It has been a long debate, especially in recent years, on whether or not a man should have a beard or be clean-shaven. A lot of individuals believe that a beard distinguishes a man from a boy; making him more masculine. For a lot of men, growing a beard is a rite of passage; it signifies when we have made the transition from boyhood to becoming a man.
There are many arguments on both sides of the fence, for either sporting a beard and mustache or being clean-shaven. Many believe that facial hair is our god-given gift, and to shave would be considered “wrong”. One of the weaker arguments is that women have the makeup that they can wear, and men have facial hair that we can shape to our preferences. Visit www.groenerekenkamer.com to read more about beard grooming tips
In modern years, we have seen the belief surface that men can be either clean-shaven or have a beard, depending on what they choose to wear and what fashion trends they are going for. Not having a beard does not signal more feminity or lack of masculinity by today’s standards.
There are a lot of stereotypes as relates to beards; with as many negative as there are positive. For instance, it is believed that men with beards are wiser, have a higher social standing, exude more masculinity, and are better lovers in bed. While it can also be believed that men with beards lack proper hygiene, are believed to be eccentric, and are overall more “hickish”.
Having a beard or being clean-shaven has largely changed depending on the styles of the time. For instance, during the 18th century (especially in Europe, America, and Russia), beards were not in style. The upper class was almost always clean-shaven, as this was a sign of your station. Peter the Great of Russia even went so far as to charge a tax penalty on those who were not clean-shaven. Beards would return to favor during the Victorian era. The typical “ideal man” in this period would have either a thick beard or long sideburns.
In the U.S, Abraham Lincoln was the first president to have a beard. It is widely acknowledged that having a beard made him look distinguished. For a long time after Lincoln, it was typical for the President to have some sort of facial hair; that is until 1913. Since then, no president has had any type of facial hair.
Beards would again not be fashionable after World War I. Because of the necessity of gas masks, soldiers would need to be clean-shaven to get the correct seal. This would become the new style set in America after the war, as soldiers would come home being clean-shaven with short hair. This All-American style would remain the norm until the ’60s. Although considered by today’s standards to be unkempt, culture deemed it was the desired look at the time.
There are many religions across the globe that beards are considered important. For instance, Muslims, orthodox Jews, Hindus, and Sikhs all consider having a beard a part of their sacred scriptures. Some religions may allow men to trim their beard but not shave it entirely. For example, the prophet Muhammad would not allow his followers to shave their beards. Instead, they were instructed to trim their mustaches to identify their religion.
By today’s standards, it is much more of personal preference, and men are comfortable with many different facial hairstyles; including being clean-shaven. Some do it out of convenience, while others prefer the way they look with a beard. The reasons for not shaving your face now are more practical than anything, and it all comes down to personal preference.