Saturday, February 1, 2014

Is There Anything More Tedious Than The Triumvirate of the Left? (Race, Sex, and Class As Determiners of Everything)

From the January 2014 Atlantic:
What follows is the lost story of American facial hair. Like countless other histories, it is rife with contradictions. It begins with white Americans at the time of the Revolution who derided barbering as the work of “inferiors.” It continues with black entrepreneurs who turned it into a source of wealth and prestige. And it concludes with the advent of the beard—a fashion born out of desperation but transformed into a symbol of masculine authority and white supremacy.
I have a beard partly to cover over a scar from a cyst removal, partly because I don't like wasting time shaving every morning, but mostly because my wife wants me to have a beard -- she thinks it makes me look better.  At least my beard is not a symbol of masculine authority -- almost the opposite!


  1. My beard appeared the when my electric shaver broke after I had left Navy Air active duty.

    I've still got it over 40 years later. Low hassle compared to shaving.

  2. I wonder if the person looking at American styles in facial hair ever looked at contemporaneous styles from England?

    Or from other parts of Europe?

    I would imagine that England had different reasons for its phases of facial-hair fashion.

    Actually, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that beards were popular in England at time roughly contemporaneous to the times when beards were popular in the United State...

  3. I had read once that beards had something to do with hippies.
    Hippie males grew their hair long to distinguish themselves from the Ivy Leaguer squares who had short hair, and then grew beards so they would be distinguishable from hippie women.
    And how does this race-class-sex thing comport with the historical truth that beards were fashionable until a white man, King Gillette, invented the safety razor and instantly killed the beard. Before that, clean shavenness was a sign of a dandy who spent his mornings in the barbershop getting a shave rather than shaving it off himself when he had the time. King Gillette's invention killed the beard until the advent of the hippie.
    And I write this with about 14 days growth on my chin and cheeks, wondering if I can hold out until I am no longer a man who needs a shave but am a man with a beard.
    My beard is distressingly white for someone of my age.