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Is Tiger's beard weird? Add to ...

DAVE MCGINN -- Tiger Woods arrived at Augusta Monday with not only a new attitude but a new image. While his words and actions were clearly meant to promote the idea of Tiger the soft-spoken family man, he's sporting the facial hair of choice for bikers and tough guys (and fellow philanderer Jesse James). What's up with the goatee? For answers, I spoke to Allan Peterkin, author of 1, 000 Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair.

Q: Is there a certain type of person who wears a goatee?

Peterkin: If we're talking Tiger Woods, my guess would be that commonly men grow facial hair when they want to grow their public face, just like Al Gore grew a beard when he lost the election.

Q: But why would Tiger choose the facial hair favoured by tough guys?

Peterkin: I think for Tiger, it's maybe hiding, maybe showing a new face and maybe showing he's not a boy. He has an exceptionally boyish face. This makes him look more like a man.

Q: Are goatees still as edgy as they once were?

Peterkin: Every guy who wanted to look badass started to grow a goatee after the '90s. It became really ubiquitous. And it sort of lost some of its edge.

Q: What do you think Tiger's goatee says about him?

Peterkin: You used to be able to know what facial hair said about somebody, but now you can't really know. Colonel Sanders had a nice goatee and was kind of a friendly fellow. But also various images of the devil show the goatee and the link with the goat and the beast.

Q: Do you think Tiger grew his goatee knowing it would attract a lot of attention?

Peterkin: It becomes a deflection about asking some of the more serious questions about his so-called sexual addiction and so on. It can be a bit of a diversion.

Follow on Twitter: @Dave_McGinn

 

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