pursuit of hirsute



The husband was incredulous.

“I just can’t believe you would ask any man to do that, let alone a virtual stranger,” mine own sweet Samson spluttered.

Keep your hair on! I’m no Delilah.

I merely observed truthfully that an up-and-coming young actor would have more chance of securing a coveted Weekly Review cover sans the free-range facial hair.

The publicist, being a discerning woman with a son of a similar age, concurred and she spoke to the actor’s agent who in turn established his client was not really all that wedded to his wild west whiskers.

Just what is it with the outbreak of facial hair and so many lads styling themselves after Wolverine’s kid brother?

It’s disconcerting to find your barista looks like he’s auditioning for an Edward Lear limerick. Just what’s in there: two owls and a hen, four larks and a wren?

It’s not that I’m a beardist. Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin.

It’s just that the current fashion seems to dictate that beards command exactly the same amount of attention as underarm hair – indeed some look like exactly that … transplanted.

The nearest and dearest male folk in my family are bearded. My dad first grew his when he took on his first major management role back in the ’70s to try to lend some gravitas to an excessively boyish face.

My brother has sported various facial hair configurations since his last year at high school and I have never known my husband without a beard.

Indeed he’s been a proud defender of facial fuzz since he was 18 and the manager of his newspaper told him he would have to shave off his beard if he could not find three people on the street who were similarly hirsute.

Of course, he made a few phone calls and rigged the afternoon challenge.

Perhaps it is the fault of Communists that facial hair provoked such suspicion for the best part of the 20th century.

Even today it attracts some fuzzy logic.

Last year British broadcaster Jeremy Paxman briefly became the poster boy for the Beard Liberation Front after he defied BBC convention and presented the Newsnight program with a neat salt and pepper goatee, causing a social media storm.
Paxman went so far as to accuse his bosses of pogonphobia, reviving an archaic term derived from the Greek word for beard (pogon) and fear (phobus).

But then he left many of his long-bewhiskered brothers to wonder what all the fuzz was about when he shaved clean 147 days later.

Closer to home 16 Victorian police officers recently lodged an application with the Supreme Court in a bid to avoid the razor gang.

The application is for leave to appeal the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) finding that Chief Commissioner Ken Lay’s no beards edict was not discriminatory as it specifically exempted those grown on medical, cultural or religious grounds.

While I’m not quite sure where this would leave Conchita Wurst, the bearded Austrian drag queen who won Eurovision, it seems to me very perverse to allow the growing of beards for any reason except for actually wanting one.

And quite frankly, on the face of it, when it comes to promoting positive policing, better beards than fascist black shirts



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