Beards are back, and they’re not just for the Amish anymore.

They are men’s resounding answer to the metrosexual. Johnny Depp has one; so do Hugh Jackman, Jeff Bridges, Keanu Reeves and Javier Bardem. And let us not forget George Clooney.

But it’s the guy in the street who’s got one, too, not just the Hollywood big boys. Soldiers sport them, as does the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team. It’s as if masculinity everywhere suddenly decided “no más” en masse to shaving.

And while there may not seem to be a reason why men do anything, there is this time.

Beards are a sort of cultural backlash, a rebellion against society’s prescription of what it means to look like a man. To put it simply, no more facials; we want facial hair.

Much like women’s hemlines — what goes up must come down — what’s been shaved off must grow back. Silky smooth is dead, long live the lumberjack. Men are rallying behind their beards, revolting against attempts to make them clean shaven and effeminate. It’s no accident Che Guevara had a beard. So did Jesus.

As a tool of seduction, they rate rather highly, doubtless because of their long association with bad boys. The devil himself has one, and so do bikers, even faux ones, like Charlie Hunmam on “Sons of Anarchy.”And even though beards are also tainted with Old Testament patriarchy, polygamy and perhaps some subconscious fear — they do hide the male expression, a key signal in the animal kingdom as to whether or not he might attack — studies show women are fine with them.

As long as they don’t interfere with taking out the trash.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at or at

You’ve got to vogue

They had style, they had grace. Best Dressed of the Teche said yes to the catwalk at City Club, all in the name of fun and good causes.

This year’s honorees — Mrs. Louisiana Michelle Merrill, Cindy and Jim Falterman, Nick Rader, Don Allen, Debra Mitchell, Gordon Doerle Jr., Stephanie Fitch, Rachel Theriot, Patty Williams, Estelle Barrilleaux, Gordon Van Greig, Michael Doumit and Christopher and Susan Dupuy — paraded first in evening wear and later in an outfit of choice.

The runway rock stars warmed up with cocktails and photo ops before dinner followed by a late-night strut to music, courtesy of über deejay Joshua Murrell.

The crab cakes were incomparable, as was the company of New Iberia Mayor Hilda Curry and daughter Jenée Champagne, event director Miriam Krepper, emcee Pat Bonin, designer Raoul Blanco, LSU offensive lineman Josh Dworaczyk, Vikki Morgan and Colette Rader.

A good time was had by all and proceeds benefited Partners of the Americas, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is international amity through projects here and abroad.

Jace Fogelman jazzes it up

Nobody gives a party like Penny Edwards, and a houseful of lucky guests gathered at Prestwick Court in Le Triomphe for cocktails and jazz. Recently signed to an indie label in the Northwest, nephew Jace Fogelman donned a fedora Sinatra-style and serenaded.

“I’m a sucker for torch songs,” Fogelman said prior to belting out a Garland number. “Kind of hits home for me, you know.”

Enjoying the champagne along with Minnie the Moocher were former Gov. Kathleen Blanco and husband Raymond, a solo Bridget Boustany, matriarch Dorothy Foreman, Eunice Mayor Curtis Joubert, Bob and Judy Dunn, Jennifer LeBlanc, Karen and Alex Lincoln, artist Adrian Fulton and Baton Rouge lady-in-red Carmen Board with husband James.

Regrettably, Sen. Elbert Guillory and daughter Imani had a fender-bender en route and had to be towed.

What we loved: Le Triomphe staff Jenny, Sharon and Courtney, Maui chef Cirk Romero’s peach tea punch and Penny’s friends — the party to beat this summer, folks.