Bell bottoms came, and bell bottoms went. Mustaches came, and mustaches went. Beards came, and beards keep going. It’s been about six years of 25 year old men turning themselves into 45 year old lumberjacks thanks to the decision to grow a thick waft of hair on their faces. It looks good on some, and downright bizarre on others. So how much longer will the beard craze continue to grip our planet? Probably not for awhile.
Beards Exude Manliness
Beards aren’t a brand spankin’ new phenomenon. If you study history from 100-200, heck even back 2,000 years ago, chances are you’ll come across more than a few images of beardies. Going back to biblical times, men grew beards in order to signify their virility and manliness. It was a way of showing potential mates that they could bring the goods to the table; that they could hunt, kill things, and keep a family safe.
But why are beards such a “thing” in the 21st century? Well, for the same reasons. People haven’t evolved much since cave days, we’ve just built nicer things. The instinctual nature within men is largely the same—find a mate, provide for that mate, and keep the family safe. But much of today’s culture goes against that instinct.
Rather than setting out at an early age to ‘conquer the world,’ many of today’s men are arrested adolescents. They’re living with their parents until deep into their 20’s, they prefer hooking up with women rather than having serious relationships, and lots of guys don’t even know what career they want to have until they hit 35, or later.
So what does all that have to do with beards? Well, it could be possible that today’s men are afraid. They’re subconsciously scared about losing their masculinity, and believe that growing a beard is a way to restore it. In the UK alone, 52% of British men have some level of facial hair, but among millennial males that percentage would skyrocket.
This is the first generation that’s physically weaker than their fathers, and sadly, it might not be the last. As technology improves there will be fewer and fewer physical pursuits available for young men. Not to say that technology sucks, it’s actually pretty great for the most part. It’s the young men who will have to adjust to the changing environment, placing a heavier emphasis on making the time to get stronger—like hitting the gym instead of playing video games.
Are They Here To Stay
Beards might be around for some time, and why not? They look good on some people. But for those wearing them just to mask some deeper insecurities, it might be time shave them off and grow up.