Adam Scotti/Prime Minister's Office/Handout via REUTERS

Justin Trudeau has a beard now and, yes, it's already got its own Twitter account.

The beard appeared in a pensive-looking snap of the Canadian Prime Minister, which is definitely not a promo for his new role in a BBC detective drama.

It cropped up again, under a smile this time, in a picture of Trudeau with Canadian MP Greg Fergus.

There are two major schools of thought on the beard.

1) There are those firmly in the pro-beard camp.

2) And there are those asking why the hell it matters anyway.

But a beard can actually tell us a lot about the image a politician is trying to project.

Ted Cruz's beard changed his whole image.

A 'salt and pepper' beard like Trudeau's can signify an attempt to be taken more seriously.

Jeremy Corbyn's beard won him Beard of the Decade, but also got him labelled a 'scruffy Marxist'.

Beto O'Rourke grew a beard after ending his bid to become US President.

Something Al Gore famously did after losing the 2001 US Presidential election.

Justin Trudeau was re-elected as Canada's Prime Minister in October, but his campaign was dogged by the emergence of photos of him in blackface.

The message he seems to be trying to get across with his new image is that he's mature now, and ready to lead the country as a serious politician.

New year, new beard.

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