November 30: a levantine Father Christmas

When I put on the Father Christmas costume and beard and look at myself in the mirror I note that I make an overly Levantine Santa. My nose is too noble; my eyes too sunken; there is nothing jolly about me. The truth is that facial hair changeth the man. The charms of the beard have always left me indifferent. I think I could probably do a moustache all right. I would look like the dastardly seducer in a Thomas Hardy novel, a bounder. But I am confused as to what a beard does to a man. They are very popular these days with co-called hipsters. For young men it can give them gravitas and make them look less like twelve-year-olds. I see that. But the girlfriends must see through that pretty quickly. I fear I have never got over the old adage that you never trust a man with a beard. Some young men these days now sport elaborate beards, as though they are aspiring to look like one of the Seven dwarves. Once again, I am confused. Are our reactions to beards nature or nurture? I have always assumed they were nature. But if Sleepy, Grumpy and Angry are now the coolest looks in town, maybe I am once again mistaken.

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