Three Facts about the History of Beards

by Robert Johnson Digital Marketing Expert

Beards symbolize a lot of things. They can be about religious conformity, an expression of manliness, or a stylish statement that sets them apart from other men. Throughout history and across cultures the meanings of facial hair have changed. Here are a few interesting facts about the colorful history of beards!

1. Social Standing

Throughout history, beards have been seen as a symbol of higher social standing. Otto the Great was so proud of his beard that he often swore by it. Even Henry VIII, who was believed to have introduced a beard tax, continued to grow his own beard. Beards as a symbol of social standing also have literary precedent. In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer uses the phrase “to make one’s beard” meaning to have someone at your mercy. The catholic clergy chose to remain clean-shaven as a sign of their celibacy and to differentiate themselves from the knights who considered beards to be a sign of virility.

2. Maturity and Sexuality  

Beards have also historically been used as a symbol of masculinity and growing into maturity. Most Renaissance thinkers wore a beard show of their masculinity, and some writers identified men without beards in the same group as boys and women. As menstruation was seen as a sign of a young woman’s ability to procreate, beards were an indication of the same in young men. Beards held a lot of symbolic significance in Shakespeare’s plays. In some of his plays like The Merry Wives of Windsor, a solid beard suggested manliness and health, whereas a tiny beard represented incompetence. In Hamlet, the protagonist considers an attack on his beard as an attack on his character.

3. Time and Effort

For centuries men have been using beard growth and grooming products to improve their appearance. The ancient Egyptians not only grew beards but also styled them by dyeing and plaiting them with gold threads. The Mesopotamians used beard oil to keep their beards healthy, and the ancient Greeks styled their beards into curls and gave their beards a tiered effect. These traditions continue in the modern world as we have countless products, including beard growth supplements, beard brushes, and beard balms to help men style, clean, and maintain their beards. 

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About Robert Johnson Senior     Digital Marketing Expert

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Joined APSense since, March 25th, 2019, From Newyork, NY, United States.

Created on Jan 28th 2020 00:13. Viewed 168 times.


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