Facial Hair As It Is Found In Cultures Around The World
Facial hair is a secondary sex characteristic in human males. Most men develop facial hair in puberty. Many women also have some facial hair, especially after menopause, though typically much less than men. Eyebrows and eyelashes are also grown by both sexes of all ages. Male pogonotrophy (the growing of facial hair; beardedness) is often culturally associated with wisdom and virility. Many men style their facial hair into beards, moustaches, goatees or sideburns.
However, many others completely shave their facial hair. A man's facial hair, especially short hairs that were missed in shaving, is often referred to as whiskers, although only certain nonhuman mammals have true sensory whiskers. Women typically have little hair on their faces, apart from eyebrows and the fine fuzz nearly all people have covering most of their bodies. However, a few women have noticeable facial hair growth. Excessive hairiness (especially facially) is known as hirsutism, and is usually an indication of normal hormonal variation.
In contemporary western culture, almost all women shave, tweeze or otherwise depilate facial hair which does appear, as there is considerable social stigma associated with facial hair in women. Freak shows and circuses once displayed (usually fake) bearded women. Abraham Lincoln was said to have grown a beard because a little girl wrote him that he would look better with one.The amount of facial hair on a man's face varies from individual to individual, and also between ethnic groups. For example, men from many East Asian, West African or Native American backgrounds typically have much less facial hair than those of European, Middle Eastern or South Asian descent, with Native Americans typically having little to none at all. Northern East Asians and Eastern Africans can grow conspicuous amounts of facial hair. Everyone has facial hair, men and women of all ethnic backgrounds. Actually, most people have some amount of hair over most of their body. The only differences between people’s facial hair involve thickness and quantity. In most cultures it is perfectly acceptable to have thick and large amounts of facial hair if you are male.
In fact many cultures highly encourage facial hair for men, and thick beards are seen as a symbol of male virility, wisdom, and or power. Conversely, most cultures do not likewise value facial hair on women, and usually stigmatize it quite harshly. A woman with an abnormally large amount of facial hair is often made to feel embarrassed and is looked at as somehow less feminine than other women.
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