The month formerly known as November is now styled
by the portmanteau Movember:
moustache + November = Movember
For the duration of the month
men are encouraged to grow out their moustaches
to promote public awareness of prostrate cancer
and other male-related health concerns.
Yet it seems of the moment that
men need little, if any, coaxing to
patiently grow and attentively groom facial hair.
Moustaches, beards, goatees, stubble
are on trend –
a fashion statement accessory courtesy of nature.
A follicle of men’s facial hair history
Sporting facial hair has been in and out of fashion;
sometimes au courant at other times legislated against and fineable.
Currently, facial hair fashion is seen everywhere.
Yet, throughout the course of history
it wasn’t always so.
During the 15th and 16th centuries
English monarchs fluctuated in attitudes
In 1447, the English monarch King Henry VI
(image from wikimedia.org):
decreed that moustaches were forbidden and
that every fortnight, men were required to shave their upper lip.
Why such antipathy against moustaches?
There is no clear explanation … possibly Henry VI
was annoyed that he was facial hair follicle challenged
so he wanted to deny others the right to have beards.
Maybe he simply hated moustaches or had a moustache phobia.
He did suffer from bouts of insanity.
Continuing in an anti-facial hair mode,
King Henry VIII famous for his own
neatly trimmed ginger beard
(image from hrp.org.uk):
King Henry VIII
levied taxes in 1535 on men with beards.
Since courtiers slavishly followed
dress/appearance standard set by the monarch,
no doubt many wanted to have beards similar to the king.
Henry VIII cleverly instituted means
to capitalise on the situation.
By the 1560s all anti-beard rules were revoked.
Sporting a beard went on to become very popular.
Men scented, coloured and even curled
their beards to create distinct looks.
Moving on to more recent times, laws may no longer
have dictated beard-wearing dos and don’ts,
but other factors certainly ‘beard’ influence.
Following WWI and WWII, American men favoured
a clean, youthful, beardless appearance:
the “all American look”.
(image from whitepages.com):
Robert Young (centre) as the father in the TV series Father Knows Best
The jazz scene of the 1950s/1960s
saw the soul patch gain facial hair status.
The soul patch was popular with
jazz musicians and beat generation creatives.
It was a small tuft of hair
grown below the lower lip and just above the chin.
(image from pdxretro.com):
jazz impressario, the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie
Yet by the 1960s/70s with the anti- Vietnam War Movement
and the emergence of hippie culture,
sporting full unkempt beards was
a political and “anti-establishment” statement maker:
a look which defined a generation.
(image from americanacademy.de):
an Open Land commune in Northern California, late 1960s
The 1980s was the decade of the ‘Miami Vice Shadow’:
facial hair that appeared barely there
as inspired by TV Detective Crockett
from the American television series Miami Vice.
(image from fiftiesweb.com):
Don Johnson as TV detective Sonny Crockett
During the noughties the intricately outlined goatee
was a facial hair design choice.
(image from cnn.com):
A. J. McLean (left) of 90s boy band, Backstreet Boys
Today sporting facial hair is fashion au courant:
worn in as many styled variations as possible.
Favlook – Lookfav Focus: men’s facial hair! , hair!
(images from nssmag.com):
(image from Singh Street style):
(images from Garconjon):
(image by James Robinson):
(image by Chicago Streetstyle Scene):
(images from onthecornerstreetstyle.blogspot.co.uk):
(image from Unlimited by JK):
(image from Boy from Dagbon):