A bearded man in a dress?! The very image will cause suburban mothers to clutch their children in alarm. Tell them that man does magic and they’ll spit out their kombucha and rush to warn NextDoor. But despite all this, dress-donning, magic-making men in beards have captivated (most of) us throughout history. Don't worry, I brought examples:
You’ve heard of him. Maybe you’ve read his memoir. If not, you know he loves you; the lady on the bus told you so. The magic of Jesus is easily the most practical and diverse. Tricks range from simple charms like turning water into wine to show-stopping stunts like resurrection (after which he retired, which begs the question, “what was really the point?”). While the ethics and principles of this dress-wearing magician are hotly debated by his fan base, one thing is agreed upon: Jesus saves, making him the first Jewish superhero (a mantle which remained unclaimed until the advent of Magneto).
Nordic God-king synonymous with knowledge, wisdom, war, death, birth, victory, mysticism and royalty (bitcoin is the only area this man cannot claim expertise in), Odin comes in at number two. In recent years, Odin’s notoriety has been overshadowed by his more talented and better looking son, Thor, making Odin a sort of Nordic Martin Sheen. Nonetheless, Odin’s magic is marked by superior strength, communing with animals, and a flair for good ol’ Asgardian ass-kicking. All whilst wearing a dress.
We’re circling toward the realm of the mortals. While Gandalf looks like a man, he’s something akin to an Angel, a group that also has a high percentage of beards, dresses, and magic. And, like his cross-carrying counterpart, Gandalf possesses the ability to return from apparent death. Known for fireworks displays, light shows, and an incredible command of smoke rings (this guy is truly a stoner’s stoner) Gandalf’s most revered for his famed incantation, “You shall not pass.” This seems to be a declaration to middle-Earthian Satan at the forefront, but may be a declaration to himself, predicting his own survival. Or it could be a bad bout of kidney stones.
Okay, not a far cry from Gandalf, but since we’re omitting Merlin from this list, all bootlegs thereof are fair game. For a guy who’s regarded as the baddest mother around, his magic is pretty underwhelming. His partial resurrection is commendable, his charms are charming, and his decision to groom a teenager to save the world is…let’s say it, irresponsible. But as we investigate where these bearded men generate the confidence to cross-dress, it’s worth noting he’s the only one on our list confirmed to be gay. Of course, not all cross-dressers are gay, and not all gays are cross-dressers. But just as not all heroes wear capes, it does up the odds.
“He doesn’t wear a dress!” you say. Well, early depictions of Saint Nick show him wearing a long, flowing gown. (And if you’re expecting me to source that, fuck off. Do you know what article you’re reading?) When Coca-Cola got its hands on his image, Daddy Christmas switched his style for the famous red and white suit. As disappointing as it is to see our idol hang up his dress to appease the corporate heavyweight, it’s understandable, as corporate sponsors aren't a nonprofit org.
And with that, we’ve descended from mythological to historical. Rasputin was a friend to Emperor Nicholas II in early 20th century Imperial — ah who gives a shit, the guy entranced people with his eyes! (I mean, look at those eyes.) Those who recall his healing abilities describe some form of hypnosis after which they experienced short term memory loss. This speaks to either some deep and profound form of mysticism, or to penicillin and a concussion. Oh, and Doc Brown voiced him in the movie.
…is not a man! But fuck it, we’re gonna keep this list all-inclusive. The title says “men” simply because, let’s face it, they have a monopoly on the beard. But this woman is not afraid to break the glass ceiling into a male dominated industry, and proudly wears the beard and dress in harmony. And, like her peers, she must perform magic to get a pass from society for busting through its precious gender roles. As a fortune teller, palm reader, and the only living member of this list, cheers to you, Madam Dadgar! May you live as long as the rest of your dress wearing, beard-bearing, magical motherfucking colleagues.