Beard Makes Men Attractive

June 1, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. fashion statement [FASH-uh n STEYT-muh nt] (n.) – something that is typically owned in order to attract attention
Example: Accessories can be a fashion statement for women who wear simple dresses.

2. trendy [TREN-dee] (adj.) – referring to something that follows the latest fashion or craze
Example: Bright colored dresses are trendy during summer.

3. stubble [STUHB-uh l] (n.) – any short growth of hair on the face
Example: Children often feel tickled when they touch their fathers’ stubble.

4. evident [EV-i-duh nt] (adj.) – referring to something that is obvious or clearly understood
Example: Her excitement was evident when she saw him.

5. out of the ordinary [out-uh v- th ee- awr-dn-er-ee] (idiom) – unusual or different
Example: One should be out of the ordinary in order to succeed.


Read the text below.
Facial hair becomes more attractive when few men have it, a new study published in the Biology Letters suggests.

Beards [beerds] are becoming a fashion statement in New York. Just recently, the New York Times published an article about the trendy Brooklyn beard craze. However, according to a new study, women tend to be more attracted to bearded men in places where beard styles are uncommon.

To find out whether having a beard has something to do with attractiveness, researchers in Australia conducted an online experiment. The study’s participants consisted of 1453 women and 213 men. They were instructed to rate the attractiveness of 24 men by looking at photographs. Each of these men had their pictures taken with varying levels of facial hair: clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, and full beard.

The team arranged the photos into three test groups based on varying degrees of beardedness. One group included only clean-shaven photos. Another group has photos of fully bearded men. The final set is a mixed group. The researchers showed one of these three test groups to each participant, and then they presented 12 faces from each of the four levels of beardedness.

Generally, the volunteers rated men with stubble more attractive than those who were clean-shaven. However, results show that the liking for full beards and heavy stubble were evident to those who rated photos of men with no or light stubble. On the other hand, those who rated photographs of men with full beard or heavy stubble found clean-shaven men more attractive.

The researchers concluded that facial hair is more attractive when it is deemed rare or uncommon. The results suggest that if a man wants to attract a woman, he needs to find that unusual chance when most men have shaved, be out of the ordinary, and show off his bearded face.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, is facial hair attractive? Why or why not?
·         If you are an employer, would you hire someone with huge amount of facial hair? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think people often base attractiveness on appearance?
·         Why is it important to look presentable?

June 1, 2014