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Movember - Beard Facts From Around The World

Written by Jenny McWhirter on 04 / 11 / 2016

Gap Year Advice

Movember - Beard Facts From Around The World

Yes, its that time of year again when every clean shaven man suddenly releases their inner hipster, grizzly self and let's it all go…close, fuzzy, sculptured – anything goes and no one laughs as they strut down the street or receives a tickly kiss as it's all in good taste, good humour as they go about raising awareness and funds for prostate cancer. We applaud you all, really… us Brits love public humiliation for a good cause.

But lets play 'Did You Know' - 10 beardy facts to get you into the Movember mood?

1. Movember started in America

Yes, we have the USA to thank for the hairy month of Movember, dating back to the mid-to-late 19th century when men grew beards in November to show that they were old enough to vote. (November was their voting month; in case you were wandering.)

These so-called “virgin voters” or “twenty-onesters” (so called for the voting age at the time, which was 21) would grow facial hair — or “facial foliage” as one Chicago newspaper put it in 1893 — to prove they were adults and not “beardless boys”. Thank you America.

2. ‘Pogonotrophy’ is the Art of Cultivating Facial Hair

Key to get the spelling and pronunciation right here ;) In western cultures this used to be the ultimate pastime in 1960’s/70’s after the clean shaven, uptight look of the 30’s/40’s.

3. Beards are a sign of Dignity and Wisdom in India

In ancient India, men grew their beards as long as possible as this was a sign/reflected their dignity and wisdom. In fact, cutting off someone’s beard in public was used as a form of minor punishment.

However, as India embraces everything modern, you’ll tend to find its only the wise old souls of Rajasthan who could sign up to Movember.

4. Beards Equal Manliness in South America

There is a tribe in the Pacific Northwest who sport facial hair to show and test their manliness. The longer the beard the manlier they are but this is the best bit… the tribe tests a young worriers’ ability to withstand pain by plucking/yanking out his facial hair! Can you imagine adding this to the Movember's campaign...

Want to travel and explore South America? Have a look at our programs which get you off the beaten track and face to face with the bearded ones ;)

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5. Only the Monkeys have Beards in Australia

Aussie’s don’t like beards however hip they may be. In Aussie culture only the monkeys can enter Movember.

Travel, explore and volunteer along the East coast of Australia - plenty of bearded monkeys here.

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6. Beards are a ‘no no’ in China

Ancient tradition in China reveres that the human body is as a gift from your parents and alterations shouldn’t be made in any shape or form. Growing beards, as are any body piercing, are a definite no no.

7. Beards were Once Taxed

Yes, it’s true by Peter the Great who couldn’t bare anything but the clean shaven look. He taxed those who didn’t oblige 100 rubles a year for a medallion, which they had to wear inscribed with, “The beard is a useless burden.” Got to love his humor. Not sure how he would have coped with Movember.

8. Beards increase Your Age, Social Status and Aggressiveness

In a UK study, women found men with beards to look older and appear to be of a higher social status. In the same study, men with beards had a more aggressive appearance when they were angry verse an angry clean-shaven man.

9. Beard Touching was Offensive

Yes, apparently during the Middle Ages, anyone who touched another man’s beard was considered offensive. The act was grounds for a duel. The beard was a sign of a virility and honor.

10. Finally – Beards Drink Beer

The average moustache will trap a pint and a half of beer ever single year. Now that's a waste and perhaps why the Aussie's are so against them. Just saying.

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