Is the Beard Out of Fashion?
I’d like to say that the beard could never go out of fashion, but fashion is notoriously fickle when it comes to facial hair. From the mutton chops of the mid-1800s to the hipster fuzz which has been trendy of late, facial hair styles are one of the constant changes in men’s fashion.
Beards have enjoyed a good five or so years of popularity, resulting in beard fatigue. They’ve been trendy for so long that even men who are the last to adopt a trend are often found sporting beards. Beards are no longer unique and exciting. As with any trend, once it gets too popular, it is time to jump ship.
A recent study showed men and women a number of different men’s faces; with different degrees of beardedness. They found that beards were rated as more attractive when few bearded faces were shown in the sample, and conversely that clean-shaven faces were more attractive when they were in the minority. So there’s the science: the ladies want what most men don’t have. This has been speculated to be the reason behind beards going in and out of fashion over the generations. Most importantly for you, this study means that the bushiness of the last few years is not working in your favor if you have grown a beard of your own. But don’t pick up your razor in defeat just yet. Because the prevalence of beardedness varies between cultures and even between suburbs, if you find you associate with men who are mainly clean-shaven, the science applies in your favor. Women seeing you in your bearded glory among your clean-shaven friends, in a city where the bearded hipster is yet to set foot, are more likely to judge you as being attractive.
A lesser-reported result of the aforementioned study was that stubble was rated more attractive than clean-shaven or heavily bearded faces. Heavy stubble (about ten days’ worth of growth) was the ultimate winner. If you’re not ready to let go of your facial hair just yet, clipping it to a shorter length is the way to go. Now that beards are out of fashion, there is no reason to have an out of control mane growing from your face. Sadly for those who are too lazy to tend to their facial hair, the unkempt caveman beard can no longer be passed off as your attempt at looking fashionable.
Just in case you were wondering, the recent demise of beards does not mean that moustaches have experienced resurgence. Most men cannot get away with a moustache, which seems to be the international symbol of the creepy dude. If you can’t bear to part with your facial hair, shaving off part of it so it becomes a moustache is not the way to deal with your loss. Likewise for goatees- even David Beckham couldn’t make goatees cool.
About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/