A Beard? Hirsutes You, Sir!

February 25, 2013

John Lewis has caused a stir. Their advertising campaign for the spring/summer menswear features a model with… a big bushy beard. It’s been called Hobo Chic and urban woodsman amongst the fashionistas. I couldn’t give a monkey’s arse about the labels: he looks great. John Lewis has played a blinder here. You’d usually find this kind of model fronting the campaign for some hipster store in Shoreditch.

John Lewis model with beard

Beardy people have not been shut away from popular culture: they’ve always been there. But depending on the owner, the beard can be seen as a force for good, or evil. Try these for size.

Santa Claus. Good, but slightly creepy in shopping centre grottos.

santa claus children's ride

Hagrid: A solid Harry Potter character working on the side of good, with a magnificent beard.

Hagrid from Harry Potter

Michael McDonald. He’s really good. There are, and have been, lots of hairy musicians, but McDonald’s voice is terrific. And he has the best beard.

Michael McDonald Sweet Freedom album cover

Peter Sutcliffe. He was the Yorkshire Ripper: there’s nothing good about the owner of that beard.

Peter Sutcliffe the Yorkshire Ripper

So, it looks like beards are back in town. For those who’ve worn them since the last millennium, its no big deal, but for others, it’s the green light to bin the razors and let it all hang out. Even Disney now allows beards to be worn by their employees at Disney World. But not a full on Captain Birdseye, you understand. That would itch like merry hell when you’re already sweating like a pig in a Minnie Mouse suit.

If you want to see the power of the beard, look no further than Hollywood. Clean-shaven Ben Affleck, after winning his first Oscar made a few decent films (and a lot of stinkers), looking like Guy Smiley from Sesame Street. But that was BA (before Argo). Once he donned the beard and 70s hair for that film, he looked more serious, more mature. He made a beard look good.

Ben Affleck in Argo

Even as he was snubbed by the Academy for Best Director, the beard came in like Chuck Norris, beating them about the head and bagging him the Best Picture Oscar, aided by the equally hirsute George Clooney. Stay hairy, Ben: it’s working for you.

So go forth and grow! Let your face hair flow wild and free! Success is yours if you remember this mantra: the beard is the power, the power and the glory. Forever and ever… amen.



  1. Beardies of the world unite

    • Make that placard! Take to the streets! Your time has come…

  2. Oh dear, this means it’s time to work on my Jedi powers. If Brad Pitt gets wind of this, I’m going to have to work overtime to keep him from crossing back over to the dark (and hirsute) side.

    • Brad may well be the only good looking Hollywood actor who manages to look like a hobo whenever he grows a beard. There could be a vacancy advertising for John Lewis if his fallow period coincides with his facial accessory.

  3. You’ve bigged up the beard so successfully it makes me wish I could grow one myself!!

    • You do whatever makes you happy. But don’t do it alone! Why not gather a few inhabitants of Royal Tunbridge Wells and do a group beard growth. The most successfully cultivated one wins a turnip. Or something.

  4. A fascinating article! We shall add this to the Center for Beard Related Studies’ archives forthwith.

    • Sir. If my small essay contributes to understanding the efficacy of the beard, then my work is done. I thank you for taking the time to comment on this blog. I welcome your speedy return.

  5. […] A Beard? Hirsutes You, Sir! (pienbiscuits.wordpress.com) […]

  6. That first guy looks like Benjamin Harrison.

    • I didn’t know who Benjamin Harrison was, so I had to Google him. 23rd President of the United States, eh? Well, if he was around now, he could be next season’s model. He’d have to lose some weight, though. It’s all about size zero these days.

      • He was William H. Harrison’s grandson. (WHH was another president, who caught pneumonia giving his inaugural address. He died from it a month later.)

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