Saturday Morning Beard Fact

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January 20, 2018



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As the suffrage movement gathered pace in the late 1850s and early 1860s, it seemed – for a glorious, if short-lived, time – that women would at last become enfranchised. The louder the women’s voices and the stronger their arguments for equality, the thicker became the beards of British men and the more intransigent their opposition. Beards, whiskers and bristling moustaches were a viscerally visual representation of the idea that this was the one thing that women would never be able to do. From the end of the Crimean War until the very end of the nineteenth century, huge facial hair would dominate British men’s appearance.

Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards by Lucinda Hawksley, National Portrait Gallery




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