Pogonology, the study of beards, tells us that every civilization throughout history has influenced the way men trim their facial hair. At times, those with facial hair were associated with certain qualities like a high social status, wisdom, knowledge or masculinity.
I can’t grow a beard. All my life I’ve had “whisker issues” including bare spots and patches of different colors but never enough facial hair to be stylish. I thought I had sideburns once but it was only “bed head”. Another time I thought I caught a glimpse of a mustache in a mirror but it was dirt. Beard? No. Goatee? See “Beard”. Soul patch? Not a good look for ANY man. I thought I might finally be able to feel trendy when the Stubble fad took off but, alas, by then my whiskers were mostly white and not at all attractive at any length. I was destined to wear the Disney Look.
In the 1960, when long hair and lots of facial hair was considered to be a sign of the “hippies” that Walt Disney Company could not afford to be associated with, a policy requiring all male employees to have short hair and no facial hair was instituted. Recently, however, Disney reviewed its human resources guidelines and relaxed the legendary dress code to allow employees to grow more facial hair. While the new rules will still forbid body piercings, extreme hairstyles and visible tattoos, employees will now be able to wear beards and goatees less than one-quarter inch in length to work without worry.
Over the years, customers of the Walt Disney Company have grown to expect Disney employees to portray a clean-cut image … their reputation is strict and well-known … but what was clean-cut in the 1950s isn’t quite the same today. I’m, personally, used to a clean-shaven look ... But I wonder how Captain Jack Sparrow and six of the seven dwarfs will take the news.
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