On the naughty step - conduct that deserves a ticking off
Beards were once the preserve of geography teachers, great-uncles and men in sepia photographs. Facial hair was what a free-thinking man of the world would use to make himself stand out in a stubbornly clean-shaven society.
But in recent times, the trend for the full Edwardian Arctic explorer beard has reached quite silly proportions. The fashion, famously sported by East London hipsters in tweed jackets on fixed-wheel bikes, has spread across the world. No one has escaped, whether he be a Hollywood actor or a bloke in a Wolverhampton Wetherspoon's.
Thankfully, however, scientists believe the craze for the hirsute could finally be coming to an end. Australian researchers claim we may now have reached "peak beard". They carried out a study that found women only show a preference for bearded men if they are the exception rather than the rule. In other words, in a nightclub full of bearded wonders, female patrons will be drawn to the man who is clean shaven. It's a gift for Gillette's advertisers.
So, it's off to the naughty step for this itchy, hairy trend. When the home economics teacher wants a beard, you know it's time to move on and let the geography teachers hog the limelight once more.