As the wife of a Dr Fox, I’ve spent the last week shuddering every time I’ve read a newspaper headline. Fortunately for me, my husband has a resplendent beard – but I’m not it.
When I was a younger woman, I shied away from men with beards. L’homme barbu seemed to my naïve, wastrel self a fuzzy creature of darkness: lurking in the 10 o’clock shadows, hiding all manner of filthy secrets behind his facial furniture, face looking like a 1970s lady’s parts, and smelling faintly of breakfast egg. Dirty.
As a woman matures, however, she inevitably develops a taste for a rainbow of acquired tastes: black olives, red wine, blue cheese, and brown beards. Mmm, beards. Warm, nuzzly, soft, fluffy, tickly, prickly, marshy – beards.
Now I feel that the hirsute gentleman shines a little brighter than his clean-shaven brothers. Not all men are fortunate enough to be able to grow a beard; fewer have the strength of character and perseverance required to maintain and nurture a faceful of full-on fur. I think big bushy beard is the sign of a resilient, defiant, snugly, and damn sexy person.
I’m really quite jealous. I just turned 34, so it’s possible another 36 years before I can start growing a beard of my own. In the meantime, here’s why I think beards are the best.
Beards Mean Love
I might, let’s say, go out on to the street and ask 100 people who are their top three beard-bearers. If I did, I could perhaps find that the majority might say: Father Christmas, Jesus, and him out of the Joy of Sex. And they’d be right, because these three hirsute gentlemen are model representations of the loving nature of the beard. Beardies are givers, not takers.
Beards mean power
My survey might also have returned the following bearded results, in no particular order: Henry VIII, Billy Gibbons, Shakespeare, God. All really quite powerful men, who would be rendered impotent (one might imagine) had they not beards.
Beards mean socialism
With a right wing government spoiling everyone’s fun at the moment, there’s never been a better time for the workers to rise up … and grow some full on Marxist beards. Keith Flett, founder of the Beard Liberation Front, has got the right idea. He tells us “Beards are politically progressive. All the great revolutionary socialists had a beard. Stalin had a moustache."
Beards mean success
Sean Connery, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp. All clean-shaven gentlemen during their early acting careers. Now they’ve made it, what better way to show the world they’ve arrived as Kings of the silver screen than by growing fantastic face fur.
Beards mean strength
This year’s Rugby World Cup has seen more beards than ever before (probably), especially in the strongest of all positions: tight-bearded head prop. Martin Castriogiovanni, Adam Jones, Dan Cole, Juan Figallo: all heavyweight beard-bearers. Special non-prop mention for Adam Kleeburger’s stupdendous face-mane.
Beards mean brains
Confucius, Einstein, Lincoln, Che Guevara, and Doc the Dwarf. Everybody knows that that the brightest boy in the bunch is marked out by good serving of facial hair.