Bin the Razors, Men, and Embrace your Bearded Beauty

George Clooney and Ryan Gosling are among the showbiz stars who have helped make beards fashionable

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Honestly. Women. You’re so sexist. All this complaining you do about having to shave your legs and armpits and goodness knows what else, in order to live up to some absurd, Barbie-doll ideal of hairlessness.

And yet you exert exactly the same pressure on us poor, oppressed men.

Well, all right, maybe not when it comes to our legs and our armpits and our goodness-knows-what-elses. But think of our faces. Our raw, blotchy, suffering faces. Every morning you force us to spend up to 10 minutes epilating our faces – just so that we can live up to some absurd, Ken-doll ideal of hairlessness.

Frankly, we’re not going to take it any more. And that’s why I’ve been so cheered to see beards are in fashion. The revolution has been endorsed by showbusiness. George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, even Jeremy Paxman – although, sadly, the Newsnight presenter has now shaved his off.

Yesterday, however, came proof that beards are here to stay. In New York, it was reported, beards are now so highly prized that men incapable of growing them have been paying as much as $7,000 (£4,200) to have them grafted on at plastic surgery clinics across Manhattan.

I can only hope this encouraging trend spreads to this side of the Atlantic. Because – as I must ruefully, even ashamedly acknowledge – it isn’t just women who denigrate beard-wearers. It is, sometimes, our fellow men. Specifically, those who can’t grow beards themselves.

Driven to jealous distraction by the beard’s proof of manliness, and stung by its perceived rebuke to their own lack of virility, these luckless creatures snipe and jeer. Men with beards, they harrumph, can’t be trusted. Men with beards, they hiss, have something to hide. Men with beards, they add, as if to clinch the matter, vote Lib Dem.

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