The Presidential Persona

Abraham_Lincoln     There have been 44 presidents from the start of America until now and there have been many trade-offs amidst the Democrats and Republicans over a variety of issues between then and now. But there has been at least one thing the Presidents of the Republican party have a total monopoly on: Beards. Its true, to date there have only been 5 U.S. Presidents in American history that have had the ability / courage to grow a full beard for their term. Thats around 11% or 1 out of 10(-ish) of all Presidents have had a beard. But that isn’t even the most interesting part about it. All 5 of our beloved bearded Republican Presidents served their time (I mean term) between March 4, 1861 and March 4, 1889. Thats only a 28 year spread! During those 28 years there were 7 Presidents, and out of those 7 Presidents 5 of them had had beards.

It is my belief that Presidential appearance, for the most part, is directly correlated to what the people of America think (or want to be) a visible image of an American “leader”. So I poured over wikipedia for possible links between beards, and this specific time period in American history, to make it so commonplace for even the President to desire a beard. I found that during this time period America was at the tale end of the Westward expansion. I theorize that, as with most trends, the ideologies of the great American pioneers started via grassroots to gradually, through relational osmosis, to take hold into mainstream culture and gradually over time became a cultural norm. In other words as burly mountain men and lumberjacks (think Johnny Appleseed or Paul Bunyan) formed a new culture in response to the different lifestyle demands of the West, they innovated a new American ethos (that included beards), and naturally the President would reflect these changes in cultural trends.





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