With the rise of Capitalism as the unchallenged economic system in the West, beards are no longer trapped in the semiotics of the past. Once the property of Socialists and Anarchists, seen in the faces of Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh and Karl Marx, Capitalism is now claiming the beard as its own, and the business beard, like the free market (and inequality), is thriving. Business leaders are celebrating their individuality, self-expression, and success through their face, and the world is starting to take notice. Men are going to work hairy and achieve great things. Whether the beard actually makes a man more powerful, or merely causes others to perceive him to be, is inconsequential. The fact is - the more beard, the more success. And here are four bearded winners to prove this point.
Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
Sailing, hot air balloons, philanthropy, space, records, planes, islands, amphibious vehicles, Queens, Beardy Branson has dominated them all. This sir of sirs is worth an unintelligible 5.54 billion, every cent of which is owed to his supreme business prowess and beard. His commitment to bottom heavy empowerment and hair growth has seen Richy Rich skyrocket from geeky dyslexic teenager to the Jesus of capitalism in a few short years– and by god we salute him.
The late Felix Dennis, Publisher and Entrepreneur
Born into Bohemia, Felix’s Dad earned crust by running a tobacco shop and playing as a part-time jazz pianist. For most of his childhood, Felix and his family resided in a one bedroom flat in Surrey. Though, this was not good enough for young Felix. Felix soon dragged his beard through cleaning apartments for rent, playing shit gigs at shit pubs and shifting alternative magazines on the street to writing Led Zeppelin, playing with John Lennon, and owning a wildly successful publishing company and many fine French wines. And if you thought he couldn’t get much cooler, you’re wrong – he was also the first person to ever say ‘cunt’ live on British television.
Rick Rubin – Co-president of Columbia Records/Record Producer
The king of American record production, former co-president of Columbia Records and a fucking awesome beard, this dude has worked with the greats: the Chilli Peppers, The Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash, Black Sabbath and even Lady Gaga, Kanye West and the Dixie Chicks. At a young age the divine power of the beard attuned Rick to the sounds of success, and we thank him for all that he has done for music – except for Kanye.
Sergey Brin – Google Founder
Sergey created a $365 billion dollar company in his garage – therefore he can do whatever the fuck he wants. Fortunately, one of those wants is bearding. We think Sergey’s chin scruff is the perfect accompaniment to his empire of self-driving cars, disease-detecting pills, internet goggles and flying wind turbines. Except it could be bigger.
The above beards represent the current shift from workplace conformity to the power of standing out. All four men have transcended stagnant markets, mundane rules and societal conventions, and learnt to harness the beard and ride it to success. And if you have a face, confidence and an idea, maybe you can too. – Miles Bouchard.