Beards Contain Multitudes

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Let's talk about facial hair, you guys. What does it all mean? Well, according to science, men with beards:

  • Are SCARY. People view bearded male faces as more threatening than angry non-bearded folks.
  • Don't do better with the ladies: In tests, women around the world did not rate bearded men as any more attractive than the same men pictured without beards.
  • Are more intimidating to other men, and "may intimidate rival males by increasing perceptions of the size of the jaw, overall length of the face, and by enhancing aggressive and threatening jaw-thrusting behaviors ... This suggests that the beard plays an important role in intermale signaling of threat and aggression."
  • Seem guilty. When mock juries are presented with pictures of men accused of crimes like rape, the juries are much more likely to believe the bearded men are the culprits. When a study asked 381 people to sketch the face of a criminal offender, eighty-two percent of the sketches contained some form of facial hair.
  • Are intelligent and mature! Beards "have often been seen a sign of maturity, education, and competence" because they reflect one's androgen status (how much testosterone he's making).
  • Are athletes, sometimes: beards can give the impression of "physical strength."

In conclusion: men with beards are strong, smart, adult, scary, threatening, and possibly sociopaths. What, no hipster jokes?


Sorry, guys: We judge you by your facial hair [MSNBC]


Lucky Frog

Anyone remember The Twits by Roald Dahl? God, I love that book. Lots of anti-beard propaganda, but there really isn't any other way of relating silly facial hair to a child. I've stolen a few of his lines, and enjoy forcing my nephews to declare that mine makes me look terrifically wise and grand.