Saturday, 12 April 2014

Flower Beards & Facial Foliage

“He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man”
William Shakespeare

Facial hair in the form of beards seems to be very popular amongst younger men nowadays, perhaps inspired by the likes of actors Ryan Gosling and Idris Elba.

Growing a beard is seen as an embracing of ones masculinity and for those poor souls with a whispy, not-quite-there beard, who are keen to keep up with their more hirsute brothers there is always the last extreme resort of facial hair transplants, which are costly but apparently gaining in popularity. 

Beards sported by the likes of George Clooney and Jeremy Paxman have led to the beard revival amongst men of a certain age also. 

So now that spring is here, there is blossom on the trees, and the flowers are beginning to bud, are you man enough to embrace nature and sport a flower beard?  

I really love these images of facial foliage. The first I saw was of the model above at fashion designer Fabien Verriest's degree show, which is really striking, and then I came across these other examples below. 


I think they look great and feel the trend for flower beards would go down really well at music festivals such as Glastonbury and Bestival. I like the combination of the masculine in the beard, and the femininity of the flowers. 

I'm impressed that even actor Bill Murray has seen fit to give the trend a try, albeit in a very modest way.

The images reminded me of the mythology of the Green Man who sports the ultimate in facial foliage. He is a symbol of rebirth who represents the season of spring and the cycle of rebirth, found in, and on churches and other non-religious buildings as a form of architectural decoration.

Flower beards also strongly brought to mind the intriguing floral portrait images of eccentric 16th Century Italian artist Guiseppe Arcimboldo. 

And then again the work of John Piper in his Foliate Head series.

And also the work of Dame Elizabeth Frink and her Green Man series.

Still not convinced of the merits of a beard chaps? Well then perhaps the words of wisdom in the cheeky image below might persuade you to grow one.

It begs the question - If that's what she'd do for a normal beard, what would she do for a Flower beard?...