The Spectrum of Beards

In preparation for a small role in an upcoming Rock TV, I’ve been growing my beard out a bit. Along with fatherhood, this has probably been the most meaningful endeavor of my life. As the days of beard growth have gone on, I’ve found myself thinking more and more about the majesty of beards and wondered if compiling a historical spectrum of beards might be helpful for people who have lost their way in life. Like all the content on the JLP, consider this post my gift to humanity.

The JLP’s Spectrum of Beards

The Rasputin
Ultrabeard 9000
Rasputin’s beard was undeniably the greatest of all time. The man was a mentally unstable, mind-controlling nympomaniac who was seemingly impervious to death. These powers can only be attributed to his beard – a virile, tangled, oily testament for human beauty.

The ‘That Dude from the Oak Ridge Boys’

Otherwise known as ‘The Gandalf’, this beard is the pointless end result of years of patience and grooming. This is possible when you have a really low voice and can collect royalties from ‘Elvira’. An ill-advised novelty.

The Rutherford B. Hayes
My good man Rutherford.
I have already commented at length about our our 19th president’s beard, but I will add that it combines the power of Rasputin with the grooming of That Dude from the Oak Ridge Boys into one statesmanlike package. A fondly-remembered relic of the Gilded Age.

The Dan Haggerty

Perhaps the most famous beard of the 1970s, a decade notable for for its beardery. The look that made Grizzly Adams so distinctive is notable for its dramatic, swooping coif outward and sun-bleached tones. It exudes a rugged tenderness toward nature, bears, and you. Highly recommended.

The Ringo

Though neatly-trimmed in recent years, Ringo Starr sported an infamously scuzzy neckbeard for most of the 70s and 80s. While his face remained milky clean, his neck was obscured by a unkempt thatch of coarse unpleasantness. Sometimes fame has its downsides – few people are willing to pull an ex-Beatle aside and tell them they look like a hairy imbecile. On an unrelated note, he was cast as the lead in the 1981 flop Caveman.

The Ron Burgundy

At his unemployed nadir, legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy sported perhaps my personal favorite look – a wiry, bedraggled beard bourne of depression and surrender. Not advised for a first date, but a solid option if seriously considering suicide.

The Late-Era Beach Boys
My mentally fit friends.
This underrated look initially appears to be your standard mellow 1970s stylings, but beneath the obscured half-smiles lie an ocean of familial tension and mental illness. More subtle than the Ron Burgundy, but equally troubled.

The Rick Aguilera

In the early 1990s, all-star Twins closer Rick Aguilera sported a trimmed, tidy beard that distracted hitters with its respectability while he was blasting his upper-90s heat past their face. A timeless classic, I have sought to approximate it in recent years to great approval from my wife. It frames my otherwise common face with professorial refinement. Recommended for beard beginners.

The Fatone

This flaccid excuse for a beard combines high maintenance times with a heavy douchebag factor. It is sure to be studied centuries from now by puzzled anthropologists. To be avoided.

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5 Responses to The Spectrum of Beards

  1. Tim Hopps says:

    I can’t believe you, of all people, would forget Barnum & Bailey’s Bearded Lady. Or one of the most ironic twists in (rock) history: the two frontmen from ZZ Top (Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill) sport long, frizzy beards, while the drummer, whose name is Frank Beard, has none.

    You’re slipping.

  2. Peter says:

    I would put the ZZ Top beards in the category of ‘That Dude from the Oak Ridge Boys’ beard – pointlessly long novelty beards. I wouldn’t necessarily give them their own category on the spectrum.

  3. john says:

    am I a man if I have no beard?

  4. Thom says:

    No, John…without a beard, you are but a boy…

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