Welcome to Clip from Spiral logo

Interactive video lesson plan for: The economics of beard popularity in the US

Activity overview:

We may have reached "peak beard."

Subscribe to our channel! is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app.

Check out our full video catalog:
Follow Vox on Twitter:
Or on Facebook:

You may think people grow beards because of their fashionability or warmth, but author and professor Stephen Mihm says there might be another reason. In a New York Times piece he makes the case that in Western countries, trends in beard popularity can be explained by economics by looking at trends in capitalism.

Throughout the 20th century many anti-capitalist movements adopted large, bushy, Karl Marx-like beards as signs of protest. Whenever these movements gained steam you saw a marked decrease in beard acceptance amongst wealthy and powerful American business leaders. But once these movements died down, CEOs and business tycoons often re-adopted beards to show their strength and rugged individuality.

Today we’re seeing a resurgence of beards acceptance, brought on by the young and wealthy leaders of Silicon Valley such as Elon Musk, Jack Dempsey, and originally Steve Jobs.

But researchers argue we might be reaching something called “peak beard,” which occurs when beards become too popular and clean shaven men begin to become more attractive by comparison.

Tagged under: vox.,vox,explain,beard,beards,economics,facial hair,mustaches,mustache,shaving,shaved,capitalism,anarchy,anarchists,steven mihm,cat beard,cat beards,dean peterson,animation,animated,explainer,stache,stubble,socialism,socialist,communism,communist,economy,elon musk,steve jobs,silicon valley,tech boom,andrew carnegie,robber baron,peak beard,clean shaven,thick,growing beard,scruff,karl marx

Clip makes it super easy to turn any public video into a formative assessment activity in your classroom.

Add multiple choice quizzes, questions and browse hundreds of approved, video lesson ideas for Clip

Make YouTube one of your teaching aids - Works perfectly with lesson micro-teaching plans

Play this activity

1. Students enter a simple code

2. You play the video

3. The students comment

4. You review and reflect

* Whiteboard required for teacher-paced activities

Share on:

Share The economics of beard popularity in the US on Google+ Share The economics of beard popularity in the US on Twitter Share The economics of beard popularity in the US on Facebook Pin The economics of beard popularity in the US Email The economics of beard popularity in the US

Ready to see what else Spiral logo can do?

With four apps, each designed around existing classroom activities, Spiral gives you the power to do formative assessment with anything you teach.


Carry out a quickfire formative assessment to see what the whole class is thinking


Create interactive presentations to spark creativity in class

Team Up

Student teams can create and share collaborative presentations from linked devices


Turn any public video into a live chat with questions and quizzes

1000s of teachers use Spiral to deliver awesome, engaging activities that capture students' understanding during lessons.

Now it's your turn Sign up

Spiral Reviews by Teachers and Digital Learning Coaches

Review of Spiral by teacher: Kathryn Laster @kklaster

Tried out the canvas response option on @SpiralEducation & it's so awesome! Add text or drawings AND annotate an image! #R10tech

Review of Spiral by teacher: Room 220 Math Stars @3rdgradeBCE

Using @SpiralEducation in class for math review. Student approved! Thumbs up! Thanks.

Review of Spiral by teacher: Miss Ord @ordmiss

Absolutely amazing collaboration from year 10 today. 100% engagement and constant smiles from all #lovetsla #spiral

Review of Spiral by teacher: Adam J. Stryker @strykerstennis

Students show better Interpersonal Writing skills than Speaking via @SpiralEducation Great #data #langchat folks!

Review of Spiral by teacher: Dr Ayla Göl @iladylayla

A good tool for supporting active #learning.

Review of Spiral by teacher: Brett Erenberg @BrettErenberg

The Team Up app is unlike anything I have ever seen. You left NOTHING out! So impressed!

Get the Clip Chrome Extension & Create Video Lessons in Seconds

Add Clip to Chrome