To Beard or Not to Beard
Have you ever wondered if members of the fairer sex find bearded men more attractive than their clean-shaven counterparts?
According to psychologists, there are distinct advantages to having a beard:
- It is a symbol of confidence as bearded men appear more assertive.
- It is a symbol of health as bearded men appear more virile.
- Facial hair adds years. A fresh, baby-faced young man can age a few years in a matter of weeks.
- When it comes to social status, men with beards regularly receive higher scores than clean-shaven men.
- The least exciting but most healthy benefit of having facial hair is that beards offer protection from the sun’s UV rays.
As far as attracting the opposite sex, the polls are divided. It appears that most women prefer a man with light stubble. But in all honesty a real man grows a beard for himself and the admiration of his fellow man and not simply to attract women.
Beards Made Famous
Let us take a look at some of the most fabulously, famous beards on the faces of the men who grace our screens.
Kristofer Hivju, better known as Tormund Giantsbane, the trusted leader of a Warband of Freefolk in the series Game of Thrones, has an impressive ginger beard. His facial hair erupts like lava and flows in all its red glory onto his neck.
The fiery face suits his fiery temperament and has fuelled the return of the wild, uncombed, natural-looking beard. The kind of beard made famous by Vikings and conquerors of old.
These were men who were too busy taking over the world and enjoying the spoils of their plunderous ways to bother with grooming their beards.
However, secretly, they would gaze into the looking glass and admire their manes, sometimes even taking the time to braid a few strands or twirl the end of their impressive mustaches; after removing all the bits of gore from the last battle off course.
Travis Fimmel, better known as Ragnar Lothbrok comes to mind at the mention of the word ‘Viking’. He has the leading beard, I mean role, in the television series Vikings. This Norse hero wears an exceptional beard on his handsome face. The fact that the side of his head is shaved accentuates his beard which begins at his temples with shorter hair and gradually gets longer until it forms a ‘V’ at his chin. V for Viking I am sure.
Jeremy Piven, better known as Harry Selfridge of the series Mr Selfridge, sports a dashing, dark beard. His fabulously full moustache offsets a beard which is pristinely trim. The look is formal, corporate and classic. This is the beard of a confident, successful man.
The original Mr Selfridge, on whom the series is based, has since passed away. He had a most impressive moustache that was twirled at the ends, but alas, no beard.
Charlie Hunnam, better known as Jackson “Jax” Teller of the series Sons of Anarchy, wears a suave looking beard. Well kept, it is mostly short and pointed off his chin, always gallant and immaculate. There will be no beard waving in the wind as he rides his motorcycle down the streets of Charming.
Charlie’s beard is very similar in style to the one worn by Chris Hemsworth of Thor fame. Again, it is neat and well kept; unless there has been a skirmish. But even a superhero has to have his beard disheveled in a fight.
Kieran Bew, better known as Beowulf, from the television series of the same name (which was unfortunately axed after only one series), wears his beard short and his hair long. He is a prime example of how a short beard does not necessarily mean a neat beard.
He displays a level of edginess in his choice of facial hair. His look says; “I couldn’t be bothered to shave but a long beard could be hazardous during a fight.”
Beowulf’s bearded face was certainly not the reason the series was canned. With his stubbly beard and long hair, he bears a striking resemblance to Boromir, aka Sean Bean, of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Boromir dies a hero’s death. My gut tells me Beowulf would have suffered the same fate.
Robert Downey Jnr as Sherlock Holmes – the movie and not the series – allows his facial hair to vary according to his levels of sobriety. Most often he appears with a generous sprinkling of stubble.
As Tony Stark in Iron Man however, he presents a pristine goatee which appears etched on to his powerful profile.
As Harry Lockhart in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang he appears clean shaven.
The jury is out deliberating which style best suits him.
My Beard, My Rules
Ultimately, your choice of beard is a personal matter. And as with all things that continue to grow, like head-hair and hedges, you can change your style as often as you wish.
Whether you want a wild and untamed look or prefer clean and trim, whether you want two day’s stubble or two year’s uncut facial fuzz, it doesn’t matter because you can change it at a whim.
Men are the luckiest creatures. The saying goes “A change is as good as a holiday” and you guys can change your appearance in a week or two, or overnight if you decide to shave it all off.
Have fun with your facial hair and remember: “Kissing a man with a beard is a lot like going to a picnic. You don’t mind going through a little bush to get there!” Minnie Pearl (Brainy Quotes)
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