All The Rage

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Bearded & Tschorn: Chilean miners emerge -- clean shaven

October 14, 2010 | 10:12 am


The first thing I noticed when the first of the Chilean miners emerged topside was how clean-shaven they appeared. There was an occasional mustache, sure, but even in those instances the men appeared well-groomed. After more than two months trapped half a mile underground, I expected full-on Rip Van Winkle beards.

Apparently I'm not the only one surprised by the dearth of facial fuzz, because I heard the observation made during the radio and television coverage of the rescue efforts. 

Then, before I could dig into the matter any further, Constantino Diaz-Duran's post at the Daily Beast -- entitled "Why Don't the Miners Have Beards?" -- popped up in my RSS reader.

The article reminds us that razors and shaving cream were among the provisions sent down to the trapped men, so that part is no mystery. The real question is: With so many more-pressing issues (some literally life and death), why shave at all?

For many men (including this author), the shaving process is an important ritual, and my guess is that it helped the men maintain some manner of daily routine during the ordeal.

Unless one of the miners was in the habit of using an electric razor, of course.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Pedro Cortes, the 31st miner to be rescued, on Wednesday emerged from 69 days underground surprisingly clean shaven. Credit: Hugo Infante / Chilean government via Getty Images