Beards Are Nothing. Beards Are Everything. Beards Contain Multitudes.S

Blame the cold winter, but men in politics are loving beards right now. From Secretary of State John Kerry to White House speech writer Cody Keenan to Press Secretary Jay Carney, those white male democrats are loving that hair on their face. But what does this all mean for the state of the union?

The New Republic's Alice Robb has broken down the many studies that have been done about the how and why of beards and has come to the conclusion that beards, as we have noted before, are very complicated. They signal confidence and healthiness, are a preventative measure against skin cancer, can make a man seem more aggressive or wealthier or indicate that he'll live longer or that he's more attractive to women (or that he's not). If you're a man, a beard might get you a job, but it might also make someone at a company that makes razors lose theirs. You might even want a beard so badly you'll get a facial hair transplant because you've heard it will make you sexier.

The beard has a far-reaching effect. If we can't pin down what the deal is with beards, what hope is there for the human race as it stands?

In truth, the beard is mystical and magical because it fixates on two of our favorite things at once: hair and faces. What is more fascinating than the stuff we're constantly debating whether to remove or wear a certain element combined with the thing we obsessively look at in the mirror?

Of course, the headline of this post could have been amended to "No One Knows Anything About Anything and Most Scientific Studies Seem Like They're in Opposition to Each Other, But If We Didn't Have Them, How Could We Prove We Were Learning and Growing and Would We Really Have Anything to Talk About?" But that seemed a little long.

Image via Carolyn Kaster/AP