Beard (companion)


Beard (companion)

Beard is a slang term describing a person who is used, knowingly or unknowingly, as a date, romantic partner (Boyfriend or Girlfriend), or spouse either to conceal infidelity or to conceal one's sexual orientation. The term can be used in heterosexual and homosexual contexts, but with increasing acceptance of gay culture, references to beards are seen in mainstream television and movies as well as other entertainment.

Contents

Concealing infidelity

In early usage of the term, a beard scenario involved concealing infidelity in a monogamous relationship.[1][2]

In a typical scenario, X and Y are in a supposedly exclusive relationship, but X is actually cheating with Z. However, to keep Y from learning about X's infidelity, W, the "beard", pretends to be paired with Z.

Such a scenario is a central premise of Woody Allen's 1984 film Broadway Danny Rose. The titular talent agent is the beard, pretending to date Tina, a single woman who is actually having an affair with married singer Lou Canova. By posing as Tina's date, Danny can bring her to Lou's performances without drawing attention from Lou's suspicious wife. The term "beard" is a running gag, used four times (e.g., "I'm only the beard") when Tina's relatives assume Danny is Tina's previously mysterious lover.

Concealing sexual orientation

Recognized usage of "beard" applies to a person who serves to camouflage another's sexual orientation.[3] An example is a gay man pretending to date a woman, in an effort to conceal his sexuality. Though beard entered wider use in the 1960s,[citation needed] many of the reported lavender marriages of 1920s in Hollywood, and the similar reported romantic marriage of Rock Hudson (mid-1950s) employed the same usage. In Hudson's case, Phyllis Gates acted as his beard, to avert the perceived damage that the disclosure of Hudson's homosexuality might have on his career.

In the 2010 comedy film Easy A, the main character, Olive (Emma Stone), agrees to be a beard for her friend Brandon (Dan Byrd), so he will no longer be bullied.

In early episodes of the first season of The L Word, the character Dana Fairbanks pretended to be dating her gay doubles partner, Harrison, to conceal her orientation before eventually coming out. Also, in the episode Lay Down the Law, lesbian actress Niki Stevens (Kate French) is forced to beard with her co-star Greg (Dominic Zamprogna) at her film premiere to kill speculation about her sexuality.

In the "Born This Way" episode of Glee, closeted lesbian character Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) discovers a classmate, Dave Karofsky (Max Adler), is also in the closet; she corners him and suggests they be each other's beards.

Other Uses

In the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the titular character refers to his girlfriend, Rita, as his beard. He uses his relationship with her as camouflage to hide from those around him that he is a self-professed monster and serial killer.

Satirical use

American cartoonist Ted Rall's July 5, 2004, cartoon[4] used the term to mock then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, depicting her character being sent to a "racial re-education camp" where she refers to herself as George W. Bush's "beard". Beard in this context ostensibly referred to Rice camouflaging racial discrimination in the White House; it had been reported in the press in 2003 that she had been involved in crafting Bush's position on race-based preferences.[5]

See also

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Beard (disambiguation) — A beard is a type of human facial hair, and also refers to a dangling hair growth on goats.Beard may also refer to:People*Adrien Beard, American voice actor *Al Beard, American former basketball player *Alana Beard, American basketball player… …   Wikipedia

  • Beard's Roman Women — infobox Book | name = Beard s Roman Women title orig = translator = image caption = author = Anthony Burgess cover artist = country = United Kingdom language = English series = genre = Novel publisher = Hutchinson release date = 1976 media type …   Wikipedia

  • Daniel Carter Beard — Born June 21, 1850(1850 06 21) Cincinnati, Ohio Died June 11, 1941(1941 06 11 …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford Companion to Food — The Oxford Companion to Food The Penguin Companion to Food   Author(s) …   Wikipedia

  • Charles A. Beard — Charles Austin Beard Born November 27, 1874(1874 11 27) Knightstown, Indiana, U.S. Died September 1, 19 …   Wikipedia

  • Glossary of ancient Roman religion — This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries. Ancient Roman religion …   Wikipedia

  • Religion in ancient Rome — Ancient Roman religion Marcus Aurelius (head covered) sacrificing at the Temple of Jupiter …   Wikipedia

  • Mars (mythology) — Mars, 1st century, found in the Forum of Nerva (Capitoline Museums, Rome) Ancient Roman religion …   Wikipedia

  • Jesus — This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. For other uses, see Jesus (disambiguation). Jesus …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Darwin — Charles Darwin …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.