Have We Reached 'Peak Beard'?
Have we reached 'peak beard'? Sharp and handsome is surely what matters.
Back in 2014, a study from the University of New South Wales claimed, we have reached 'peak beard' and to this day, the debate continues...
The beard trend of recent times has caused facial hair to be so prevalent in fashion-conscious cities around the world that furry faced men are now the norm while clean shaven faces have become more distinctive and therefore, according to the study, more attractive.
The study involved showing 1450 women and 250 men 36 men's faces, some bearded, some clean shaven, some with light stubble, and asked to rate them for attractiveness on a scale of -4 to 4. People who were shown more beards to begin with found the clean shaven faces more attractive. The term for this evolutionary phenomenon is Negative Frequency Dependence Selection and basically means rare traits are more attractive.
So, people started wearing beards because they look good and interesting, but then everyone starts wearing beards and they become not so interesting and, apparently not as attractive (too many beards ruin the facial effect).
In response to such claims, we have been asked on many an occasion what we think about the potential death of the modern beard. After all, it does apparently make for some fantastic lunch-time click bait reading...
We say, sharpness is what matters. How a man unleashes his handsome potential is individual to what suits him best. That could be sculpting a beard, finding the right style for his hair or wet shaving properly for the smoothest skin and most satisfying traditional masculine experience.
George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Hardy and who could forget, Jeremy Paxman. Over the last half decade we've seen such prevalent masculine celebrity style icons dabble in facial hair experimentation to much praise and media attention. As such, the wider attention around this study in the media could be forgiven for running away with the idea that every man who has recently grown a beard did so purely for reasons of fashion. Instantly however, this idea disregards anybody roughly over the age of 30 who has worn their beard with subtle and honest pride over the past decade without giving it a second thought.
Trends come and go, but just like in designer fashion, there's no point wearing something that's 'en vogue' if it doesn't suit you. It's definitely true that some men look better with a beard. Some don't. What makes you your most attractive is making the most of what you've got with a good dash of expert grooming.
We don't just celebrate beards at Murdock, we celebrate the best in gentleman's grooming and that's big beards, short beards, and baby smooth faces. Whatever makes a chap his most handsome. A confident man knows when he looks his best no matter what the current trend is, because he feels it too.