There was a time when beards were frowned upon in public life.
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously banned them from her Cabinet. She said: "I wouldn't tolerate any minister of mine wearing a beard."
Meanwhile, under New Labour, previously hirsute MPs such as Stephen Byers, Alistair Darling and Peter Mandelson all defuzzed in an attempt to look more electable.
Pogonophobia was such a thing that the Beard Liberation Front was set up to defend the rights of beard-wearers in 1995, winning an early success as the Labour government returned in the 1997 General Election and made Robin 'fashion icon' Cook the first bearded Cabinet Minister in nearly 60 years.
Now, beards are everywhere and, if anything, the discrimination is on those who can't grow them. Everyone from Ben Affleck to Brad Pitt, George Clooney and, yes, Gareth Southgate are sporting face furniture and you too can join them.
If you struggle to make face gains, then fear not: help is at hand. There are simple steps that you can take to be as cool as Brad Pitt... or Noel Edmonds (see above).
Exfoliating helps, because of course it does. If you're not exfoliating then you should be - and particularly if you like the idea of having a beard.
Exfoliation removes dead cells from your face and promotes the growth of new ones, which in turn promotes hair growth.
Cleaning your skin helps, too, with warm water and a cleanser - preferably with eucalyptus in it - vital to maintaining facial hygiene.
All of this is basically obvious, but there are also things that you can do that might not be as simple.
Sleeping lots helps, as beards grow better when you're less stressed - so working out also helps, as this is a proven way of destressing.
In fact, working out and resting properly are just things that you should do in general - who knew that exercise and rest made you healthier?
Ditto eating protein, plenty of fruit and veg and taking multivitamins. Bearing these tips in mind, it's amazing that bodybuilders don't have beards to their knees.
There is some pseudoscience out there to avoid. Shaving does not make your beard come back faster, it simply reduces the amount of hair on your face, which is obviously the opposite of what we're trying to achieve here.
Simply leave it to grow out, apply some hydrocortisone cream if it begins to itch a little too much and make sure that you eat well, rest well and look after your skin.
Then, and only then, will you find yourself too bearded to be a member of Margaret Thatcher's government. And if that isn't sexy, I don't know what is.
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Featured Image Credit: PA