Is Obama’s Beard Real?

This weekend The Shade Room sent the internet into a tizzy by posting a photo of a bearded Barack Obama. You’ve heard that Kim K. broke the internet? Well, this shaved the internet bald.

The Shade Room

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Obama has famously said that he can’t grow facial hair but folks just decided that was fake news and went wild for the photoshopped image, which was created by Tyler Simien. On Monday, the former President showed up at the unveiling of his portrait for the National Portrait Gallery, once again fresh to death and clean shaven.


Frankly, I’m glad that Obama isn’t rocking a lewk from the “Dude Abides” collection. I’m not sure how much silver foxier we can handle him. This lewk puts us all at SexyCon 4.

Barack Obama in a beard is giving us a little Wrinkle zaddy Chris Pine moment:


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Mixed with a pre-Amal George Clooney:


A salt and pepper beard is serious business. It’s a lewk that says, “My out-of-office is turned on and so am I.”

A salt and pepper beard says “Why don’t I just order a bottle for the table?” and then winks at you. Winks.

A salt and pepper beard is the dad version of a glow up. Put this accessory on your face and you’ll be the talk of Chateau Marmont and Shady Pines at once.

Not that the former president needs it, of course.

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As he revealed today, he doesn’t need facial hair to get our attention.

Kehinde Wiley/NPG

Obama is folded into foliage, buffeted by blooms, layered in leaves. With all these embellishments, a beard would just get lost.

Besides, in the context of his new portrait by Kehinde Wiley, a beard would take him from “President and King of the Garden of Eden” to “Prime Minister of Jumanji” real quick.

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So, perhaps it’s best that Obama’s staying stocked up on Bic razors. I don’t think we could handle him much wilder.

That said, if you ever want to try out a beard, Barack, the nation is absolutely here for it.

Follow R. Eric Thomas on Twitter.

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