Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Movember Beard Facts

It’s November! You know what that means- it’s almost my birthday! :D Well, that and everyone is growing moustaches/beards for Movember (also known as ‘No Shave November’). You might not know why everyone in your life is starting to grow out their mo’- especially since the cultural phenomenon has taken on a life of its own independent of its origins. These days it’s just cool to see how much beard you can grow during November. However, it all started with simply growing a moustache (not a beard) in Australia in 2003 originating with the Movember Foundation. Did you know you’re meant to donate through the Movember Foundation? Or that it all started as a way to bring a public discourse to men’s health issues?

I certainly didn’t know there was a Movember Foundation. So in solidarity with my male readers (and the men in my life), I’m throwing down some righteous beard and mo’ knowledge. Now you can dazzle and amaze with all the cool beard junk you know. And if you feel so inclined, donate to a men’s charity of your choice.

1. The Ancient Egyptians had an interesting relationship with beards. As shaving spread throughout the kingdom and came into fashion, beards were seen as both a hallmark of poverty and a mark of the divine. Thus to show their connection with the divine, high-ranking ancient Egyptians dyed their beards and plaited (braided) them with gold thread. They also sported false metal beards (postiches). The postiche was worn by kings, queens and royal cows. [x]

2. Pogonophobia refers to the phobia of beards (there really is a phobia for everything).

3. Beards provide protection from the sun! The UPF of a full beard can range from 2 to 21- depending on thickness/density. Don’t think this means you can skip the sunscreen, though. [x]

4. Evolutionarily speaking, Charles Darwin believed beards helped with sexual selection. Recent research has found that women (and men!) prefer beards or stubble to a clean shaven face. However, this is only true when facial hair is rare- as facial hair exposure increased, preference for a cleanly shaven face increased. [x]

5. In the Middle Ages, a beard displayed a knight's virility and honor. Holding somebody else's beard was a serious offence that had to be righted in a duel.

6. Beards are considered a secondary sexual characteristic (that is, they’re unique to one sex, however, they are not a part of reproduction- like breasts are for women). That might explain why they’ve been considered an integral part to the male identity throughout history.

7. Ancient cultures typically regarded the beard as a sign of virility and took great care of their beards- Ancient Mesopotamians for example oiled their beards and used tongs to create ringlets and intricate designs.

8. Have you heard about the bearded female patron saint of unhappily married women, Wilgefortis? Legend tells us of a young maiden, betrothed to a man she did not want to marry. Desperate to get out of it, she prayed to God to disfigure her. So He did- and He gave her a beard. Horrified, her fiance bounced thereby leaving her with her furious father. And as all furious fathers do, he crucified her. Leading to her status as a saint. [x]

Hopefully you guys found this post cool (I sure did when I was researching it!). If you have any random Beard facts, feel free to post them in the doobly-doo. 

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