The goatee beard style has been around for thousands of years. Ancient Greeks and Romans are often portrayed with this style of facial hair. At least the men. The name, of course, derived from the fact that the goatee resembles the facial adornment a billy goat, with its tendrils of hair dangling from its chin.
The Greek god Pan is portrayed with a goatee, which is not surprising as he also sports the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat. At some point this ancient god, perhaps because of his free-wheeling sexuality, became associated with Satan as Christianity supplanted paganism, and Satan is often portrayed with the horns of a goat, and a scraggly little goatee. Perhaps because of this, over the years the goatee has been made representative of negative traits.
Think about it. If you were to come upon a pair of twins, one good, one evil, which one would you expect to be sporting a goatee? There has been some research into the psychological aspects of this phenomenon. It seems that the human brains tend to interpret downward turning triangles as threatening, and that pointy little tuft of hair on the chin seems to elicit this reaction.
The goatee moved into and out of popularity for centuries before becoming more common in the nineteenth century. President Abraham Lincoln often sported the style during his White House residency. Late in the century it became the symbol of the bohemian generation in Paris, and in mid-twentieth century, the distinguishing characteristic of the beat generation in America. Guy Fawkes wore a goatee as he attempted to blow up Parliament, and Guy Fieri wears one as he travels from diner to drive-in to dive. Add a mustache, and you’ve got a Van Dyke!
A goatee beard is grown on the chin, with hair starting under the lower lip. The rest of the face is clean shaven, free of facial hair. A goatee is never connected to a mustache. If a mustache is worn with a goatee, the style is then referred to as a Van Dyke. A proper goatee should be as wide as the mouth. The sides should be clearly defined, and can be either straight or slightly curved, depending on personal preference. The hair is then rounded off at the bottom. Properly styled, a goatee can be devilishly handsome!