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In a world where privacy is scarce, and even your face is up for grabs thanks to facial recognition software, the beard makes a lot of sense. Whether dense and wiry, or soft and patchy, the open display of facial hair can be a comforting sign of old-time gender signifiers. It's no wonder our trans male friends often celebrate the day when a full growth takes hold as a satisfying affirmation of gender.
Greg Salvatori interviewed countless bearded people to end up with 300 photo shoots of the various beards of New York. We wondered if any of the models had a problem with the shocking pink background and liberal doses of glitter. "Some of them loved it, some of them hated it, some walked away," the photographer says. "Those who didn't run from the challenge are my heroes."
Salvatori is an award-winning photographer based in New York. He has worked in photography and the fashion industry in London, Paris, and Florence, and composed many portrait series focused on masculinity, femininity, and the influence of each on our identity.