This is an amusing article looking at how the moustache was an essential element in the building of the British Empire, and how the Empire faded when the more awesome moustache styles were let go.
I get the feeling that the well-moustached or bearded face may be instinctively recognized by humans as mature, masculine, powerful, having authority and wisdom. There is another article posted here that lends credence to such a social and psychological phenomenon.
An interesting quote from the article:
“And the moustache became imperative because it was seen as a potent symbol of virility. As one contemporary noted, Indians looked upon “the bare faces of the English with amazement and contempt”, regarding as na-mard (unmanly) countenances emasculated by the razor.”
In Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing a leading character Beatrice embarrasses a young soldier by referring to him as “the un-bearded one”, as he was bare faced or could not grow a good face full, and was considered a bit less than manly or less than mature because of it. Could it be that we are wired from ancient times to recognize significant facial hair as a necessary sign of manliness, maturity, power and authority?
Let that be a lesson to us all!