I know the internet isn't a vault to the 'book of truth' or overly accurate all of the time, but it is a place to ponder upon when you have a little time on your hands and want to to invest in hours upon hours on pointless funny cat videos and sneezing pandas. (You really should watch the sneezing panda video!) And being chief beard blogger here at 'The Beard Struggle' I often find myself reading various 'studies', 'stories' and 'findings' that are both for and against our marvelous furry faces. But a recent article I discovered this week got me thinking...
In a recent article that I read after discovering it upon a quick Google search it had suggested that men grow out their handsome hairy beards not on the hope of attracting female attention, but to send out a message to other men. Now, let me elaborate on this just a little. Tamsin Saxton from Northumbria University added her suggestions within her post- 'When we see men paying attention to their appearance, it's easy to assume that they are angling for partners. But our research on beards and voices shows that beards probably evolved at least partly to help men boost their standing among other men. Women don't seem that interested in beard. While some studies have found that women like a bit or even a lot of facial hair on men, other studies have reported that they prefer the clean shave look. This lack of consistent evidence means we can't conclude that beards evolved because women were attracted to them. Researchers have therefore suggested that a second type of sexual selection may hold the answer. To reproduce, it's often not enough to simply be attractive. You also have to compete with the same sex for mating opportunities. The funny, shy guy at the back of the bar isn't going to stand a chance when competing with his bolshier brother otherwise. And there's evidence that beards evolved to help men do just that.'
Now, whilst that statement may hold some truth in certain areas I can't help but wonder whatever happened to a small thing that seems to be forgotten is such 'research' and 'findings' called 'Personal Preferences'. After all, it's for each man as an individual to first decide whether or not he chooses to grow out a beard of his own. I can only speak for myself, but I chose to grow out a beard for me, and me alone. I wasn't trying to search out a partner, I was and still am already married with three kids, it wasn't for me trying to look like a badass or anything of the sort, it wasn't for anyone else other than me myself and I. Again, it being my personal preference and choice to do so.
But what do you guys think? Do you agree on the recent suggestion as to why beards are so dominant in the world today? Or like me, do you feel beards are simply a choice for the wearer and nothing more? As always let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.