The Fifty Shades of Grey trailer is upon us, and while it doesn't reveal much from the Red Room of Pain, it does come wih the startling discovery that Jamie Dornan's been stripped of his hair and turned into a sanitized, shaved, waxed version of himself.
Above, on the left: Jamie Dornan, as shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Interview magazine. On the right: Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey, in the ripped jeans that may be true to the book but somehow seem dated and stoner/slobby.
But look at those images! Jamie Dornan's thick facial hair and sprinkling of chest hair? Hot. Christian Grey's clean-shaven mug and waxed chest? Downgrade. These are the cold, hard facts.
As has been discussed previously, beards and facial scuff are having a moment. Last year, beards were so prevalent that The Guardian asked, "Have We Reached Peak Beard?" December brought us Disney dudes with beards. In April of this year, it was the Telegraph asking if peak beard had been reached. "Beards contain multitudes," declared The Guardian in February. We've heard that dudes should have beards in their LinkedIn profiles, and that beardless men are getting facial-hair transplants. Who won the Eurovision Song Contest? A drag queen with a beard. Prince Harry left the UK to travel the frozen tundra — a show of virile strength — and promptly grew some dashing ginger bristles. Joe Manganiello was named People's Hottest Bachelor, and accepted the honor triumphantly flexed and bearded. Now is not a time to go robbing a hot man of his facial hair.
It's vexing that the Fifty Shades producers/director/studio execs haven't been keeping up with the news, or the latest research. Science proves that heavy stubble is sexiest. And all you have to do, really, is look at the hirsute Jamie Dornan to realize that it's very becoming for him.
That's Dornan in 2009 on the left; Dornan as Christian Grey on the right. Psst, Hollywood: The one on the left is the one who looks like he is going to tie you up and smack your bottom with a riding crop and then shag you senseless.
Dornan in Interview on the left; Dornan as Grey in Entertainment Weekly on the right. Dude on the left is the dissolute, louche reprobate who is going to demand you not wear underwear to dinner with his family and then trail his hand up your thigh and almost-finger-bang you under the table, leaving you breathless and begging for more.
The hair matters. Hair is primal, tactile, a reminder that we are animals. Beards beg to be stroked, beards are tuggable, beards tickle lips, brush necks, abrade thighs. Beards are sexy. Dark, dank, thick bristles are sexually charged, evocative of pubic hair, summoning visions of sweat and abandon. It's not that hairlessness cannot be hot — it can, and you should work with what you've got. But Dornan was needlessly stripped of his aura of potent virility. Someone made a grave error in portraying Christian Grey as virtually hairless.
In addition, Dornan has a lovely lilting Irish accent, and Christian Grey does not. There are probably one zillion other ways Jamie Dornan > Christian Grey (watching him talk about his "heavily pregnant wife" on the Today show was sincerely swoon-worthy) but we have plenty of time: This steaming mess doesn't drop until Valentine's Day. Start planning your booze menu and drinking games now.