other all-knowing, all-powerful God-type figures need to sport a similarly beatific bit of facial topiary. Can you imagine a clean-shaven Father Christmas? Or Gandalf? Or Dumbledore? It'd be ludicrous.
I do love the fact that beards have become cool again. I reckon we can thank Movember for that. Lots of cool young things decided to grow facial hair as a 'risk looking slightly stupid' dare in aid of men's health charities only to find when they got to the end of the month, they could look in the mirror and think "You know what? I am totally rocking this look."
And now we are living in an exciting new era of furry chinned footballers, models and popular beat combos. Sure, people might get all sniffy and declare that it's a hipster fad. But, fuck it, I rather like hipsters. I enjoy seeing a young lad heading off to Sainsbury's on a unicycle with a well-tended beard, a pocket-watch and a fedora. So there.
It's funny to think that in 2008, the iconic sex manual The Joy of Sex was updated and the original bearded guy in the illustrations updated with a smooth chinned replacement. Seven years on and I think we are all agreed that beards are the sexiest things ever, right?
Bring back beardy Joy of Sex guy, I say! I am going to start a campaign to have him reinstated by World Beard Day 2016.
|Nose sniffing. A common precursor to sex.|
|This is pretty much what I look like when I haven't plucked for a few days, anyway.|