Did you know that 98% of the Forbes’ 100 list of the world’s richest men are clean-shaven? It seems to be working out pretty well for them, but don’t worry. 98% of the world’s lumberjacks, warriors and general badasses had full-on beards like you wouldn’t believe.
A little while ago, Huffington Post produced an infographic on the history of beards. We’ve just come across it and to be honest, we think it’s pretty awesome. That’s why we want to share it – and a couple of its weirdest facts – with you guys.
Regardless of the point in time that beards have been donned, they’ve always stood as a rite of passage for men. Interestingly enough, surveys have shown that most women aren’t overly attracted to men with full-on face manes. The same study did, however, show that the majority of women perceived men with beards as being more powerful and commanding more respect.
The Huffington Post was so inspired by this study that they decided to produce an infographic to show how men have shifted their beard styles throughout history to get a one-up on the competition.
What Purpose Did Beards Serve?
Researchers believe that prehistoric men used beards for several functional purposes. One of the primary reasons was warmth, as turbulent temperatures left men with the need to protect their faces from the harsh elements.
Intimidation also played a role. By demonstrating a thicker, wider jawline, scientists believe that men used beards to intimidate enemies and mating opponents. During any scraps they may have run into with other humans or animals, the beard would also have helped to shield them from blows to the face.
Facial Honor and Alexander the Great
In early history, beards were grown and donned as a sign of status and honor, placing some men above others in the social hierarchy. If you did something wrong? That beard was getting trimmed.
Ancient Greek ruler Alexander the Great, however, decided that his soldiers shouldn’t be allowed to grow beards. Why? Because he thought they’d run a chance of being grabbed in battle. In addition to the pain of having your beard pulled, the dude on the other end probably had some kind of sword, so it wouldn’t be likely to end well.
Since then, beards have been worn by men throughout history to achieve a variety of different means. Otto the Great of the Celtic tribes used to swear by his beard when agreeing on important matters and touching a man’s beard in the Middle Ages would have gotten you into a pretty aggressive fight.
Honest Abe brought the beard into popular fashion in the 19th century and he’s still remembered by it to this day. The infographic is packed full of more interesting facts and greater details on how beards have moved from a defensive advantage to the peak of fashion. Take a look at it and see for yourself:
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