If I ask you what do Abraham Lincoln, Che Guevara, Charles Darwin, and Fidel Castro have in common? On a funny note, my reply would be beards. Since I am going to discuss facial hair of men in this article so get ready to learn new and amazing secrets about beards. Surprisingly enough, the narcissists, psychopaths or sociopaths men who cannot have enough of themselves, they too would get to learn things they never knew about their facial hair. Women find bearded men sexier than clean shaven one. Whereas alpha males prefer beard as it adds extra zing and weight to their dominating personality.
Facial hair does not mean beards alone. It also entails stubble, mustaches, goatee, muttonchops, and sideburns etc.
Allan D. Peterkin in a book named One Thousand Beards writes, “The history of male facial hair is actually the history of disappearances in serendipitous rediscoveries.” Beards come into fashion and go out of fashion. Right now, it is quite in vogue, look around and see the likes of Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper or the handsome grey-haired and bearded Paul Mason.
The trend of flaunting facial hair goes way back to the ancient Egypt. The Egyptian men loved their beards especially the upper class. The upper-class Egyptian men viewed it as status symbols. These beards were normally square in shape and the bigger they wore the better they felt. Some even braided it, and very often painted it. They also used to dust their beards with gold. The way women take care of their long lustrous hair by applying oil on a regular basis. These men oiled their beard and perfumed it religiously. It was the slaves who had to remain clean-shaven.
Whatever was the in thing for the upper class, the slaves had to do just its opposite. When the beards got out of style, the slaves were made to grow them. The Gods had an upward pointed curl on the end of their beard.
Next, in history, we have the cruel barbarians. One can never imagine a barbarian without thick beards. Even after the Egyptians had gone, the fear of beards remained. The medieval Christian Church was completely against beard. Beards were seen as demonic.
Did you know, there have been many wars fought over beards? In ancient Persia, the Persians fought the Tatars, when the Tatars tried to force the Persian men to grow a particular type of beard. Persians refused to listen to them on how they would wear their beard.
In England, during the early 1850s beards were totally out. It was a common sighting only among poets and artists. Nobody respectable wanted to be like them.
In 1854, the beginning of the Crimean War between England and Russia, the English realized the need of a bearded army. The army was being told that beard is healthy as it will filter out all the dangerous things a soldier would encounter out on the battlefield. Beard would protect from cold, toothache and outwardly germs and diseases. It will serve the purpose of a natural surgical mask.
Before the actual war, British military tried a mock war. A fake battleground was set up at a place called Clapham. This fake battle camp became more of a public spectacle. People would gather and see the soldiers out in the fields. The ladies were in awe of rugged masculine soldiers. The women loved these handsome men with beards fighting. Therefore, beards were used as part of the propaganda to get England ready to fight the Crimean war.
Hence, handsome and desirable quotient actually meant flaunting beard. Even the men in the Civil War had facial hair. They exhibit great muttonchops in the paintings.
Looking at the present scenario, the beard is back and it is trending hot. A beard is a symbol of sexual maturity. All men during puberty grow hair on their face along with other places.
A person with a beard generally symbolizes a man. Quite conversely, there are many who use a beard to show that they are not a man.
The act of shaving a beard can also be coined as a feminine thing. During shaving, a man stands in front of the mirror just like a woman and shaves the thing which is an exact sign of one’s masculinity.
For decades facial hair had lost its charm and since Benjamin Harrison, there has not been another bearded President of America. However, the latter half of the 21st Century beards are seen as more of a sign of throwing off the power structure. One can barely imagine for someone to enter Wall Street wearing beards.
The hippies grew beards to refuse to join the military as part of Vietnam. They were not part of the status quo. The men in today’s time by not shaving their beard actually reject the modern world. They choose to live in a world they have built. If shaving is part of the system then not shaving means you are not part of the system.
Be it religion, status or politics, there is always an underlying fact underneath that facial hair.
The results of an extensive survey of men with all sorts of facial hair like beard, mustache, stubble, and sideburns. The men with light stubble were rated as the most attractive and the ideal romantic partner. Both for long-term and short-term romantic association, women preferred men with stubble.
The researchers concluded that stubble confirmed that such men were mature. They were masculine without being aggressive. Beard is the mark of extremely aggressive and very dominating men.
The clean-shaven men are rated as not as aggressive or masculine or dominant as bearded men.
Typically, in India, men tend to grow out full, long facial hair. Indian males, Bollywood stars, more than half of the Indian cricket team along with supermodels are flaunting beard.
Now, it depends on a woman whether she wants her guy to be most desirable by allowing him to carry the rugged, careless, raunchy look. Or she wants a man she can dominate and wiggle around her pinky finger. To me, I definitely do not want someone who stands in front of the mirror and admires his clean-shaven visage. My personal choice is a towering personality with an intimidating disposition. The denser the beard, the more handsome he would appear to me. After all, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.