An Analysis of the Trustworthiness of Beards and Moustaches
On the spectrum between pure, good, and evil there is a wide gray area within which most men fall. The same is true of our facial hair. A man’s beard can cover up to 70 percent of his face, and it is commonly accepted that our whiskers form a symbiotic relationship with our souls. The important thing to remember is that unlike many of the morally questionable choices we will make in our lifetimes, we have almost complete control over the length and arrangement of the hair on our face.
With control, however, comes responsibility. And given the array of options out there, choosing a facial hairstyle that’s right for you can be a daunting task. Thankfully beard aficionado Matt McInerney created this handy chart on The Trustworthiness of Beards—it spans the spectrum on how trustworthy a man is based on his beard. A quick look-through can help the just about any man steer clear from the sinister likes of the close-cropped ‘Hitler’ and pencil thin ‘John Waters’ moustache, and safely toward the wholesome ’Wilford Brimley’ and incorruptible ‘Philosopher’.
Of course, these are merely signposts based on rigorous scientific evidence—well not so much—to indicate the contemporary lay of the land. You can be the change you want to see in your beard’s reputation. Find a worthy cause, and add a daring and unconventional beard to your plan. Maybe you’ll be the guy who turns the neckbeard into a symbol of humanitarian virtue. Just look at what Abraham Lincoln did for the chinstrap and chin curtain. Or the legacy Colonel Sanders left with the Chin Tuft and Mustache. In these cases and countless others throughout history, was it the man that made the beard, or the beard that ultimately made the man? History may never know, though recent advances in archaeology and personality psychology suggest it was the beard.
So as you venture forth and continue to carve a generous portion for yourself from the pie of life,dedicate some thought to the scruff on your chin, cheeks, jowls, and upper lip. Your choice isn’t yet set in stone. But it will be when they make your statue.
*Based on absolutely no scientific evidence
Logan Harper is a digital strategist for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s MPA@UNC: online mpa program and MBA@UNC: online mba program. In addition to higher education, he loves travel, technology, and bad reality television. Follow him on Twitter @harperlogan.