Wednesday, 29 September 2010

In which there are facial hair faux pas in the offing

It was a recent tweet from the lovely boys at Blokely* that reminded me that, as we hurtle rapidly towards the end of the year (a fact I’m in total denial about), the thing of beauty (and I use the term advisedly) that is Movember is almost upon us.

For those unfamiliar, Movember is a charity event that encourages men to grow moustaches throughout the month of November to raise money for prostate cancer charities.

Whilst I absolutely cannot fault the cause, I do admit to having a slight issue with the aesthetics – and I know I’m not alone.

As a gal of pale (and interesting…? We can but hope) hue, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I might be a fan of a clean-shaven chap. After all, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve gone into the office, or popped round to The Mother’s, only to send prayers every which way that no one will notice the scratchy pink rash over my chin and the tip of my nose where evidence remains that I was indulging in kissing stubbly boys with hussy-like enthusiasm anything up to 56 hours before.

And yet I firmly believe, Army officers in their Number Ones notwithstanding, that all boys are hotter with stubble.

I’m not alone: a quick straw poll of the girls has shown it’s a popular opinion. But, of course, for facial hair to be hot, it has to be right.

It’s the weekend and I can’t be bothered to shave shadow ticks boxes for almost every girl I know. Sitting here now, I can’t think of anyone who’s ever said they prefer their boys clean-shaven. I defy you all to find any man on the planet who doesn’t look better on an unshaven Sunday than he does on a smart Monday morning.

Even beards, to some extent, can be rather attractive. For the baby-faced, a short, well-kept beard can add an air of worldliness and maturity (“although I do always wonder,” said PolitiGal when The Metrosexual’s came up in conversation some weeks ago, “whether they’re just hiding a weak chin”). Of course, much more than that and you’re straying dangerously close to ancient Lib Dem territory – add a pair of sandals and you’ll be mistaken for a vegetarian hippy, or David Bellamy, in no time.

(A good test to tell when your beard’s getting a little on the long side? When goes more ginger than any other colour, as all men’s inevitably seem to, it’s time to get the strimmer out. Boy in the City Whose Job I Don’t Understand refused to shave for the entirety of his three months’ recent gardening leave. The result? Orange and scary.)

And then, in its many forms as Movember reminds us, there’s the moustache.

I’m sorry chaps, but they look good on no one. Tom Selleck might just be the one man in history who’s ever successfully carried one off, but even he looks hotter without.

So, whilst you’re all doing your bit for a good cause, bear in mind your poor, suffering wife/girlfriend/flatmate. It’s not that she doesn’t love you, or admire what you’re doing. It’s just that she’d rather you kept the handlebars on your bike than your face.

*full disclosure: I witter on there, too, so I would say they’re lovely. But they are. My witterings are mainly about dates and dumping people. Y’know, in case you’re interested.


theperpetualspiral said...

My acid test as to the length of a beard is that once it starts to itch constantly it is too long.

I remember having goatee beard in my formative years. I look back at photos now and cringe with horror at how I looked, I can only imagine that a moustache would look even worse!

The Pedant said...

I have constant battles with my other half about the ideal length for my beard. My experience is that like yourself, most women prefer stubble to full-on beards but although I prefer mine more stubbly, she likes it longer and, as you say, going ginger (although I think one reason might be that stubble can make some, ahem, activities less pleasant than they would otherwise be).

nuttycow said...

I'm with ya, Blonde. Stubble = hot. Handlebars = not. Case in point (and you'll laugh at me for being quite so sad now) Dimitri in Spooks (yes, I know, I'm obsessed). First epidode = stubble = hot. Second episode = weird bum fluff moustache = not.

pinkjellybaby said...

I love a bit of stubble...slightly longer than few days worth (means it's a bit softer) but shorter than 'it's almost a beard'.

My Dad however, completely rocks his 'tache and always has. I will offer proof if needed.

Mike said...

As one who last shaved in 1978, I can voice my total support for having a beard. I can't imagine being without one.

But I'm also against the shaggy. I trim mine at least twice a week.

Because I am sure you were all dying to know...

Blonde said...

TPS: Steering clear of the moustache: a wise, wise choice, my friend.

TP: Thanks for that imagery there, TP. Although she's right - there's less, er, scratchiness. I'm going to stop right here.

NC: Obsessed you really are, aren't you?! But you make a good point. Facial hair that looks like an attempt a kid would make during puberty ain't sexy neither.

PJB: I'm with you there, PJB. It's a hot look. And I'm willing to be proven wrong - if your Pa can pull it off, then he and Tom Selleck are in a whole little category all of their own.

Mike: 1978? That's very specific. Have you committed the date to memory?

Mike said...

Blonde: Indeed I do have the year as a specific memory. I was producing the late news at a station in Nashville and they moved me to the 6 pm news against my will. The thought of springing out of bed and putting a razor blade to my throat didn't thrill me, so I quit shaving.

Sadly, it was the most interesting thing that happened to me in 1978.

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