Over the past few years, men’s beards seem to be getting bigger. It’s a trend I never really thought would take off but everywhere you look from the guy walking across the road, to the top models in magazines and even celebrities I have never seen have a hair out of place before. Everyone wants one; some men are even going to the length of having ‘Beard Transplants’ to get in on the action.
When we think about beards, people tend to associate them with manliness, and I have heard it been said that only a real man can grow a beard. But the problem with this is the grooming side of it. It is fashionable to look after and take care of how their beards look. Is this not just a manlier take on metrosexuality? Big bearded men you would think would laugh at the thought of moisturizing or fake tan, but maintaining a perfect beard takes an equal amount of effort, and can be seen as equally as vain. Does this show that men are just as concerned about their looks as women?
Celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon. Celebrities who were once known for being clean shaved most of their lives have joined in. Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney are amongst those I would never have thought I would see with a beard. Surprisingly models have also joined in with Asos and Boohoo featuring heavily bearded men in their campaigns.
Earlier this week, I watched Bodyshockers Nips, Tucks, and Tattoos in which Michael, a tree surgeon from London undergoes a beard transplant. Costing between £4000 and £8000, the expensive surgery isn’t as out of the ordinary as it sounds. There has been a 40% rise in men undergoing the same procedure over the past year. People are willing to get surgery in order to be part of this trend, but do we even know how long it will last?
Last year, a rather funny take on Tinder was created called Bristlr for people who have beards and those who love them. The site allows you to chat to people nearby who like beards. Although the site obviously does not take itself too seriously, I think it’s quite amazing and really shows this trend might be something that will be sticking around for a while.
One place we don’t tend to this style being picked up any time soon is in politics. Why is this? Would we look at a politician differently if he had a beard? I believe this suggests that we still associate beards with being taken seriously. Russell Brand’s movement to politics has had very mixed opinions but could it be his looks that are participating on how people view him?
You either love it or hate it but you might as well embrace the beard, as I don’t believe this trend will be disappearing any time soon.
By Britt King