Hogan's Alley

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sully On Beards

Andrew Sullivan is perseverating today about the reemergence of beards on men. He claims that they are the latest trend in the gay community and that straight men are dutifully letting their facial hair grow far and wide in order to be hip.

For the record I have worn a beard for so long that my soon-to-be 34 year old son has never seen me without one. I know Andrew has worn a beard for many years and it is natural for him to assume that the gay community sets most fashion trends. I would propose that the main source of trendy fashion over many decades has been the black community. From zoot suits to baggy pants, gold chains and shaved heads, African Americans have been the most influential on men's style. Significant numbers of Black men have always worn beards.

As for me, no one who knows me would ever accuse me of being a fashionista. I just prefer to not have to scrape my entire face daily. Beards are easier to maintain and I've had no complaints from the wife.