beards in different cultures

Beards In Different Cultures

When it comes to beards there are many styles, more than be counted. Around the world, however, certain styles gather in certain areas whether based on religion or other cultural norms of an area different cultures certainly have different opinions on how best to wear a beard.

Geographical Culture
The accepted norms of fashion vary from place to place being widely different across the globe and this applies to beards too. When given a nationality and asked to imagine a man of that nationality many people would instinctively envisage someone with a beard of a particular nature. Beards are a very distinctive feature and as such common beard styles will occur in most people’s visualisation of the demographic which most dominantly wears that beard style. Here is one example of a beard style to come from a geographical culture.

China
China has earnt a strong link to a beard that takes the form of a longer, whispery goatee (sometimes platted) paired with a moustache which often blends into the beard. This has been used throughout western media such as tv, film and even comic books to depict characters of Chinese origin. Notable characters which have worn the Chinese-esc beard include The Emperor of China from Disney’s Mulan and Marvels comic book villain the Mandarin. Live action movies also incorporate this look among their Chinese characters with recognisable characters such as pirates of the Carribbeans’ Soa Feng. Of course, China is a vast place with an enormous population and whilst this one style of facial hair has become synonymous with the country it is just one of several popular styles that is strongly associated with China.

Lifestyle
As well as culture born from your country many people wear a beard based on a culture surrounding a certain lifestyle. For example, if you were asked to picture a biker a likely key feature in what you visualise is facial hair but this would likely change if you were asked to picture a goth. These lifestyle beliefs are another form of culture which influences opinions on facial hair.

Hipsters
Hipsters are people that follow the trends of the moment usually before they become mainstream and of course this means hipsters beard style continually change. They look to stay one step ahead and will bring out the summer time beard in October. They are a prime example of how culture impacts someone’s ideas on how to wear a beard for hipsters if everyone is wearing a particular beard it is no longer cool and they are onto the next trendy facial hair style.

Religion
Religion is one of the most impactful forms of culture which influences a person’s choice of beard. For many there are strict rules and their facial hair extends far beyond the realms of fashion and style. Here is an example of religion influencing someone’s facial hair growing choices:

Jewish

It is well known that there are certain religious rules around shaving for Jews. These rules are derived from Biblical texts, in particular Leviticus 19:27, “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard”. The Talmudic rabbis understand the quote from Leviticus not to mean that a Jewish man may not shave, but that facial should not be removed with a razor. For many Jews this means that they may remove their beards through alternative methods such as using beard scissors. As a result many Jewish men opt to wear a full beard as well as sidelocks. (The Talmud is the set of teachings on the Torah which form the basis of Jewish law)

It is obvious that, culture affects how a man wears his beard whether that culture be based on geographical location, lifestyle or religion. Has culture determined how you wear your beard or your beard grooming routine?