8 Reasons to Grow a Beard, According to a 19th Century Book

Reasons to grow your beard

A gift from God, intended for " distinction, protection and adornment" . This is how TS Gowing described beards in his book " La Filosofía De Las Barbas" ( Chin Beaver!: The Philosophy of Beards (English)) . Gowing was an almost unknown pro-beard activist in Britain, yet he published a 72-page text (previously mentioned), where he gave his historical, philosophical and artistic perspective on beards. 

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1. Beards are the epitome of manhood.

Beards are "the true expression of masculine beauty", Gowing says this in his writing and further argues that shaving only makes a man look effeminate, since women do not have beards because they do not have the difficulties that men face. We have to understand that those were other times and the thought about the masculine and the feminine was very strict.

2. Men of great civilizations have facial hair.

Egyptian kings, Etruscan gods, as well as all the men of the most important civilizations have been provided with abundant beards and this is not simply a coincidence, according to Gowing the absence of a beard is a symbol of physical and moral weakness.

Reasons to grow your beard

3. A natural protection against cold, humidity and disease.

Supposed medical texts of the time said that beardless men suffered more from colds, sore throats and rheumatic pain. Gowing asserted that masons and blacksmiths were protected by their beards, which recognized the remains of iron and gravel. As for the beards that suffer warmly to those who wear them, Gowing refers to an anecdote where he traveled to Switzerland on an excursion and it was enough to let his mustache grow so as not to feel any discomfort due to the cold.

4. Men's chins are naturally ugly.

To handle this argument Gowing cited a lecture given by the Government School of Practical Art, in which the speaker indicates that men's chins should be covered because they are unsightly, rough and angular . That is why the chins of men by nature should be covered with hair, while the stylized chins of naturally beautiful women should be uncovered. Gowing adds that "few things are more unpleasant than an old man without a beard."

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5. Do Beards Regulate Electricity?

Gowing believed that the beard "acted as an insulator of electricity and heat" and helped "the electricity that is linked to the condition of the nerves". Gowing admits that there is not much scientific support for this postulate, besides that he does not delve much into this subject either and it is likely that he confused human facial hair with the "vibrissae", which are the mustaches that some animals have, and they serve them between other things to know the location, size and texture of an object.

Reasons to grow your beard

6. Grooming your beard is fun.

And speaking of animal fur, "combing the beard causes a pleasurable sensation, comparable only to that experienced by a cat cleaning its fur," says Gowing.

7. Shaving is terribly annoying.

"It's like entering purgatory," is how Gowing describes the irritation caused by shaving, in addition to irritating the skin, it causes acne breakouts. And those who suffer the most are those who have a thick and leafy beard because "the greater the natural protection, the greater the folly of removing it," say Gowing.

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8. Girls love beards.

Gowing intended to destroy the myth that women did not like beards by claiming that women like everything "manly", and that it may seem strange at first, but that they will end up thinking otherwise. He tells the anecdote of the 18th-century Swiss painter named Liotard, whose wife was so dismayed to find that he had been completely shaved, that he had had "such a small chin that it is almost a sin to kiss it."

Reasons to grow your beard

As we can see TS Gowing offers you some good reasons (and some not so good ones) to grow a beard, plus you'll look like an intellectual when he asks you: why did you grow a beard? And your answer is: it was thanks to a British author, activist, pro-beard of the nineteenth century.

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