Each year, all over the world, November is known as “moustache season”. Men are encouraged to grow their mo’ to raise awareness and funds for men’s health as part of the Movember campaign. If you visit the Movember website (ca.movember.com), the campaign aims to be “innovative, fun and engaging” so as to best raise awareness and as such, bros are encouraged to grow creative, striking mo’s. Undoubtedly, November has also become a month where girlfriends roll their eyes and men high five each other (although, there are many Mo’ Sistas that support the cause!). The Movember campaign has been wildly successful, raising $125.7 million CAD worldwide in 2011.
Now, I would like to draw a correlation between the temporary facial hair sprouted by the Movember campaign and winter’s newest and hottest trend: The Beardo.
One may look at a Beardo and think it is a creative take on the traditional black balaclava as it is meant to keep one’s entire face warm while at the same time making it impossible to take them seriously. The Beardo is the combination of a beanie hat and a (removable) knit beard. Both the beard and the hat come in a variety of colors, the beard options being black, brown, blonde and even ginger. You might also be interested to know that it is a Canadian invention, the idea conceived by Ontario native Jeff Phillips while snowboarding Whistler’s mountains. To recap, Canadian inventions: insulin, electric light bulb, basketball and The Beardo.
Don’t get me wrong, I love both Movember ‘staches and The Beardo. In fact, I was walking against the wind the other day and found myself wishing that I had a Beardo (it would go nicely with my sock monkey hat). What I find interesting is what the two have in common: humour. Both are widely successful because they are fun and humorous while serving a practical purpose (one, raising awareness and the other, keeping hairless faces warm).
But interestingly, both do not point to the popularity of facial hair, but rather, to the popularity of ridiculous and temporary facial hair. People don’t seem to really want Monopoly moustaches and thick Al Borland beards all year round, but it’s a good laugh if only for a moment.
One would deduce that facial hair must be funny, so what might real bearded and moustached people think of these trends? Are they proud? Offended? Laughing at us through their monocles?
We have yet to see a female equivalent of The Beardo. I propose my own invention: leg warmers that look like hairy legs. Patent pending!
by Taryn Parrish
Image via ShutterStock.