Men and beards. They are all over the place now. We’ll look at the amazing comeback and cultural meaning of the beard.
Maybe you saw it at your house over the holidays. At your New Year’s Eve party. Men’s facial hair all over the place. Beards have been growing back into fashion for a while. From the hip streets of Brooklyn to the Hollywood red carpet. Now they’re everywhere. And not just a little scruff. Beards that have grown for a year. “Yeards,” they’re called. Beards worthy of a Civil War general or Paul Bunyan. Of a lumberjack. “Lumbersexual” is the funny, hot term of art. This hour On Point: What is it in the air, in the culture, in the minds of men, that’s brought back the beard?
– Tom Ashbrook
From Tom’s Reading List
New York Times: Why C.E.O.s Are Growing Beards — “It’s easy to view the bearded business leader as a mere extension of the overall beard trend, or yet another sign that work environments are becoming more casual. But the tangled history of facial hair and capitalism suggests that deeper forces are at work.”
The Atlantic: Lumbersexuality and Its Discontents — “The lumberjack looms large in the American imagination. He has decked out pavilions at world’s fairs, been built to giant scale as a highway attraction, and his best representative, Paul Bunyan, is often cited as our greatest folk hero. But for all his symbolic power, he is a fairly new invention. The lumberjack, as we know him, only came onto the scene as a symbol of American manhood a little over a century ago, at a moment when American men were in desperate need of a hero.”
TIME: Confessions of a Lumbersexual — “I’ve had a beard most of my adult life and my wardrobe is comprised largely of cowboy cut, plaid shirts and Wrangler blue jeans. On cold days I wear a big Carhartt coat into the office. In my youth in Oklahoma I did cut down some trees and split firewood for use in a house I really did grow up in, but in those days I dressed like a poser gutter punk. I nurture an abiding love for outlaw country and bluegrass, though, again, during my actual lumberjacking days it was all Black Flag, Operation Ivy and an inadvisable amount of The Doors.”