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.
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.
Hagrid: A solid Harry Potter character working on the side of good, with a magnificent beard.
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.
Peter Sutcliffe. He was the Yorkshire Ripper: there’s nothing good about the owner of that beard.
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.
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.