Here is the full text from the local newspaper. What can I say? Women can be very silly. This is for all you men readers of this blog. Can't win, no matter what, right! Read to the last sentence and don't say I didn't warn you. But if you have your picture taken casually this summer, a candid shot, for sure, stubble looks very sexy.
Stubble is sexy, most women say
Misty Harris, Canwest News ServicePublished: Monday, July 07, 2008
Homer Simpson, sex symbol? That's the implication of a new study that reveals women overwhelmingly prefer men with facial stubble when seeking a partner for love, sex or marriage.
Researchers publishing in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found women are drawn to men who, like the ever-scruffy Homer, flaunt one to two days of follicular growth.
The look is reminiscent of the "designer stubble" popularized in the 1980s by Miami Vice's Don Johnson and now worn by leading men such as Matthew Fox, George Clooney, Jason Statham, Ryan Reynolds, Christian Bale, Will Smith and Brad Pitt.
If the metrosexual revolution judged men as the sum of their grooming products, its backlash measures them by their five o'clock shadows.
"The results were very clear cut," says lead author Nick Neave, an evolutionary psychologist at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom.
"The face that had the light stubble was thought to be much more attractive, much sexier. It was preferred for a short-term partner, it was preferred for a long-term partner."
In a pre-test, shaven male faces were rated by women for attractiveness.
Researchers selected only average-looking subjects (men who were neither very handsome nor ugly) from those results for the study.
Using advanced computer software, each face was then given five different facial-hair appearances, ranging from clean-shaven to full-fledged beards.
After evaluating the various degrees of growth on 15 subjects, the majority of women agreed light stubble was most appealing. Men who boasted the smoothness of a dolphin or the hairiness of Red Green rated lowest; the former was dismissed as lacking social maturity and masculinity, while the latter was viewed as too aggressive, the least attractive and overly dominant.
"Preference for facial hair is clearly a cultural thing, but I think the underlying mechanism is that it signals masculinity," says Neave.
"It starts off very wispy and very pathetic, really, and then gets much thicker and finally, with older people, gets scraggy. So it's a sign of sexual maturity."
The tides of follicular fashion began changing in 2006, when a rebellion against metrosexual manscaping saw hipsters sprouting lumberjack-style beards.
Two years later, the trend seems to have settled between the two extremes, with "designer stubble" being the Switzerland of styles.
"Females seem to have a preference for faces that are masculine, but not too masculine," says Neave. "They don't want these hulking cavemen, yet they also don't want faces that are too immature."
Sarah Dalziel, a 29-year-old from Edmonton, thinks her boyfriend's five o'clock shadow is the height of sexiness. She's baffled by women who want their men waxed and polished like fresh linoleum.
"I really don't like clean-shaven anything on men," says Dalziel, who adds she still likes to see a man well-groomed. Her only regret about her guy's stubble is that its texture "definitely does not feel good on the face when he gives me kisses."
When getting up close and personal, women prefer the baby face. "They don't want a stubble rash," explains Neave, adding that the fairer sex's contrasting preferences might leave men feeling as though they can't win no matter what they do. "No change there," he says, laughing.(Okay, this is my contribution to the gender debate for today.)