Whoever says beauty lies within is clearly the person who says that their ugly friend “super cute” when they’re trying to set you up. If you weren’t actually supposed to judge a book by its cover, they wouldn’t put covers on books. Passing the eye test to begin a relationship is essential, and no one’s dating girls with barbed wire around their arms because it’s a difficult thing to explain at the Thanksgiving table to your conservative aunt.
Of course, you’re not going to date a guy who fills his Instagram with gym selfies either. I can only guess what people look for in guys, but a recent study gives us the intel that there’s one defining factor that may signal a man is more desirable if you’re seeking something that ends with a ring rather than an awkward wake-up: a beard.
The Journal of Evolutionary Biology did a study that explains this in detail, and they called it “The masculinity paradox: facial masculinity and beardedness interact to determine women’s ratings of men’s facial attractiveness.” I would’ve called it “Beards get chicks,” but I’m just a guy who can grow an award-winning beard so I don’t think anyone’s going to read any studies that I do.
Per The Daily Mail:
New research has found that women looking for a long-term relationship find men with beards more attractive than those who are clean shaven.
Those with stubble were judged as the most attractive for those hoping for a short-term relationship, perhaps due to the bad-boy image that the five-o’clock shadow can give.
Previously, the “five-o’clock shadow” was regarded as the “I was too hungover to shave” look or the “my job doesn’t require a clean-shaven face” look. But now it’s just the much-coveted “I’ll steal your girl and never text her again” look that we’re all trying to achieve.
But beards? They’ve transitioned from being the lumbersexual signature look to being the look of a long-term boyfriend. The study says that it’s because a bearded man looks more formidable than an unbearded beta male, but I’d venture to guess that a beard simply puts out the vibe of a guy who has given up in his long-term relationship. “I have a girlfriend now,” the bearded man tells himself. “I can put on weight and cover it up with this wiry hair on my face.”
The study goes on to explain in detail just why beards work if you’re looking to settle down. Dr. Barnadby Dixson (how can’t you be a doctor with that name?) explained, “Relationship context also had effects on ratings, with facial hair enhancing long-term, and not short-term, attractiveness.” My opinion is that beards cover wrinkles and make you look young and hip, but the study showed that beardedness increased reliability. Much like caring for a dog probably means you can care for a kid, maintaining a beard insists that you can maintain a relationship. Or something.
Whether it’s because you’re saving money on razors or you just moved to a hip gentrified neighborhood and you want to fit in, growing a beard is a one-way ticket to duping the opposite sex into believing you’re worth investing in. Just make sure to trim up your neckline. I hear girls hate that. .
[via The Daily Mail]