The bearded trend may have just reached its inevitable demise. And it seems quantifiable scientific evidence has been found to explain why having a beard gives off a “bad boy” persona.
It was about two years ago when The Guardian declared that we had entered “peak beard” territory and the number of men sporting beards was beginning to over-saturate in trend. Fast forward to a year later and “peak beard” seemed to have risen again, only this time research that was conducted by the University of NSW found that when people, mostly women, are confronted by a succession of bearded men, clean-shaven ones become more attractive to them. The same process also happens in reverse and is referred to as “negative frequency-dependent sexual selection,” something that’s present in several animals species, the researchers said. This means that due to there being too many bearded men out there, your attractiveness, if you’re a bearded individual, has decreased.
“It appears that beards gain an advantage when rare, but when they are in fashion and common, they are declared trendy and that attractiveness is over,” said researcher Robert Brooks to The Guardian, adding that he thinks we are near a saturation point yet again. Fast forward to today, and we are now in what can be considered the third wave of “peak beard.” It’s evident that the beard thing is a little out of control: We now even have Bristlr, which is like Tinder but for women who love bearded men or men who are just interested in trading beard grooming tips. However, a new viral survey may leave you wanting to reach for your razor and shame no shave November.
A recent survey was conducted by the video social network Eva, and reported by BroBible, and revealed that bearded men have been indeed living up to their overbearingly masculine, bad boy persona, participating in some rather uncouth behaviors. The U.K. based study polled approximately 1,500 men (bearded and non-bearded), with 47% of bearded men admitting to having cheated on a significant other, compared to 20% of clean-shaven men; 45% of bearded men admitted to having enjoyed being involved in an exchange of fists, compared to 29% of their clean-shaven counterparts; and finally 40% of bearded men admitted to having stole something, compared to a much smaller percentage (17%) of clean-shaven men.
To add further salt to our bearded disappointment, approximately 65% of women who were surveyed would never consider being with a bristled man, with 44% of them viewing men’s beards as “unhygienic.” In yet another strange twist, more than 35% of women who were surveyed said they would rather date an old(er) man who was graying than one who had any type bearded bush on their face.
Maybe it’s time to break out the razor for the sake of your dignity. The next trend seems to be the clean-shaven baby face.