NPF: PRESIDENTIAL BEARDAGE

Posted in No Politics Friday on June 11th, 2010 by Ed

So I grew a 56-day playoff beard for the Blackhawks and I was not about to shave it without maximizing the entertainment potential inherent in facial hair. It seemed appropriate to honor my favorite presidential facial hair, that of Chester A. Arthur.

Please try to control yourself upon discovering how attractive I am.

Most people with a half-decent interest in presidential elections know that facial hair has mandatory between approximately 1850 and 1920 but almost nonexistent outside of that time period. HuffPo has a short slideshow refresher course on some of the more impressive instances of Executive beardage, or you could stop being a dilettante and go for the ridiculously thorough catalog of mustaches, beards, sideburns, and stray mole hairs among presidents as well as presidential candidates by Nicholas Whyte.

While Mr. Whyte does note that no "serious" candidates have had facial hair since 1948 (Thomas Dewey) there have been some quasi-serious ones. Libertarian candidate Bob Barr was nominated by the American Mustache Institute (which apparently is real) for its (I shit you not) "Robert Goulet Mustached American of the Year Award" in 2008.


This is an actual thing.

What is behind the modern aversion to facial hair? Yes, mustaches make 99.9% of their wearers look like registered sex offenders, meth dealers, or state troopers. But older men can sometimes look more stately with a beard. Something odd like bushy sideburns could also make a no-name candidate stand out from the pack. I am not holding my breath, but I hope that facial hair becomes politically acceptable again at some point in the reasonably near future. I don't want to live in a country that wouldn't elect James A. Garfield on account of his massive, bushy beard or, even worse, a political system that would scare him out of growing one in the first place.