Let Us Now Psychoanalyze Beards

Stefani Reynolds/CNP via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Over at Vox, Luke Winkie talks about facial hair:

Clearly, there is something within men, particularly men who are often in front of cameras, that urges them to radically change the way their face looks during the epilogue of existential upheaval. The cultural instinct is to chalk this trend up to depression or other mental health ailments. The term “breakup beard” has been inscribed within the Urban Dictionary catalog since 2009, and as Deborah Serani, a psychologist and adjunct professor at Adelphi University explained in Psychology Today, an apathy toward self-grooming can be one of the first signs of dysfunction in the frontal lobe, which is the part of the brain that also dictates your interest in eating, sleeping, and other basic self-care regimens.

Oh come on. I know the old saw says three’s a trend (Justin Trudeau, Beto O’Rourke, and Ted Cruz), but it’s still only three guys. And O’Rourke is the only one of the three who had an existential crisis. Last I looked, Trudeau remains prime minister of Canada and Cruz remains safely ensconced in the Senate.

Sometimes a beard is just a beard, you know? Which reminds me: I grew a beard once. There was no existential crisis involved, just a six-week vacation I had negotiated with a previous employer. I figured that was a good opportunity to see what I looked like with a beard, but without the whole workplace watching it grow in. It turned out pretty badly, though, and I cut it off before I returned to work. Maybe I’ll show it to you on Throwback Thursday this week.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate