13 Nov, 17
Why beards are sexy!
A proper Movember motivation.
By Emmeline Peaches
November is Movember: Where people decide to ditch the razor for the entire month of November in order to raise money for the Movember Foundation or similar male-focused charitable efforts.
The Movember Foundation is the current leading (some might say only) charity concerned with tackling men’s health concerns on a global scale. Their focus is primarily prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention – all of which, I think we can agree, are causes well worth raising funds for
So far the efforts of Movember, and the people who decide to get involved, has helped make it so that, by 2030 the amount of men dying prematurely will be reduced by 25%.
But how does one get involved? The hint is in the name (and our opening paragraph). Movember for many means either growing a moustache or going full beard-mode for the entire month, not shaving a single time.
For someone who likes to keep things clean-shaven, but still feels passionate about getting involved (or for those who feel that they get more of a ‘peach-fuzz’ look than that of a mountain main) this can be an apprehensive prospect. But we’re here to reassure you that there’s very little to worry about – most people will find that, even if they’re not an enthusiastic grower, the intention behind their acts will usually garner more than enough motivation and compliment.
Plus, we’ll let you in on a secret, most of them are probably entirely sincere.
The Sexy Unshaven
When it comes down to pure, biological findings the results are undeniable: Women generally favour men who have some degree of facial hair over those who have opted to go clean shaven. And, while this may be bad news for supposed Hollywood heart-throbs such as Tom Cruise, it’s great news for anyone in the Movember club.
As far back as 1973 researchers have found that, when rating men who were fully-bearded, goateed, moustached, and clean-shaven, the majority of women found those with facial hair to be considered masculine, mature, good-looking, dominant, self-confident, and courageous (some pretty lofty traits for a change in facial hair).
A 2016 study went even further into beardy observations – finding that women prefer men with full beards for long-term relationships, whereas stubble was more likely to illicit a desire for passionate-but-brief encounters.
Going back a little, to 2013, one study even found that different facial hair styles could be attributed to women’s perception of a man’s health and parenting skills in addition to their masculinity and attractiveness, with this perception varying based on where a woman was in their menstrual cycle too!
Plus, for all those amazing queers out there, science is still on the side of the beard too.
In a recent 2017 study scientists discovered that homosexual individuals have a strong preference for men with lots of facial hair – stronger, objectively, than women do!
The study used this to determine that preference to masculine traits was perhaps indicative of a ‘sex-specific mating psychology’ that exists in humanity.
In short, your growing beard will be an evolutionary magnet for sex appeal, no matter what sex you’re trying to attract (and likely even more so if you prefer life on the bendy side).
But Why Is This The Case?
Okay, so we’ve determined that ditching the clean-shaven look will most likely increase one’s sex appeal, but why does this seem to be the case? What’s so magical about facial hair?
Evolution is a subject we’ve mentioned a few times now and it definitely plays a part. You have to remember that, for the vast majority of our evolutionary history, men did not have access to razors or similar implements to give them the clean cut that we can achieve today. Most men were sporting at least some degree of facial hair and, as such, that facial hair served to act as an aesthetic display of certain traits.
Think of it like a peacock’s feathers or a ram’s horns. Facial hair was, for the most part, male-specific and thus it could speak for the potential of any given male. This is the reason why beards are heavily associated with masculinity – a return to the primal displays of our innate evolutionary attributes – much like curves can be seen as very feminine.
This is also why some studies believe that beard length gets associated with certain traits in people’s minds. Some women consider men with longer beards more attractive because they assume that length means the person has more testosterone, thus more strength and ‘manliness’.
Longer beards also got strongly attributed to good health because, back when we were scavenging mammals, a long beard could attract lots of nasty bacteria and unwanted growths, meaning those who had a long, untameable ‘tache and still managed to stay alive were more durable and disease-resistant. Not necessarily the nicest of reasons, but at least it’d make an interesting anecdote down at the local pub.
But there are also modern social cues at play, which can be more culture-specific.
For example, ideas of long-term or short-term commitment based on beard seemed to be more tied to the fact that men can shave and the presumed reasons as to why their facial hair was in its chosen state given this option.
Men with full beards were considered better at parenting and long-term commitment because, nowadays, it takes a lot of time and effort to grow, maintain, and properly groom a full beard. This translated in some people’s mind to the notion that such men would then be committed in other aspects of their lives, which is why full-bearded men were also considered to be better at parenting roles.
Men with short stubble, on the other hand, may just have skipped a through days of shaving out of lack of effort or a confident disregard of other’s opinions of them, meaning they were linked to spontaneous or short-term encounters.
In most studies the sweet spot for many seemed to be the heavy stubble look, which does require a certain type of maintenance, but also doesn’t look too traditionally ‘cave-man’ (with queer results being the exception to the rule).
This means that, come the later part of Movember, you can rejoice knowing you’ll be in the happy medium to meet most people’s needs in terms of attraction.
So there you have it! Not only will growing your facial hair out for November help and incredibly good cause but you can also feel reassured that your sexiness is almost guaranteed to increase.
Just make sure you use your newfound facial prowess for good rather than evil. After all, with great beard comes great responsibility.
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