Why don't politicians grow beards anymore?
It’s election day and you know what that means – not a beard in sight. As usual it looks as if our bearded constituency is out of luck this election cycle. Where did all of our beards in politics go? Well maybe they're not entirely gone… [embed height= 800 width= 800]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tznO5fJz6w[/embed] For sometime now it has been the accepted norm for presidential candidates and for that matter, politicians all around to wear the clean shaven look at all times. Congressmen and future presidents would do well to throw away that razor. Various studies have shown that beards change the perception of men for the better. Men with beards are likely to appear more trustworthy and seen to have greater knowledge while endorsing something. After-all, it doesn’t take much to learn how to grow your beard. And what better way to endorse democracy than to let our whiskers free? Let's take a walk down memory lane and first check out some of our past bearded U.S. Presidents.
Historical politicians with beardsThe last beard elected to office was President Benjamin Harrison, 125 years ago in 1893. The last president to wear any kind of facial hair was William Howard Taft, who had a mustache during his term from March 1909 to March 1913. This was the end of the era, an era started by none other than Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was probably the only guy in the history of beards who could pull off a no-mustache beard, and not look like he just emerged from his basement. It wasn't until Lincoln that we got our first taste of a true presidential beard. He was famously influenced to grow out his beard by an eleven year old girl. During his election he received a letter, one passage read:
"I have yet got four brothers and part of them will vote for you anyway and if you let your whiskers grow I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you. You would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President."Timeless advice. Even an eleven year old girl from the 1800s knew that beards win elections or at least they used to. Between 1861 and 1913 the majority of all presidents had either full beards or mustaches. Ulysses S. Grant came swinging out of the gate after Andrew Johnson's clean shaven reign. His beard an even fuller evolution after President Lincoln's. Rutherford B. Hayes had the biggest beard of Presidents. Here he is pictured with the bearded brothers. Between James Garfield and Benjamin Harrison we had a flow of mustaches, which was at least something. The streak was only broken once by William McKinley, who was promptly assassinated. The ancient order of Presidential Beards would not stand for such a sleight. Teddy Roosevelt and William H. Taft followed, ending out the Golden Age. Bearded archeologists are still searching for their famed Mustachio Manifesto to this day.