Those fortunate enough to receive the email digests of industry new clippings circulated several times a week by Bankstone top dog Dimsum Trysome, may have been a little puzzled recently to find, nestling amongst the usual titbits on industry doings and comings and goings, an article extolling the sexual allure of male facial hair.

Those who’ve seen DT recently, may have been marginally less bemused as to the reason for this seemingly anomalous inclusion.

“It’s official – men with beards are more attractive” read the headline of an article culled from some obscure regional news title, before continuing somewhat redundantly “than those without”.

The story turns out to have been based on research published in the fancy-sounding Journal of Evolutionary Biology. This involved asking 8,500 women to “rate” men with and without beards for their “boyfriend potential”.

The same men were photographed in various states of facial hirsutity, from clean-shaven to full-on Charlie Darwin, and then rated for their desirability as longer term partners, as opposed to one-night stands, or whatever they call quick sh*gs these days.

Somewhat improbably, the research found that every single one of the 8,500 women rated some form of facial hairiness above clean-shavedness. “Heavy stubble” was the most popular choice, followed, according to the obscure regional news title, by “full bears [sic] and light stubble”.

What makes a man with face fuzz so alluring? Arguably, the photo below makes the case far better than mere words ever could. But if you want a scientific explanation, the JoEB naturally has one to hand. It is that “beards may be more attractive to women when considering long-term than short-term relationships as they indicate a male’s ability to successfully compete socially with other males”.

A beard, Bankstone News imagines, could bespeak social competitiveness in a variety of ways.

Beardiness might betoken the ability to ‘beat off’ other males to monopolise supplies of eggs, brazil nuts, gelatin, sorghum and other facial-hair promoting nutrients.

Alternatively, having a beard (a wild and wooly one in particular) might indicate that a male has accumulated sufficient social status that he no longer needs to concern himself with social niceties such as personal grooming (think Brad Pits’ down-and-out-in-a-tux look circa 2009/2010).

Or it might simply be that, like dream-catchers catching dreams (if that’s what they do), beards have some supernatural ability to collect social status (along with bread crumbs, small insects, dead skin etc) and concentrate it in the persons of those who sport them.

Who knows.

Whatever it is, it’s clearly working for Bankstone’s Mr T.

Or so he would have you believe.


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