Beards: Too Marvelous for Words

Men of the world, we need to talk. Don’t think I haven’t noticed what you’re doing. Everywhere I go, men are sporting more and more facial hair. Beards, goatees, and moustaches are running amok.

I love it.

Or, rather, my ovaries love it. Not so much the moustaches, as those skew a little 1970s creepster for my taste, but the beards. Good Lord, the beards. There’s something about a short, well-groomed beard that makes me more excited than Jessie Spano on caffeine pills. They’re right up there with British accents and three-piece suits on the list of Things That Make Grace Swoon.

Ryan Gosling, who doesn’t have a British accent, but is wearing a three-piece suit and sporting a beard. Swoon.

So, what is it about beards, exactly? We’re not supposed to like them. According to a study that made the rounds a few months ago, women perceive men with beards as more aggressive and older. By all biological rights, bearded men should send us running, mace can in hand (the foaming kind, mind you, to prevent blowback!), for the safety of a baby-faced harbor.

And, yet, I know I’m not the only one who loves scruffy men. Mae recently encouraged Captain Thoughtful to grow out a short beard for their wedding, because she wants pictures of a bearded CT sitting on their mantle for all of eternity. Bring up beards at a table with my friends and most of us start fanning ourselves. Is it because we secretly have caveman fantasies? Do we long for the embrace of a smelly lumberjack?

No. Well, not me anyway. You may love nothing more than a man who spends all day cutting down trees and wearing flannel. I shall not judge, liebling. However, my love of beards is a combination of things. First off, my sweet spot for men has always been the jawline. Blame it on all those Superman comics I read growing up. I love a strong jaw and beards do such a great job of defining one, or even creating one.

Second, they’re manly.

Fine. The damn study was right. Beards totally look all grown-up and aggressive. Why are these bad things, again? I know the 21st century is youth obsessed, but surely we can see the value in maturity. Maturity is hot! Do you really want a guy who gets carded every time he orders a drink? Or whom people sometimes mistake for your younger brother? No. You want a man who wears a suit well, but still looks like he can handle an ax. What happens if he whisks you to a Swiss ski chalet and the power goes out? Someone has to chop the wood shirtless, kittens.

Right. I just devolved into a Ryan Reynolds fantasy, didn’t I? Sorry about that. If you remain unconvinced of the beard’s allure, readers, I present one final argument: Bearded guys are fun to make out with. Not terribly scientific, I know. If my recent adventures with Professor McGregor are anything to go by, however, guys with beards are excellent kissers. The facial hair can result in beard burn, yes, but it also adds a bit of tactile interest to your romantic shenanigans. Who doesn’t love that?

Okay, readers, let’s dish. How do you feel about scruffy men? Do you love a smooth shave or do you prefer a little five o’clock shadow on your beloved? I’ve found points are best proven with photos. Lots of them. I shall get us started:

- Grace

P.S. Male spinster fans, I do apologize for this post. We try to be light on the mancandy around the blog, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. I’d love to hear your beard thoughts, however! Do they itch? Are they hard to grow? Do you long to go all Gandalf and grow a long one?

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73 thoughts on “Beards: Too Marvelous for Words

  1. I totally agree, I LOVE men with beards! And even if I wouldn’t, you’d certainly have me convinced with your arguments. Let’s face it: beards rock.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say, I love your posts and really, really enjoy your writing style. Reading about your opinions on stuff always makes me laugh and I can totally connect with you (countless times i was like “wait, I feel exactly the same!”). I’m already looking forward to your next post.
    liv

    • Liv, thank you so much! Not going to lie, half the time I post things and am convinced people are going to think it’s crazy. So, I’m so happy you feel the same way – both about beards and everything else! Thanks so, so much for reading! (And hooray for beards!)

  2. No, no, no, and no!! I despise facial hair. ACTUAL five-o-clock shadows (not the ones you posted), or maybe up to like 4 days of scruff can be hot, but NOT for making out with. It hurts!! Granted, SOME guys can look good with facial hair, but as a general rule, no. I like my men smooth…everywhere. :)

    • Oh, LysBleu, say it ain’t so! You’re a beard hater! I can see the making out = hurting angle, however. I was pleasantly surprised that kissing the professor didn’t bother me, but I have had stubble burn in the past with other guys. Definitely not a pleasant next day!

  3. Can’t stand facial hair. As for the romance part, they cut my lips, and since no one likes bloody kisses, I stay away from ‘cavemen’. Smooth shave all the way. :D

    • Drew, I have always wondered about the scratchy issue. I would probably be miserable, if women grew beards, since I can’t stand that feeling. Hooray for a smooth shave, then! :D

  4. I absolutely agree, Grace, but would have liked to have seen more photo examples of men in Hugh Jackman’s age group in your article (the others look like tadpoles to me- I’m 52, LOL). I do love a good moustache, too, though- Tom Selleck’s still rocking his, and he only improves with age. Good luck with your Professor; gives the rest of us single ladies hope!

    • Oh, Tom Selleck! Susan, he is the one exception to my moustache rule. I watched a lot of Magnum P.I. growing up and that man certainly rocks a lip caterpillar quite well. Thank you for the good wishes, as well!

  5. I can explain the whole ‘beard attraction’ thing to you from a scientific/genetic point of view, if you like. Unless you’d prefer the mystery of it.

    • Thanks, Midnight! I’ve read some of the evolutionary biology explanations of it, but I would love a genetics point of view, if you’d like to give it.

      • This might be something you’ve already read about then, and I’m not really sure that it falls under the genetics category, per-say. I just didn’t know what else to call it. The human race’s most… important?… goal is, of course, to reproduce and continue the population. So it goes without saying that more fertile men are preferred. That means men need higher testosterone levels in their bodies to succeed with more ease, and thus, the end result: Body hair. Chest, back, arms, heads, beards, and everything else. The more body hair a man has, including those gorgeously full beards, the higher his testosterone levels are (which controls sex drive and all that fun stuff). Especially when compared to another male who perhaps can’t grow a beard at all! So really, it’s just a signal from men to women. ‘Hey, look at me. I’ve got more swimmers for your womb.’

  6. Reblogged this on Grace's a-Musings and commented:
    I love this blog A Confederacy of Spinsters. And I particularly love Grace. She’s awesome. Especially because she’s called Grace. And I’m called Grace. And we both, apparently, have similar fascination with beards. :)

  7. For me, the attractiveness of facial hair depends a lot on the guy. Overall, though, I’m a fan (although that could be because the guy I’m currently involved with has a lovely beard). Yes, it can be scratchy and leave beard burn, but the tactile sensations (as you said, Grace) are well worth it. :)

    • I completely agree, Anna! My younger brother, bless his heart, cannot grow a beard to save his life. I’ve seen blonde guys pull it off, but his simply looks like he has something weird on his face. His girlfriends much prefer him clean shaven!

      And hooray for guys with lovely beards! So glad you’re getting the perks of a beard, as well! :D

  8. scruffy, two days stubble YES, I do like it bit rough :p but beard? NO, big fat NO, I don’t care for close shave-it does not have to be close at all but anything longer than a wee stubble is an instant turn off for me, always was
    I LOVE long hair though, longish, half long, really long good hair and you have me swooning :)
    accent should be Scottish though yummmmmmmmmmmmmm :))))))) Irish too :D
    (btw. wee story, I have a huge soft spot for my best male friend, he is super attractive, terribly intelligent and talented and not attracted to me at all,:p, I’ve had a bit of a crush on him kinda on and off, and guess what: it was massively ON when he let his hair grow longish-I was badgering him to cut it: you don’t want ME to be attracted to you, c’mooon! and it was a bit off when he grew a bit of a beard to go with longer hair and totally off -and stays off- when he cut his hair, isn’t it funny? btw. he is Scottish :p and OMG THE ACCENT!!! sigh)

    • Oh, me, I’m sorry you lost me at YOUR BEST FRIEND HAS A SCOTTISH ACCENT! I am so filled with envy, it’s ridiculous. I’m a fan of any British isles accent, but there is something about the Scots, isn’t there? So, so delicious! It amazes me that you have the willpower to not act on any interest in your attractive, awesome, Scottish best friend! You are a stronger woman than I. ;)

      • hehehehe, I have no chouice, we are REALLY close friends so He knows I rather fancy Him and he made it super clear it’s not going to happen, this friendship is to precious to fuck it up…and he’s got PLENTY of Scottish friends that may come to visit RRRRIGHT?:D btw. I LIVE IN IRELAND :p You’d go nuts for supercute accents around here :D (wanna visit? :D)

    • Oh, Emily! I’m so sorry. I feel like you two need to accidentally become stranded on a (habitable, filled with fresh water and ready-made shelters) desert island for a week or two, so you can at least get a taste of him with one.

  9. Mmm… My hubby has always sported a full beard, and totally looks like a bad ass which is why he is uber sexy, obviously. lol I don’t care what those scientific studies say, beards are awesome.

    • Oh, Cat! How could I have forgotten Joe Manganiello? That man is a walking advertisement for the sexiness of a beard. So, so hot! Thanks for the reminder. :D

  10. Completely obsessed with a well groomed beard! I met my bf with a beard and have never seen him without one – I’m a tad worried what might be under there if he ever ventures to shave it off ;)

    • Ha! Not going to lie, if the professor and I work out, I may have to strongly caution him against ever shaving it off. If you fall in love with a bearded man, he should definitely stay one! ;)

  11. I am a huge fan of the beard – the facial hair type, not the woman… It’s a beautiful thing as long as it is well groomed. It screams masculine, testosterone filled and amazing. How can you not love it. Lord does it make me happy.

    I am extremely excited at this very moment just thinking about a well groomed-bearded man.

    • Oh, Meg, the whole time I was writing this post I kept thinking: people could take the title of this post two very, very different ways! So glad you thought it too! ;)

      Also, I’m with you. The masculinity of the beard is exactly what makes it so hot! I don’t who those scientists were polling, but that is never a bad thing!

  12. I am ALL FOR BEARDS! Well-groomed always. That said – when DH had to shave his Van Dyke (aka “The Doorknocker” or the “Goatee”… tho it’s really not a goatee) off for work I was horrified. From the moment he grew it in college, I was smitten and since I’m an “all senses” kind of gal… there is nothing quite like running my fingers through a well-groomed beard (and chest hair).

    I LOVE the way a man looks when he’s got a great bit of facial hair and is well-kempt. Grey hairs have never bothered me at all, not even in my college years. Maturity is SEXY, and if beards equal maturity – bring it on!!

    • Muse, I ADORE grey hairs. Maybe I watch too much Anderson Cooper 360, but premature grey has also always been very attractive to me. Maturity is so, so sexy!

      Also, I totally sympathize with you! Tell me they let him grow it back, after that. If the professor and I work out, I will be horrified if he ever has to shave the beard. Some men are just meant to have them!

  13. Beards are an absolute must!
    I don’t know either why someone would think a guy looking manly is a bad thing!?!
    I’m all for deep voice/good-looking beards/attractive personality/and the ability to make me laugh -kinda guy!

    • Joyful, that is my exact type of guy, as well! I may have to write an entirely different post on deep voices. Maybe it’s the choir nerd in me, but a bass has always made me all fluttery. :D

    • M, count me in for a fan of the “brute” quality, as well. I don’t want an actual caveman, but the appearance of an assertive Alpha streak is always a good thing. :D

    • Glad you enjoyed the man candy, devil! I have to say, when I was in high school, the thought of a teenage guy with facial hair completely icked me out. The beard quality gets better in college, I promise. High school guys with stubble are always nice, though!

  14. I love a man with a beard! I definitely have an appreciation for a good beard and rarely do I think somebody is more attractive without a beard, because that’s just silly!

  15. I love hockey. Do you know what happens in hockey when playoffs start?? PLAYOFF BEARDS!

    Google Darren Helm beard. It’s my future husband. With a fabulous beard.

  16. A few months ago I really let it rip and didn’t shave for about five months. Probably won’t ever do that again, but it was fun while it lasted. Constantly had to wipe it off while eating/drinking, and started finding beard hair everywhere. Now I usually just shave every 2-3 weeks.

  17. You might question the lumberjack, however I had a friend once who (I’m not even making this up) went to lumberjack college. And he always smelled like sawdust. And let me tell you, nothing *smells* more heavenly than sawdust, sunshine, and man. And then throw a beard and a flannel that fits oh-so-right into the mix and you won’t ever look back.

  18. OH MY GOD! I lloooooovveee men with beard :) esp like a Johnny Depp-feel on it hehe my dad always grows his beard, and growing up, I was scared by it because it makes him look so strict but now, I always encourage the guys I dated to grow their beards. It’s kinda itchy and I usually end up with allergies above my lips but it still looks so damn HOT! :)

  19. Beards, yes! I get all…well, I like em. But Christian Bale’s beard in the latest Batman? Did nothing for me. I think it was the patchiness of it. So if a dude can’t grow a full beard, he’s better off clean-shaven IMO. :)

  20. I’m definitely on the swoon side of beards… love it. I think it’s definitely a he looks so manly kind of thing. It practically screams, “I could survive in the woods!” if done right… and that’s a good thing, because I don’t want to date a guy who likes the city best. Also, it’s just adorable.

  21. I am just so lucky that my dear husband isn’t the biggest fan of his daily shave. So on weekends and holidays I get to enjoy a little manly scruffiness. Although I have to admit, my favourite stage is the one when the hair grows long enough to lose the stiffness, i.e. the beard becomes all soft and I can almost hold on to it when kissing him etc. Unfortunately this is also the stage when it starts to annoy hubby because the itching commences and it looks rather unkempt. So hard to find the right balance…

  22. love this website and all of it’s blogs. it’s fantastic :)
    beards can be nice if they are well kept, trimmed and conditioned or at least grown to the point of soft but cuts & grazes every time you kiss? can really kill the mood. sandpaper is fine but i wouldn’t kiss it personally!! sorry fellas!!

  23. Beard, beards, beards all the way!!

    The last guy I dated had a disturbing inability to grow more than a few smatterings of facial hair. There were other reasons I stopped seeing him of course but without a beard he’s just not my ‘type’

    I seeing a full-on bearded man now

    All hail the testosterone fueled facial growth!

  24. Pingback: What Facial Hair Style do Women Really Like? | Smooth ReEntry

  25. I wrote about this topic as one of my first posts. I just updated it to link to this article. Interesting…Much talk of full beards, but not much talk of goatees. Do you ladies like goatees as much as full beards? For example, is Evil Spock hotter than regular Spock? http://wp.me/p2Pdiy-5v

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