The idea was simple, get a bunch of guys and take pictures of them as their facial hair progressed from ‘Baby Face’ to ‘Grizzly Adams’. Then have a bunch of people rate each image on attractiveness and other perceptions. Careful analysis of the results should tell the average guy the how much facial hair to grow to attract the average lady. It should likewise tell us stubbly-challenged researchers how disadvantaged we are, thereby helping us gauge on what level of desperation we need to operate.
The results? Not good for us baby-facers… The difference between Baby-Face and the Short Stubble ‘Sully’ look (RE: Dr. Quinn) was marginal in most cases, with the exception that more facial hair tended to correlate with higher masculinity across the board. Damn. More hair also trended with better perceived parenting skills, which makes some sense if you assume facial hair also trends with physical and mental maturity (it doesn’t).
On the ‘Attractivness’ scale the models over all scored dismally low. That’s what happens when you use yourself as a data point in your own project… However, assuming that the general ugliness of the models didn’t skew the study, it seems that ‘Heavy Stubble’ Wolf-man was rated the most attractive. So, the short stubble look that is so popular right now is off my at least 5 millimeters maybe 10, at least among the women studied (which may or may not have included the scientists’ Moms).
The bottom line? I’m glad that my beautiful bride hates facial hair of any kind. She’s an outlier, thank goodness. Otherwise I’d have to invest in a lot of Rogaine for my face and spend a lot more in razors than my current thrice weekly shave currently requires.