“Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country.”
- ~ George Washington on his reasoning for eyeball enhancements
Ridiculously accentuated facial features have been a trait and tradition of almost every U.S. president since George Washington inflated his eyeballs in 1789. Originally part of Washington's Halloween costume, future presidents blew the entire tradition out of proportion.
The tradition was stopped by president Warren Harding in 1921 when he promised to return the presidency to a "Normalcy". Evidence of the tradition was eventually removed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the suggestion of Winston Churchill, who laughed uncontrollably on his walk through the "Hall of Presidents" (telling Roosevelt that English Prime Ministers followed a tradition of increasing penis size, something that Teddy Roosevelt previously attempted). Nevertheless it was shortly reinstated by Nixon Administration until it eventually forced him to resign when his ear hair infested the Watergate hotel.
History of Presidential Facial Accentuation
The tradition of large facial features on presidents dates back to George Washington, who increased the size of his eyeballs for Halloween in 1786. Although the procedure left him a blind, wooden-toothed freak show, future presidents would attempt to replicate the practice, either as a sign of respect, or out of ignorance of what made Washington a good president.
The Adams Goatee
|“||Moustaches, according to my metaphysics, are an intellectual quality, an attribute that belongs not to fate nor chance. Neither possesses them, neither is capable of it. There is nothing moral or immoral in the idea of it. The definition of it is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power; it can elect between objects, indifferent in point of morality, neither morally good nor morally evil.||”|
—John Adams, Letters Concerning Why I Manipulated a Goatee unto my Face.
Promptly after being elected, president John Adams used Photoshop and Google Image Search in order to surgically attach a large goatee to his face. Contrary to popular myths perpetuated by television and popular culture, John Adams did not undergo this procedure in order to attract women (Adams was in fact too egotistical at the time to care). Although considered by historians to be the most pixelated facial accentuation in presidential history, no president since Adams has attempted to sport a 1 foot long goatee, nor attempted a GIF hair transplant.
The second president's goatee would come to an unfortunate end after Aaron Burr removed it with the eraser tool as a presidential prank. Adams unfortunately did not save a backup copy and kicked him out of the white house in anger. Burr would later go on to assassinate Alexander Hamilton after an incident involving shaving cream.
The Jefferson Moustache
“I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the moustaches of man”
- ~ Thomas Jefferson on March 12 1776
Thomas Jefferson sought to outdo his predecessor's facial hair. Using pictures of the finest Mexican yard workers Virginia had to offer he created a much more realistic moustache than John Adams. At a width of approximately one yard in length when extended straight from tip-to-tip, it was the largest moustache ever worn by a president.
The moustache was a constant assistant and companion to Jefferson during his administration. By slapping Napoleon as Jefferson paced near Napoleon, it helped the president gain the Louisiana purchase. With a few additional smackings, Jefferson's moustache ensured history's greatest bargain. Coincidentally it also gave the distinctive shape of Napoleon's bicorn hat at the same time.
Jefferson's moustache is by far the most significant of any president because it is the only moustache that had been preserved in the Smithsonian institute. It has toured over twenty countries in museums around the world and currently holds the title of "most travelled cryogenically preserved moustache", dethroning Stalin's moustache from the title in 1995.
Radical Departure: Madison's Top Hat
“No nation could preserve its facial hair in the midst of continual warfare.”
- ~ James Madison on moustaches
James Madison was the first president not to have his facial features augmented because he didn't see a point in doing it. Due to enormous public backlash during his administration and threats to call for British intervention Madison ordered the manufacturing of what would then be the world's biggest top hat. Although it didn't stop the War of 1812, it stopped Madison from being violently beaten with broomsticks by members of the The American Association for the Enhancement of Facial Features, who protested continuously for three years on the White House doorstep.
American lore claims the character of Darth Helmet from the Mel Brooks film Spaceballs was based on James Madison and his top hat. Commonalities include the need to wear a respirator, an incompetent second-in-command, and a bumper sticker on each of their respective vehicles. Similar to a scene in Spaceballs, Madison often got caught playing with the Founding Fathers series action figures with kung-fu checks and balances action within the Oval Office. He would also fantasize making out with the Queen of England occasionally during playtime, reputed to be one cause for the War of 1812.
To the common people Madison's top hat would signify the beginning of what the American people would call "the foray period", in which there would be no consistent way presidents would enhance their facial features. Historians reject this term because there was no consistent manner in the first place. Historians also read books all day and write papers.
Other Significant Departures in "The Foray Period"
Andrew Jackson increased the size of his lips by four times eventually giving him the nickname "Old Hickory", based on his continuous beating of people that made fun of them. Today, female Hollywood actors will often increase the size of their lips in honor of the president.
The next significant facial enhancement was by William Henry Harrison, the first and last president to attempt to increase the size of his head, but not the last to inflate it with hot air. His successor, John Tyler would try to replicate his predecessor's attempts by infecting himself with goiter, leaving him to be the most unloved president next to James Buchanan, who never married.
Abraham Lincoln's mole was the next enhancement to be significant in the presidency. It was considered so unsightly that South Carolina and several other states seceded from the United States as a result. Southern sympathizer and actor John Wilkes Booth would later kill the president because he was bored.
Ulysses S. Grant would be the only president who could claim to have two livers, and the only president ever to undergo an internal operation to enhance his body. Because of this, Grant could not fully button his vest during his presidency. Since he has held the title of "person with the most livers" for over a century, until Russian president Boris Yeltsin's daring move of adding four additional livers into his body beat Grant not only out of his title as "person with the most livers" but as "heaviest drinking politician to have not been thrown out of office".
Chester A. Arthur would follow the footsteps of Madison and enhance his clothing wear, wearing the largest lapels the presidency has ever seen. Historians still question whether he did anything significant.
Theodore Roosevelt would model his enhancements to that of British prime ministers, replacing his testicles with 2 large cast iron balls. Although it caused public outrage, the balls would later save his life when they blocked the bullet of his would-be assassin. The cast iron balls, complete with the fused bullet are currently on display next to the Jefferson Moustache.
Woodrow Wilson's utterly large "coke bottle" spectacles would lead to him not being taken seriously by the English nor the French, making them laugh and hurt his feelings while they decided the fate of Germany. Wilson's inability to get his shit together would partially be responsible for the hostile Nazi takeover of the Weimar republic several decades later, and a brief period of pride for small moustaches within the country, so much so that Adolf Hitler self-immolated himself before Stalin overtook Berlin in order to preserve his image.
Warren G. Harding completely stopped the practice as part of his promise to "return to normalcy", replacing it with secondary long-standing tradition of governmental corruption in the federal government. Like many politicians, however, Harding could not keep his promise and colored his eyebrows differently from his hair.
Calvin Coolidge did absolutely nothing, so much so that everybody forgot there was even a tradition of ridiculously accentuated facial features in the first place.
The Revival Attempt: Nixon's Ear Hair
“Forces now are converging that make possible, for the first time, the hope that many of man's deepest desires can at last be connected to facial hair. ”
- ~ Richard Nixon on his ear hair
Richard Nixon attempted to revive ridiculously accentuated facial features when he allowed his ear hair to grow to his shoulders. Although the move made him popular in China, it ruined his popularity in the United States by his second term after it infested the Watergate hotel and later strangled a democratic opponent and stole his wallet. Although Nixon claimed that the actions of his ear hair was not authorized by himself, the move damaged his image to an extent much greater than that of any of his anti-semitic comments or Henry Kissinger.
Ear hair eventually forced Nixon to resign. Although many people believed that Nixon should be impeached for the abominations that hung from his ears, Gerald Ford later pardoned him of all charges of absurdity in a highly controversial move.
Nixon later died in 1994 when his ear hair violently spread to his heart and brain. No president since Nixon has since attempted to enhance his facial features, although Ronald Reagan's decomposing spleen was excessively swollen during his near-successful 2008 presidential bid.
Outlawing the Practice
Shortly after the events of September 11th, President George W. Bush signed an executive order stopping the practice altogether, announcing his intentions on national television:
|“|| A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks by Osama and its bearded crusaders can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered jaws, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.
America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for safety razors and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that blade from staying sharp. Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human facial hair. And we responded with the best of America — with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and barbers who came to give blood and shaving cream in any way they could.
—George Bush, September 11, 2001
Radio pundit Alex Jones grew a beard in spite of the speech, only to shave it off once his biggest and only fan, General Jack D. Ripper, called in to disapprove his actions in his weekly call concerning the state of his bodily fluids.
Few portraits of the presidents with their accentuations survive today due to the mass burning and modification by Franklin Roosevelt in embarrassment to Winston Churchill. As such, artists on the internet have lovingly restored several of the pictures in the gallery using the same techniques the presidents themselves used long ago. In spite of the stunning and undebatable accuracy of these portraits, the amount of drugs ingested by these artists during the making of these portraits is often questionable.