BBC News ran a light-hearted story on 18 November 2002 about “beardism” ad the Beard Liberation Front:
</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”> Get ahead, lose the beard
Coincidence? A survey in the image-conscious United States suggested bearded politicians polled 5% fewer votes than clean-shaven opponents.
A beard can also be a bar to holding even humble posts, like manning the supermarket deli counter. In 2001, an employment tribunal upheld Waitrose’s right not to employ bearded men on food counters because facial hair posed a “significant” health risk to customers.
Beardism is also permissible in TV adverts, said the Independent Television Commission when it dismissed 25 complaints about a commercial suggesting the perfect world would be free of facial hair.
“The content of the advertisement was too far-fetched to be taken seriously and unlikely to cause deep or widespread offence,” the ITC ruled.
However the Home Office has reportedly woken up to beardism, asking its managers to consider prejudice against facial hair as a form of discrimination. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>