Men with beards: what jokes are allowed? -Panorama

Because that manager magazine had compared his beard to the beard of the GDR leader Walter Ulbricht, a very successful media lawyer (he is so successful that one hardly dares to write his name here) obtained a rebuttal. The media lawyer made it clear that, unlike the man who ordered the construction of the Berlin Wall, he has a full beard. Well, who cares?

That manager magazine In any case, the lawyer’s counterstatement then had to be published (he is really tremendously successful), but at the same time he tried to prove the opposite by printing two photos, whereupon the media lawyer wanted to obtain another counterstatement before the Hamburg Higher Regional Court – but now lost. The court found that the matter was partially covered by freedom of expression.

Apart from the fact that, according to a Swiss study, there are usually far more bacteria, viruses and fungi in men’s beards than in a dog’s coat: Such a comparison is very mean. Ulbricht beard, Rübezahl beard, Hitler beard, hipster beard – looks cannot serve as the basis for a factual discussion! You would be on the level of the king’s daughter Roswitha from the Defa film “King Drosselbart”, who – like in the Grimm fairy tale – mocks the men as either too fat, too big, too small or too bird-like.

Incidentally, the GDR film was made in 1965 and the little beard that the actor Manfred Krug wore here was also seen as a hidden allusion to the then SED Central Committee Chairman Walter Ulbricht. Whether the media lawyer would have preferred that manager magazine would have compared him to King Thrushbeard?

David Beckham, Horst Lichter or rather Conchita Wurst?

In any case, the argument about beards only shows how dishonest it is to reduce people to their appearance. That may all be covered by freedom of speech, but the stamp that is put on others in this way will never be rid of them. Unless those affected give in at some point and part with their cherished appearance, like the Austrian Minister of Education Martin Polaschek with his long hairstyle or the footballer Rudi Völler with his mustache. Then the other side won.

When a Republican candidate unexpectedly lost to a Democrat in the Pennsylvania by-election in 2018, a fellow party member commented, “He should have shaved his mustache.” In fact, William H. Taft was the last US President with facial hair more than a hundred years ago.

Of course, it would be much more elegant to use less painful comparisons in the future. The beard of the German Finance Minister, for example, would then no longer have to remind one of the advertising icon David Beckham, but could also be understood as a reference to the extremely innovative Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut, of whom there are many pictures that also show her with a beard. With the Kaiser Wilhelm beard, one could think of the always cheerful “Bares for Rares” moderator Horst Lichter and thanks to the wonderful author Harry Rowohlt, the full facial hair usually associated with Karl Marx should finally experience a new interpretation. Seen in this way, even an Ulbricht beard on the face of a media lawyer would be nothing more than: an affectionate reminiscence of Conchita Wurst.

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