The art of manliness seems to be getting lost in the evolution of loosening social tolerance for accepting people for whatever they choose to be whether born man or woman. Medical science has provided the means and society has provided the way. So be it and I do not begrudge anyone their choice of lifestyle. I, however, am a man and proud of it. There is nothing that says that more clearly than the ability to grow different types of beards and be comfortable in my masculinity.
Personally, I grow a beard simply because I am a man and it makes a bold statement. The power and influence of women are on the rise and rightly so. They have not been treated equally and there’s still a long way to go to right that wrong. However, one of the unintended consequences of that (he says tongue in cheek) is that men and manliness have been given less significance. A beard is a way to reestablish that significance. Just as in many cases of women’s boobs being their focal point and clear statement of their feminity, beards can be the man’s focal point and a statement of their masculinity. Yeah, sort of a tit for tat thing.
The Infographic – Different Types of Beards
You knew it was coming! 🙂 Enough sparring, let’s get down to business and facts. How many different types of beards are there? Well, the answer is probably infinite and beyond so let’s limit our discussion to styles of beard. Those are easier to categorize. Then, you can tailor and create to your hearts content on exactly how you create your own unique look with different types of beards.
I prefer the long stubble style that’s halfway to being a full beard. It compensates for my slight overbite and is easy to maintain through the use of a beard and mustache trimmer. Hey, we all have some part of our appearance we’d like to improve. I find the beard is a better option than going to the doctor and having the jaw broken and surgically repaired. Yeah, I know. The manly guy would opt for the broken jaw and show how tough he is. Well, I happen to know that intelligence has a firm place in every man’s repertoire of working smarter, not harder.
Everybody has a preference and more importantly, a reason for wearing the style of beard they have. Let’s explore a few of those different types of beards and see where it leads.
Let’s start with the Bandholz which is common terms is often referred to as the extreme beard. That style sort of invokes the vision of mountain men and prospectors. Confidence and the ability to intimidate on sight drives most of the men who wear this style. They want to demonstrate their masculinity and go the extreme in proving their intent. Some current day football players lean in this direction as evidenced by this picture of Brett Keisel, a defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I don’t know about you but, I wouldn’t question his choice. This style of beard requires some intensive care to keep it from turning into a mound of hair with a mouth. Men like it for the obvious reason; impress and intimidate.
The Dutch style beard sans a mustache is another favorite. It can be called the chin strap as well for obvious reasons as it has the appearance of a strap that you’d see when wearing a motorcycle helmet or a football helmet. This style is difficult to grow to get the best appearance possible and requires daily maintenance to keep the lines sharp and straight. Men like this style because its clean cut and makes a strong statement about your desire to look sharp and professional.
The short stubble style is very popular. Many refer to it as the clean neckline beard. You see this style just about every day on actors, husbands and in commercials that are focused on women. Men like it because it has a note of rebellion to it and bad boy image. The style provides a clean view of the bottom of the neck. The trick to “getting it right” is to use the top of the adams apple as a guide and then follow the jawline outward when you shave. Yes, you do have to shave to keep that unkempt, rebellious air about you while still looking clean and well-groomed when someone gets close enough to care.
The long stubble style has some definite benefits to it. It provides a much clearer definition of the shape of the beard and it’s substantial enough to style in a manner that hugs the shape of the jaw. It looks natural and sophisticated while requiring just enough maintenance to show everyone that you care how you look. This style has a rugged masculinity stamped all over it. There are no clean lines to maintain reducing the maintenance to a trim every two or three weeks and simply fade the edges rather than cut the lines in clean with a razor. If you have a solid, muscular physique and wear well-fitting close with an open neck, you will get some attention. It helps to look as good as this guy too.
The Science of Beards and Facial Hair
Again, you knew this was coming. We study absolutely everything and analyze the hell out of it. It’s social obsession of every society. Why did he do that? We have to know. Ladies, you could find that out for yourself through doing a little empathic listening and observation, but that’s way too deep for this discussion. Let’s just look at what science has found out for us coincidentally using those very same empathic techniques. The website, “The Art of Manliness.”, has sponsored such a study. There are pros and cons related to work, women and the art of being manly. I will touch on the highlights here but read the entirety of the results for yourself as a means of self-enlightenment.
Society, in the collective sense, sees facial hair in this way as a comparison between a bearded man (even stubble) and a clean shaven man. The bearded man is considered to be mature, aggressive and dominant while the clean-shaven man is more sociable, healthy and has better hygienic practices. Interesting.
As for the workplace, this is what the report had to say, “A few scientific studies have looked specifically at employers when examining perceptions of facial hair. A 1990 survey of managers actually demonstrated a preference for beards. The participants looked at ink sketches of both bearded and clean-shaven men, and the managers rated bearded men as having a better personality, appearance, competence, and composure than unbearded men.”
Yes, the study looked at beards and sexual appeal. Be patient. The report has a lot more to say than I’ll cover here if you’re that anxious to know. The downer is that there was no definitive answer, but there were some identifiable trends. Heavy stubble was the preferred style and light stubble the least preferred. So, go big or go home is my takeaway. As expected, women found men with beards more masculine. Oddly enough, women expected men with beards to have better parenting skills (better husbands??). The last observation repeats what I just said a sentence ago. Go big or go home. Women don’t seem to like the stubble thing.
Anecdotal Women’s Stuff
There are a few forums online where things such as different types of beards are discussed openly. It’s a good gauge of what women really think about men’s beards … from The Student Room:
- Sorry guys with beards but to me it indicates they are hiding something, the goatee in this present age is a representation (stereotypical) of pot smokers, so gives a base to my theory. Clean Shaven, please.
- I used to be really attracted to beards on scruffy young men. But then I found out having a beard doesn’t mean you’re a good person. So now I guess I am indifferent towards them.
- I hate full blown beards, but goatee’s and people who haven’t shaven in 1 or 2 days are alright
- ..if my boyfriend has stubble I tell him to shave, it’s horrible, and it prickles really hard!! More like scratches. Would hate the think of what damage a full on beard could do to my delicate girly skin . Nah, it’s a BIG NO from me.
- Beards can be attractive on men wiv dark hair
- Nah definitely not – would make them look older and wouldn’t be too pleasant to touch!
- A little stubble’s nice, but don’t care for beardos.
This forum is based in the United Kingdom. I think our takeaway here is that a little stubble is ok, but the full and extreme beards are an apparent turn-off.
I’d love to hear your take on different types of beards. I find men with beards to be delightful and unassuming. But then, I’m biased. What do you think?