Seventeenth century French dramatist and actor Moliere claimed “All the power is with the sex that wears the beard.” But there’s a Danish proverb that goes “If beard were all, the goat would be the winner”. Here are some beard facts stolen from the most reliable source of knowledge in the twenty-first century – the Wikipedia:
- In the course of history, men with facial hair have been ascribed various attributes such as wisdom, sexual potency, or high status, but also a lack of cleanliness and refinement, or an eccentric disposition.
- Several rulers including Queen Elizabeth I and Peter the Great of Russia levied a tax on beards
- During grief and mourning a Roman would let his hair and beard grow while the Greeks on the contrary used to cut off their hair and shave their beards on such occasions
- The nations in the east generally treated their beards with great care and veneration, and the punishment for licentiousness and adultery was to have the beard of the offending parties publicly cut off. They had such a sacred regard for the preservation of their beards that a man might pledge it for the payment of a debt.
While I don’t care much for beards (sorry Santa), I do have a fascination for handle bar moustaches. It takes a lot of wax and grooming to maintain an elegant and twirable moustache but it’s well worth the effort.
If you happen to sport a beard, moustache or other variety of facial hair (including sideburns, goatees, hairy moles) that you are particularly proud of, then you can have a shot at glory. There's still time to enter the Beard and Moustache Championship taking place in New York City on May 16, 2006 (http://www.nycbeard.com/). Ladies do not despair – there’s an “artificial” category created just for us.