What do beards say about politicians?As the beard trend shows no signs of abating, the media are starting to keep tabs on who’s jumping late upon the Beardo Bandwagon – and some people have been found wanting. For example, The Guardian have become very interested in the beardular activities of former Education Secretary Michael Gove, who was spotted on his return from a machine-gunning session in Vietnam sporting a particularly hirsute chin. Mid-life crisis? Can’t be bothered to shave while he’s off work? Either way, he’s discovered a common complaint amongst the recently-bearded: a distinct lack of cheek-fuzz, and a colour scheme that’s all over the place.

Going through a bad patch

Naturally, there were follow-up articles – after all, it is silly season, with Parliament on holiday – including this piece in the same newspaper which speculates that his newly-acquired beard is an attempt at a fresh start and a cunning ploy to be known as ‘the man with the rubbish beard’ instead of ‘the failed Tory leadership candidate’ or ‘the man who helped get the UK out of the EU’. While the only thing the media can agree upon when it comes to Jeremy Corbyn is that he has a really nice beard – which he’s had for nearly 35 years – there are plenty of things Mr Gove could do if he’s aiming for a long-term beard stint.

What can be done?

For starters, he could fix his colouring problem with a range of beard dyes, once he’s decided on whether he wants to match downstairs with upstairs. If he wants to fix his bald patches, he could join the 4,500-plus men in the UK who opt for a facial hair transplant, or he could just grow it out to cover up the missing bits. Or he could grow a moustache, like Nigel Farage. And shave it off after a few days because it looks wrong, like Nigel Farage.

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By Ian Watson

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