As hipster will know, beards have fallen in and out of fashion throughout human history.
Throughout the course of history, societal attitudes toward male beards have varied widely depending on factors such as prevailing cultural-religious traditions and the current era’s fashion trends. In the 15th century, most European men were clean-shaven.
16th-century beards were allowed to grow to an amazing length.
Some beards of this time were the Spanish spade beard, the English square cut beard, the forked beard, and the stiletto beard.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the size of beards decreased in urban circles of Western Europe.
During the early 19th century most men, particularly amongst the nobility and upper classes, went clean-shaven.
There was, however, a dramatic shift in the beard’s popularity during the 1850s, with it becoming markedly more popular.
Consequently, beards were adopted by many leaders, such as Alexander III of Russia, Napoleon III of France and Frederick III of Germany, as well as many leading statesmen and cultural figures, such as Benjamin Disraeli, Charles Dickens, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Karl Marx, and Giuseppe Verdi.
This trend can be recognized in the United States of America, where the shift can be seen amongst the post-Civil War presidents.
Before Abraham Lincoln, no President had a beard; after Lincoln until Woodrow Wilson, every President except Andrew Johnson and William McKinley had either a beard or a mustache.
The beard became linked in this period with notions of masculinity and male courage. The resulting popularity has contributed to the stereotypical Victorian male figure in the popular mind, the stern figure clothed in black whose gravitas is added to by a heavy beard.
The resulting popularity has contributed to the stereotypical Victorian male figure in the popular mind, the stern figure clothed in black whose gravitas is added to by a heavy beard.
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