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Photographer Spends Four Years Capturing Guys With Better Beards Than Us

by : Cameron Frew on : 21 Apr 2020 14:55
Photographer Spends Four Years Capturing Guys With Better Beards Than UsMedia Drum World

As a chronic facial hair failure, writing this article evoked feelings of both envy and awe. Beards don’t get much better than this. 

Right now, folks all across the globe are embracing their best bushy beards. With social pressure wiped away for the time being, why not grow it out? No longer do we have to be ashamed of our everlasting, puny stubble.

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However, literally just as I was feeling somewhat proud of my progress, Roberto Pazzi’s extraordinary snaps come along.

Roberto Pazzi Beards 3Media Drum World

Between 2015 and 2019, the 46-year-old photographer – from Milan, Italy – embarked on a journey across the world on a mission to create the most eclectic series of bearded portraits from the original hipsters.

Beards have become increasingly common since the mid-2010s. Once primarily associated with elders, philosophers and artists, they’re a hugely fashionable asset for the man of today. This drove the Italian to illustrate the stories of the men behind the hair.

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Roberto Pazzi BeardsMedia Drum World

Roberto explained: 

I’m passionate about travelling. After travelling to so many countries around the world, I noticed that the beard was a common element between them. The beard is often associated with an elder – someone who is experienced and wise.

In history, the beard has been associated with the greatest philosophers, scientists, and artists. I think we instinctively presume that a person with a beard is interesting.

Roberto – who now lives in Palma de Mallorca, Spain – was so passionate about this creative endeavour, he travelled to the likes of Iran, Nepal and India. There, he’s captured jaw-dropping facial hair, from huge moustaches to bright orange beards.

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The photographer noted that facial hair varies massively across the spectrum of age, culture, location and religion. For example, some of those who appear in Roberto’s photos consider their beard to be synonymous with their faith, while others in Nepal rely on it to battle the fierce weather.

Roberto Pazzi Beards 2Media Drum World

Roberto added: 

In almost all cultures, the beard has a different meaning for an elder than it does for a young man who probably considers it a fashion trend. My intent was to try and represent the souls of these people – to tell each of their stories. To me, every face is a book. Every wrinkle, facial hair, scar, and imperfection helps to create that book.

When I’m travelling, I spend a great part of my time amongst the local people. I walk the lesser-known streets and villages for hours trying to find real people with real experiences. The reaction to these images has been great. People like stories and these beards tell a good one.

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My facial hair also tells a definitive story… that I cannot grow a beard.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Life, facial hair, India, Iran, Nepal, Photography, Travel