Animals

Why Don't Politicians Have Beards Anymore?

Despite the recent popularity of beards, we haven't had a president with facial hair in nearly 100 years. What gives?

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A Brief History of Grooming in the U.S. Navy (US Naval Institute)
"Military grooming standards made news this summer when African American women in the Army and Navy complained about revisions in the regulations governing hair. At least one sailor was discharged for a hairstyle that was unauthorized when the Navy said she couldn't wear a gas mask properly."

Why Don't Politicians Today Grow Beards? (Slate)
"Though the gentlemen who vied for the Republican presidential nomination disagreed on many things, from tax policy to contraception to the feasibility of establishing a colony on the moon, there's one critical issue on which they were firmly in accord: facial hair."

U.S. Troops Question Military No-Beard Rules in Afghanistan (US News & World Report)
"The military says it has good reasons for the beard ban for most American troops-including hygiene, soldierly discipline, and the ability to get a good seal on gas masks should troops need them. There is an exception, though, for special operations forces to enable them to better blend with locals."