The rise of beards in the last couple of years is an expression of a lack of confidence men and maleness are having in the 21st Century. In history whenever masculinity is threatened it seems men revert to beards. Modern life is increasingly separated from nature: where men operated using their physical strength. The rise of women in the world of work, leaving men at home is welcome but threatens the traditional man.
If you follow this argument the beard is grown to show men and women that men are not threatened, and still brimming with maleness. Perhaps it is also to differentiate. The perception is that women are encroaching on male territory. Men are not women: so there has to be a sign of manliness. An identifier. Something which says I am a man not to be confused with a woman. All groups do this. The group huddles together gaining an identity which has to be different to the next group. In the hierarchy of groups if one group takes on or copies the identity of the group above. Then the group above moves onto to another identity. Such is the nature of groups.
We are all primitive animals wanting to belong to a group: where the group we belong to, gets more privileges or special treatment than other groups. When the status of the group is threatened, the group has two choices. Move on and re-invent itself. But more usually try to rejuvenate or repackage the traits of the original group. It is easier than going back to the drawing board to create a totally new group.
“As in the past, a bearded man today demonstrates both masculine vulnerability and pride. His status might be contested, but he puts on a brave face.”
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2016
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique