An Educational NewsletterGOOD MORNING!
Welcome to The Morning Text!
I know many of you either have never met me or have no idea what I look like. Well let me tell you. The first thing people see when they look at me is my beard. I have a full beard with a French-curled mustache. I trim and shape my beard regularly and put oil and wax in it every morning to make sure it’s looking good. By the way, if any of you men are thinking of ditching shaving in order to save time in the morning, that’s not exactly how it works. Granted, I probably spend more time on my beard than most men because my beard is a big part of my physical identity so I’m very fond of it, but it does take some frequent maintenance. I even color my beard (Cat says it’s dye but the box says color-wash) a darker color to match my hair. Not that my beard is a completely different color, it’s just a naturally sandy beard whereas I prefer a darker thicker beard on myself. Anyway, today’s Morning Text is about beards.
If you read my first Morning Text about evolution, you will remember that it’s not the survival of the fittest, rather the survival of the most adaptable. You see, the genetic sequences that brought forth facial hair in men was our species’s way of adapting to the environment in which it found itself. Which raises the question, what are the evolutionary advantages? I’ll take any response. “Warmth?” Good. “Protection?” Okay. “Sexual attraction.” Uhuh. “Camouflage.” Yup. “Competition?” Yes, all of these are right.
You can see why a beard would serve well for warmth, protection and camouflage. But why sexual attraction and competition? Well that’s where it gets trickier.
First, I’d like to shoot down the myth that all men and women are sexually attracted to beards. In fact, according to studies, beards and attractiveness may only have correlation in common rather than causation. For example, ice cream sales and murder rates go up at the same time. Does this mean that ice cream causes murder? Of course not. Instead, the most reasonable explanation is that both ice cream sales and murder rates rise because in the summer the heat can cause both overheating and anger driven psychotic breakdowns. So a woman or man may be more attracted to someone with a beard, but this doesn’t mean that the beard is what brings the attraction. Rather, studies suggest that women and men are more attracted to the high testosterone levels in men that also cause more beard growth.
Another reason why women are typically more attracted to men with beards is due to dominance. A behavioral psychology study conducted in June of 2015 by Tamsin Saxon in the Department of Psychology at Northumbria University suggests that beards play a large part in sexual competition. In this study twenty men and twenty women were asked to rate the attractiveness and dominance of six men who were filmed on four occasions while they grew out their beards. Surprisingly, the results suggested that beards didn’t necessarily make the men appear more attractive, but did make them appear more dominant.
Now this all makes sense. Four men are at a bar all eyeing the same girl. The first three men are either clean shaven or have very little facial hair. The first three men try to pick up the girl until they see the fourth man with the large beard. They then become intimidated by this man and appear less confident, which in turn makes him appear less attractive to the girl.
So that’s the most likely reason men developed beards through evolution. Not because women think they’re attractive, but instead to scare other men away.
I’d like to take this opportunity to shut down some BS. Men are often thought to be unmanly if they show too much interest or concern regarding their looks. Look at it this way. In almost every single species on the face of this earth, the gender that evolutionarily developed more extravagant and ornate has been male. And that’s because the male creature with more bells and whistles typically won the female. So don’t go laughing at a guy because he’s fixing his hair in the mirror, shopping for new clothes or grows his hair out to do a man bun. Instead realize that he’s probably attracting more men and women than you are because he’s trying.
Challenge of the Day: go use the word, “Anthropomorphism” or “Anthropomorphic.” It is the attribution of human-like characteristics or behavior to a god, object or animal. Basically this means that you’re describing or portraying something to be human when it’s not. A great example are children’s shows in which animals are the main characters. Paw Patrol is a great example in which the talking animals with human level intelligence go about and complete great deeds. This is a tough one, but I expect great examples from a few of you!
That’s it for today! As this is a trial run, I am entirely open to tweaking The Morning Text, please provide feedback so that I can better cater to your interests. If you believe you have received this message in error and no longer wish to receive them, please notify me. If you would like to view previous Morning Texts please visit themorningtext.com
Have a wonderful day.
Written by Caleb Gibbons