The beard and moustache are strictly for men and at times were looked at with a particular meaning. But during the past years, the beard trend has become more common among men, from youths to older men, a fashion which is not linked with a particular class or religion as it was considered in the old days.
Antonio Camilleri has been a barber for the past fifteen years. While working on a client’s beard, he told us that many persons are growing beards as they enjoy projecting themselves as more masculine.
“It gives you that pride of a beautiful beard. Obviously one has to look after it. As far as styles are concerned, there are a lot of variations – it depends on what type of beard one has, has to match with your face, if it is dense or light; there are individuals who have only a goatee, or a moustache”.
After changing his job, Gerald Darmanin, did not shave regularly and today has a full beard and enjoys having a clean and well groomed bear.
“Every other three/four weeks – a hair cut and beard. An hour and a quarter pampering and I look forward as it is my relaxing time. Today I do not shave – it became a part of me”, Gerald said.
Alexander the Great did not permit his soldiers to grow a beard as he feared that during a battle, the enemy may grab them by the beard, while Hadrian was the first Roman emperor to grow a beard.
Most probably Hans Langseth’s beard was the longest ever – more than 17 feet. It is exhibited in a museum in Washington D.C.
Dr Jean Paul Baldacchino, lecturer at the Anthropology Department said that the beard concept changed throughout time and had contrasting symbolic meanings in different continents.
“As it was meant as a holy symbol and with certain religion identity, it can also be considered also the opposite, as an element of wrongdoing. One of the arguments in the Middle Ages was that if one grew a beard the person resembled a calf – that the calf is a symbol of the devil and so of sin”.
Dr Baldacchino added that nowadays the beard reflects a personality wishing to cultivate individuality.