Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's face is back under the spotlight -- this time for a less controversial reason.
After blackface a few months ago, Trudeau is now making headlines for his post-vacation unshaven look.
A recent photograph taken by the Prime Minister's official photographer, Adam Scotti, shows Trudeau looking pensively into the distance, and sporting a salt and pepper beard.
While he had sported facial hair before, including a mustache and goatee as an opposition leader, Trudeau has so far kept his face clean shaven as Prime Minister.
Hashtags such as 'TrudeauBeard' and 'BeardGate' trended in Canada, and post poured in critiquing his new look.
And while netizens are enthusiastically giving their opinion, there is also a school of thought that has delved into the politics of the beard.
But before we explain that, take a look at some of the tweets that kept it simple.
It's #JustinTrudeau's second term as Prime Minister, and it's also a new year and decade... It's the perfect time for a new look and style! I love his new beard... He looks a lot more distinguished and "badass"!!! #trudeaubeard pic.twitter.com/jUQLPgC0tx— B͎r͎a͎d͎ ͎D͎i͎r͎k͎s͎ (@BradDirks) January 7, 2020
Coming to the theories, while many belonged to the school of thought that he was just trying something new, not everyone agreed.
Leah Morrigan, an image consultant for example, told Global News that it was intended to be both trendy and to lend an air of maturity and experience to his image.
It’s an attempt by Trudeau to act the part of a mature statesman.— Cassandra (@Athena1944) January 7, 2020
First the beard then a more somber suit ..ditch the socks...and he’ll look the part.
Some social media users also said that the beard made Trudeau look like his father.