Yesterday, while preparing to write a blog about gun violence, I got distracted by this other very important headline: “Women REALLY Don’t Like Beards”, which then led me to another link “Beards Get Respect, But Not Women, Study Finds.” Both articles referred to an experiment in which women shown pictures of men from New Zealand and Samoa with and without beards, and the women found the clean-shaven men “significantly more attractive”—no matter what their country. They did find, however, that beards lent a man a certain seriousness, an air of gravitas.
“Good job focusing on important things, science,” one Gawker blogger commented. “This is why we don’t have hover boards.”
I take issue with the science here, too—mainly because I (and lots of women I know) disagree with all these women polled. Beards are great. Beards are manly. Beards are sexy. Beards are something guys can do that women can’t. Sure, some guys can’t wear some kinds of beards, and sure, some types of beards are never okay (we’re talking to you, chinstrap and soul patch)—but if a guy can grow any of the following types of beards, then most women I know are all in. At least in until the summertime.
An excellent model for the older man: A nice, close box cut, trimmed neatly so as to not look too much like Santa. A little salt-and-pepper in the mustache. Thick eyebrows help balance the look.
Slightly wild, slightly tortured. Helps if you have a pretty face. Long hair isn’t a must for this look, either. See: Evidence.
If you are—or if you look look like Don Draper—you can do anything you want with your face. And his nice, full, dark beard is, unsurprisingly, perfect.
Andrew Lincoln’s scruffy, shadowy, not-quite-a-beard might be the only consistently good character on this show. Also, it fights zombies.
Thanks to the beard, Ray always looks like he’s about to go chop some wood to build a cabin in the woods. In a good way. This beard probably works best on country-rock-folk musicians with soulful voices. (And hipsters.)
Classic cut, even, and square: Sometimes looking a little older isn’t a bad thing.
Nice because it has a definite presence, but doesn’t encroach on his mouth space or overtake the chin. A little gray showing through lends the whole affair some dignity.
For guys that can’t rock full facial hair, a close-but-not-overly-manicured goatee gives off a good beard vibe.