The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

July 7, 2008

Stubble, Stubble, Goils and Trouble


Story in our paper a few days ago:


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 (eds note: Huh?) found women are drawn to men who, like the ever-scruffy Homer, flaunt one or two days of follicular growth.

For brevity, I'll sum up by saying that the study said women find light stubble most appealing. Men who "boasted the smoothness of a dolphin or the hairness of Red Green rated lowest."

"Preference for facial hair is clearly a cultural thing," said the study's lead author, Nick Neave, an evolutionary psychologist at Northumbria University in the UK. "But I think the underlying mechanism is that it signals masculinity."

Now the kicker is that while the majority of women seem to like the 5 o'clock shadow look, a man's stubble sure doesn't feel good on their faces when kissing or other amourous activities are initiated.

In fact, that's when women want their men to have baby faces.

DOH! OH, OK!!!

So now that all us males are completely confused, that brings me back to me and my quandary.

I hate shaving.

I have blogged here before about all the cuts and scrapes and the various other outrageous misfortunes I have suffered whilst trying to maintain a clean-shaven look and feel just for nuzzlin' the cheeks and other fine surfaces of the female form.

And for what? What's the cause and effect? What's the point of having a 5 o'clock shadow if at 5:20, I have to shave it off to take advantage of any allure the 5 o'clock shadow might have had 20 minutes earlier?

Besides, I have lighter-coloured facial hair. And now, my beard has turned mostly grey. So my 5 o'clock shadow doesn't show up all that much until 5 o'clock the next day. Twenty-four hours is a long time to wait!

Besides that, professionally, I can't go around looking unshaven and unkempt. I either have to be clean-shaven or have a beard...I can't BE in between, unless I've decided I'm growing a beard.

To compound matters, my electric shaver broke down a while ago and they don't give you the close shave women want (in my experience) anyway, so it's back to the blade, the shaving cream and water.

So every day, I start with this...(and DO note the dour expression on my face)

And then I get this...

To transform into this...

Oh, the horror...
Finally, from an evolutionary point of view, there are lots of different theories about why men have facial hair and why women, for the most part, don't.
I actually tried to find this out, but there were so many theories out there, it seems the scientific world really doesn't know for sure.
There's the theory that men went out into the cold the most to do their hunting, so they needed beards for warmth. There's a theory that it's just a simple fact of hormones.
There's the belief that mens' facial hair is just another evolutionary development to attract females as a sign of masculinity. And there are more.
Whatever, to me it doesn't make sense. Why wouldn't women have developed our kind of facial hair instead or, at least, in concert with us?
Then they could have their own 5 o'clock shadows rather than the smooth skin they have now, and their faces would be protected from our stubble.
Wouldn't that have made more sense?


  1. You can start bitching when you have to shave your legs, armpits, and... umm.. other parts. ;)

  2. Anna:

    How do you know I don't already?

  3. Some women actually have 5 o'clock shadows!

    Isn't that just like a say what they love about the man in the first place, then immediately set out to change him!?!

  4. I've always preferred stubble both for the look and the feel.

    However, in my own extensive research over the years, most women have disagreed with me and told me they prefer the "smooth as a baby's bum" face.

    Anna: He doesn't shave his other bits...he waxes.

  5. I demand photographic evidence! ;)

  6. oh, and fyi - I prefer a man with a beard. The short stubble ends up irritating my sensitive skin.

    Chest hair, of course, is a must (maximum a la Tom Selleck). I don't like smooth chests on men. It just feels wrong.

  7. Eroswings:

    Yeah, like my mom! (Nah, just kidding)

    Yes, I have seen this. And I must admit, I did cringe. It just doesn't suit the feminine image.

    I will leave that very dangerous statement you made without comment to protect my life.

    But there is some twisted logic in it all...womens' skin sensitivity to mens' stubble even if they like the look of that stubble, I mean.


    What, you have cheeks of steel, then? And how do you know I wax rather than shave (although with my record for cutting myself, it might be a good idea).


    No photographic evidence available. And so you must like the guy in pic No. 1, then?

  8. I only like beards on long-haired grunge-rocker types. That's hot. But on Aidan, he better damn well stay clean shaven! Although his whiskers grow faster than any man I've ever seen. Super-whiskers!! I hate 'em. Then again, I'm not really the typical woman, being bi, I'm probably more likely to be attracted to slightly more feminine things even in a guy?! I dunno. haha

  9. Must say that I like the look of a couple of days of growth -there most definitely is an appeal to it - it's quite manly -it sort of says:look at me, I can grow a beard if I want to, I am a man. But as far as cosying up goes that hair had better be gone :).

  10. Not quite, but I like the guy in pic number 4.

  11. Stace:

    Poor Aidan. I'd let him grow a beard, then you could put all this goop in it to make it soft.

    Wouldn't that feel good on your skin? Added bonus: he'd never have to shave.


    Well then, you're the poster girl for this study! Are you sure you didn't participate in it?

    Maybe you even commissioned it?


    Oh, you mean the one with the guy with the green bathing cap, nose plug and snorkel?

    Aw, garsh...

  12. I prefer blokes with a beard as to compared with just stubble..... much softer on the inner thigh LOL.....

    I often wonder why blokes instead of shaving each morning just dont have a full facual wax like woman do with those uncontrolable hairy bits.... surely that would work? just a once monthly wax.... YOU COULD BE THE FIRST TO TRY IT lol....

    You are handsome with a beard and handsome without........


  13. Marmie:

    Well now THAT'S what I'M talkin' bout!!!

    I think I'll defer on the wax treatments, thanks. Getting my hair cut is like pulling teeth.

    They'd probably just put the wax on me and walk away. Might as well send me to Madame Tussaud's.

    So maybe I should change my goofy handle to with or without?

  14. I hope in the next birth you be a woman. Then I will you about your preferences.

  15. Gautami:

    I think you missed a word there...might it have "teasing" or "making fun of?"


    And that means...smiling derisively, right?

  16. I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
    Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
    Oily, greasy, fleecy
    Shining, gleaming, streaming
    Flaxen, waxen

    Knotted, polka-dotted
    Twisted, beaded, braided
    Powdered, flowered, and confettied
    Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

    Oh say can you see
    My eyes if you can
    Then my hair's too short

    Thank you for the fabulous extreme close up shots..I'm thinking that there must be a clinical name for this compulsion..I'll let you know if I find it.

  17. Donnnnnnn:

    No, I am the originator of this condition, which is in fact a sign of higher evolution, I'm told by my team of anthropologists down the street at the University of Manitoba.

  18. Anonymous1:31 p.m.

    You have raised an issue most women over 40 (who are turning into men) battle every day - and due to advances in science & technology, it's called LASER HAIR REMOVAL!! Oh, what did we do before this miracle invention was honed & perfected?? Oh yeah, we did what YOU'RE doing - LOL...permanent, painless (compared to waxing), relatively inexpensive (when you consider the boost to self-esteem) laser hair removal...overgrowth on forehead - gone! mustache - gone! armpit hair - gone!! beard - almost gone! (I'm working my way down) more sneaking around at night so no one sees my vast, over-developed facial hair, or walking around w/ my arms glued to my's a miracle, I tell ya...

  19. Anonymousse:

    Well that was quite a public confession, albeit under the guise of anonymity.

    Of course I, as a guy, would never consider laser hair removal because if I didn't have a beard that grew every day, I would not be as outwardly masculine.

    As it is, I've been teasing my hair stylist girlie about why they couldn't come up with a new method of easily, simply and cheaply being able to plop down hair on to parts of my scalp that are losing it.

    She just laughs, rolls her eyes and makes sure to snip my ear lobe with her scissors.

  20. Anonymous1:21 a.m.

    Anon b/c I don't have a published profile - and I prefer to travel the universe under a cloak of anonymity...

    You may want to reconsider your stance on laser vs "being a man" - my laser tech says she can't believe how many male clients she has w/ the most popular requests being beards, necks, backs & that "private area" (which she no longer does b/c she found most of the men requesting it either scared her or didn't have the maturity & made lewd comments)...male business colleagues tell me they're sick & tired of shaving, sometimes twice a day - they can't keep up & don't even get them started on their back hair...

    As for where the hair on your head is disappearing to, I have the answer - it disappears from your scalp & winds up on the faces of women everywhere! Funny how that happens...maybe the universe has decided that, in their "later yrs", women will have to be out there "hunting & gathering" for themselves & their faces might get cold...

  21. She who is cloaked in anonymity:

    Ha! I'll stick by my guns on the laser hair removal, and I can see why your friend would stop doing procedures below the waist...

    And double ha-ha on your last theory. Maybe that's where all my scalp hair IS going!

    I thought it was just changing locations on my own body and starting to sprout on my chest and in my nose and out of my ears.

    But no, it's actually migrated to women's faces!

    And with the divorce rate around 50 per cent, yeah, maybe more women in the older age brackets ARE out there hunting and gathering and getting cold faces...

  22. so how come all the sex symbols are clean shaven...?

  23. Angel:

    Right on, good question. And it kind of brings us back to Square 1, I guess.

    I suppose it's modern-day civility and sexuality and sensuality. I guess the point is, if women WANTED bearded men, en masse, then we men would all be wearing beards.

    Because god knows it would sure be easier...except that all of the grooming/shaving companies would go out of business.

  24. Anonymous12:24 a.m.

    Sex symbols...

    Theory #1: they have laser hair removal done all over their bodies to expose their muscles

    Theory #2: photographers airbrush the hair from their bodies, leaving them clean-shaven & perfect, even though they're actually gorillas

    Hair in ears & nose...women have that problem too (at least, the nose) - pulling w/ tweezers, ouch!! I'm hoping by the time it starts to get out of control, they will have invented a laser wand small enough to stick up my nose...


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