Dictators need facial hair. The way an ordinary person needs consistent sustenance, dictators must proclaim their superiority on their face, with hair. The styles vary depending on the man, but the purpose is the same throughout. Let the people know the supremacy of your rule, no matter which way you shave it. These guys wrote the book, and here’s how they did it. â€¨
As far as this tyrant facial hair game goes, Hitler was “The King.” His short, “toothbrush” styled moustache became a distinctive, irreplaceable sign of how tightly ordered his face was. This order extended out over the German people, but its power originated within the moustache. But what many people don’t know is that Hitler preferred a wide, curling Prussian styled moustache. But in WWI, while he was serving in the army he was ordered to trim it down. So he did, changing world history forever. Imagine if he had kept his original moustache? He would have been showing the people of Germany that a wild, bear-like moustache and way of life was Germany’s chosen path. With that kind of example, the Nazis wouldn’t have even made it to Poland. â€¨
Take everything we learned from Hitler and forget about it, because Stalin had a completely different idea of what a tyrant’s facial hair should look like. Stalin believed more moustache = more man, and it showed through his walrus moustache as well as the flagrant fatalities his government committed (many of which on their own people). Stalin and Hitler conceptually were ideologically opposed, one on the extreme left and the other on the extreme right. Stalin accentuated this difference with his rejection of Hitler’s tightly shaven moustache. Ironically, they were very similar malicious dictators, no matter what the size of their respective moustaches. Stalin’s powerful, yet well-groomed, upper lip oversaw one of the most powerful dictatorships in human history.
One of the most radical and long-lasting dictators of all time, Castro drew much of his fortitude from his gnarly beard. While dictators like Hitler and Stalin claimed to represent the people, they were really elitists, and it showed on their well-prepared faces. But Castro was (at least originally) a man of the Cubans, and it showed in his people’s beard. It was wild and scraggly — clearly an underdog beard — but Castro made the most of it. It was a very hot facial hairstyle for Cuba, but Castro made it sizzle. As he got older, the beard took on silver strands, which if pulled taut would measure over six inches. These strands represented Castro’s wisdom and also all the pain and suffering he’d endured and caused in his youth. The beard also separated Castro from the people he’d sworn to protect and represent. Once, in 1959, Castro said, “power does not interest me, and I will not take it.” The beard helped him sell that to the people, but clearly it was just a careful ruse. Let this be known about dictator facial hair: beware the beard. He who has it is a wildcard. â€¨
I know what you’re thinking. “Kim Jong-Il? He doesn’t even have any facial hair! Why his face is bald and almost looks like a woman’s!” Exactly. Kim Jong-Il has a very important, classic dictator facial hair set-up: the absence of a moustache. According to his official biography, his birth was foretold by a swallow, and caused a double rainbow and a new star to appear. People all over North Korea swallow that every day. Now can you see why he wouldn’t degrade his beautiful face with hair? Facial hair is rough, itchy and unkempt. It doesn’t cause double rainbows, or anything close to that. Kim Jong-Il’s angelic face belies a cruel, calculating mastermind whose state propaganda is so intense many North Koreans believe he can control the weather based on his mood. Only someone without a moustache could enact something so nefarious. â€¨ â€¨
Henry the Eighth
Throwback! Henry was the second monarch of the house of Tudor, but someone should have tutored him about how to not have a silly beard. Today we would call Henry a bear (which he is), but back then the English, Irish (and even French at one point) had to call him King. His body, lifestyle and facial hair all clearly showed this was a man who never deprived himself of anything he desired. Unfortunately, because of the time period in which he was born, Henry never got to see the beards of dictators such as Castro. If he had, he would have realized that the beard draws most of its power from its upper quadrants and the moustache. Shaving your face so hair gravitates in the direction of the neck saps your beard of its natural va-voom. No wonder he was so insecure. He died from not taking care of himself and his beard. â€¨ â€¨
Vladimir Lenin was Stalin’s precursor and the leader of the Russian revolution in 1917. But more than that, he was a dictator with a goatee. There are many things in this world that one doesn’t understand yet must still respect regardless. A goateed dictator is not one of them. Lenin’s unorganized, sloppy, elfin facial hair led to his downfall, and almost the ruin of Russia. If it weren’t for Stalin’s moustache coming to the rescue there would never have even been a Cold War. Lenin was weak, and his facial hair was even weaker. Let’s be clear: in the dictator facial hair game there is no room for clowns or clownish facial hair. Learn from those that came before, or just use common sense and shave it like your rule’s success depends on it. Because it does. â€¨
Have you ever seen anything more beautiful in your life? Khan broke all the Henry the VIII rules. Even though he had a wispy moustache and no other facial hair at or above his lips, his beard is as dynamic as his sword was conquering. Look at the length of it! A beard like that automatically makes a dictator more intelligent, because it lends itself to twirling and pondering more than any other facial hairstyle. When Khan had to work out how he was going to rape, murder and pillage larger sections of Asia than had ever been previously brutalized, how do you think he did it? He sat at home and crunched the numbers while he twirled and curled that marvelous manstachio. â€¨
This guy was a real jerk. But what separates Pol Pot from the rest is that his facial hair was the most clever and devious of them all. At first it may not be evident to you, but look closer. Pol Pot, former dictator of Cambodia and murderer of give or take 2 million of his own people, had an invisible moustache. Pot was a leftist rebel who wanted to break free forever from the feudal peasant society he had grown up in and lead a revolution powered by rural farmers… But it didn’t go so well. The only reason he had a chance to make the Khmer Rouge and deal as much death as he did was because of his ingenious invisible moustache. It was his most evil creation. â€¨ â€¨
Crap dictator, crap moustache — that’s the long and short of it. The man’s moustache says fiesta then siesta when it should be saying I own you and all of your children. Saddam clearly wanted to be Burt Reynolds, but that train is never on time. Instead, he had to satisfy himself by obsessively restricting the lives of his populace as well as torturing and gassing his own people and foreign enemies alike. This is the same guy that was caught by American forces cowering in a hole and didn’t even have the dignity to be wearing his signature moustache.
Kaiser Wilhelm II
Second Reich in this Popsicle stand! Wilhelm II ruled over Germany and Prussia from 1888 to 1918 with a moustache that put future generations on the game. It was a stab-you-in-the-face sword-like Rollie Fingers precursor, or, to those unfamiliar with baseball, an upside down handlebar moustache. He may have, in large part, escalated and lost World War I, but his moustache said no nonsense and his subjects recognized that from birth. Eventually, he was exiled and died of pulmonary embolus, a clog in the main artery of the lung. His moustache wasn’t responsible for these or any other failures, only his wild successes.
As you can see from the image, Franco was a moustache biter. He stole Hitler’s moustache, and much of his politics. Franco declared himself “Caudillo de EspaÃ±a, por la gracia de Dios” which means “Leader of Spain, by the grace of God.” He should have called himself “Leader of Spain by the grace of a more powerful dictator with a moustache similar to mine, yet somehow incredibly more effective.” His rule was lasted a surprisingly long time, given the large opposition to him in Spain and worldwide. As he grew older, he slowly gave up titles that included head of state, commander in chief of the military, prime minister, king and ruler of the universe of Spain. He died in 1975, two weeks before his 83rd birthday. He was survived by his moustache, whose infamy is resurrected right here.
Ho Chi Minh
Known primarily for rocking the Genghis Khan meets Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh’s facial hair was home to many animals as well as being one of the scruffiest dictator styles ever. Before his death in 1969, Ho Chi Minh also managed to wrestle power from the Japanese, Vichy French, and fight the Americans to a standstill over his desire to conquer and unite South Vietnam with North Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh’s facial hair had a mixture of ancient Asian martial arts mastery with the thoughtfulness of Confucius. It was these traits that allowed him to become a military guerrilla mastermind as well as a brutal dictator. If his beard could speak, it would have said “mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.” â€¨
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Facial hair can be creepy. Who would leave a child (whom they loved) alone with a man with a moustache? Nasser was the purest form of a man whose eyebrows — and especially moustache — scream “pedophile!” When a moustache is long and thin, the creepiness will begin. That’s a rule. Nasser was the second President of Egypt from 1954 until he died in 1970. His creepy moustache led him to attempt a Pan-Arabic movement (which probably failed due to trepidation of what Nasser might do during closed-doors unity meetings), and to nationalize everything in sight. His approval ratings rocketed up and down during his presidency, but the disapproval for the moustache was unanimous. â€¨
Listen to the name. He’s not playing. Look at the beard. It’s gigantic. Xerxes was born in 519 BC and took over rule of Persia from his daddy in 486 BC. Back then people practiced a religion called Zoroastrianism, which promoted awesome, thick grandpa beards. The type of beard where you can’t remember when you last shaved it, ’cause the answer is never. Xerxes was more a follower than a pro in the game at creating his own style, but he wore a classic and ran with it. That is, until 465 BC when his reign ended after he was murdered by Artabanus, the commander of his own royal bodyguard. Artabanus had a similar beard to Xerxes, but was better at betrayal.
He may look nerdy with those glasses and that moustache to you, but the simplicity and dorkiness of Emperor Hirohito belie the ability to make a highly advanced, brilliant nation surrender to him completely for 63 years. Even after being defeated in WWII, Hirohito was still the dictator the people of Japan needed and loved, and it was in no small part due to his unassuming moustache. His duality was exposed after Japan lost the war and he showed he could be a totalitarian leader and also oversee Japan’s transformation to a democracy and a prodigious technological exporter. He died in 1989, retiring a mysterious moustache still misunderstood by many. â€¨