Science Says: What Do Beards REALLY Say About You?
The history of beards has had plenty of ups and downs... but it looks like they're on the way back up. Why? Because people are looking on them more favorably!
The way beards are perceived by the public at large tends to vary drastically depending on what century you're talking about. 15th Century men, especially those with money, avoided them almost entirely due to the perception that beards were "low" or animalistic. On the other hand, in the beard-loving 19th Century, many European armies actually mandated facial hair!
We are currently coming out of a long, cold phase of beardless faces. The last President to support significant facial hair was Theodore Roosevelt, a full century ago. However, with the current rise in beards across all areas in western society, it looks like they're coming to be accepted again.
That's great news for beard-lovers and for us here at Duffy's Brew, makers of the best beer-based facial hair products on the market!
Even better, a number of recent studies have confirmed that people are coming to look more favorably on beards. So let's take a look at a few surveys from the last few years that suggest what your beard is really saying to folks in the 21st Century.
By The Numbers: What People Think Of Your Beard
1 - You're Trustworthy
One of the most dramatic recent surveys was so surprising that even its own authors talked about how different their outcome was from tests in previous years. When shown faces of bearded vs shaven men, more than two-thirds picked the bearded gentleman as the one they'd trust.
The researchers doubted their own results, but since even their most recent citation was five years old, we say this just illustrates how quickly beards have come back in style!
2 - You've Got Social Status
Here's another one that might surprise you: Far from being viewed as "low class," people even from different cultures think that a beard indicates higher social standing. On a four-point scale, beard-owners in this study rated between a half-point to a full-point higher when people looking at pictures were asked to evaluate their social standing.
That's right guys, growing a beard (and adding a dash of Duffy's) can make people think you're a power player, just from one look.
3 - You're Older
This can be either a good or bad thing, but perhaps alongside that social-standing issue, a beard is likely to make people over-estimate your age. The differences weren't as dramatic as with social status, but it's definitely going to add a few years to your face.
The thickness of the beard also likely comes into play here. Full beards add more years than short or stubbly beards.
4 - You're Intimidating (if you have a full beard)
A slightly less-positive aspect of beard-wearing is that it's going to tend to make you look a bit more threatening and aggressive. Unless you're doing the whole alpha thing, anyway. That's likely because a full beard hides the mouth, and makes it harder to read your facial emotions. In fact, a 2007 study suggested that people interpreted heavily bearded faces as 39% less cheerful.
Hopefully those numbers have come up in the last few years. Until then, smile big when you've got a big beard!
And at least you're 63% more likely to win a staring contest.
So forget all this talk of "peak beards." The beard is growing in social acceptability, and that means you can enjoy your chin whiskers for years to come!
(And just imagine if your beard smelled as good as it looked!)