How To Analyze Facial Hair Styles
Facial hair and popular fashions can be analyzed in many ways. For some people, these are purely historical products. They are responses to a particular historical time. For others, these are purely economic responses due to changing economic times. For other analysts, the popularity of shaving or not shaving arises from the technology that is present at the time. According to this thinking, as technology changes, so do people’s appearance. Be that as it may, there is also an artistic approach to facial hair styles. Yes, you can use art historical analysis to review, analyze, and appreciate facial hair styles throughout history. When you look at how people look, they are products of historical, economic, political, social, and cultural streams that mix together to produce a distinct look. Facial hair styles are part of the overall zeitgeist or spirit of the times. Here are some quick tips on how to analyze facial hair styles throughout history.
Pay attention to artists
Just like in a typical high school, fashion trends are often started by the artsy crowd. These are the painters, sculptors, poets, writers, and novelists who live at the edge of society. They act as mediums to the latest and greatest in personal expression. They channel collective angst and aspirations. As a result, they tend to be great influences on how the rest of society looks or lives. When looking at a particular historical era, take a look at the artists. You will see that the facial hair styles they adopt trickle into the rest of society. They are trend leaders. Interestingly enough, the styles they adopt are adopted for a purely different reason than the rest of society. While growing your hair and beard long might be viewed as a rebellion against certain social norms, the rest of society might just think that a particular look is ‘cool.’
Pay attention to technology
Popular fashion is also a reflection of technology. People had much longer hair and had more facial hair before the rise of the modern disposable razor. With that said, a lot of popular facial hair styles throughout history were rebellions against technology. It is one thing to have the technology and the means to stay clean-shaven forever, it is another to actually do it. There is a certain air of rebellion to growing your hair and beard out when everyone else, it seems, is wearing flat tops and short hair. This is exactly what happened to the hippies in the 60s. Their long hair and overall look was a response to the values of the generation that preceded theirs.
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