What’s with all the face fuzz these days? The Balbo, the Bandholz, the Garabaldi. Not familiar? OK, how about the Van Dyke, Mutton Chops or the Goatee? Handlebars, Walrus or Pencil. Or the Salvador Dali, the Groucho Marx, the Abe Lincoln and the Charlie Chaplin. We’re talking facial hair, friends, and lots of it.
Here in the twenty-teens if you look around, as many people often do, you’ll probably notice a veritable plague of beards, moustaches, and stubble – most of it on men. Facial hair seems to be all the rage. You can hardly swing a cat without hitting a dude with a chin curtain or a trash stash of some kind. It’s as if everyone was suddenly boycotting the ridiculously high price of razors, what with their titanium carbonized space-age multi-layered mega blades with names like “Fusion” and “Mach 5” and “Turbo” and “Facestabber” and “Walletbuster”.
And it’s not just on account of the hockey playoffs whereupon players and fans have a tradition-superstition that you can’t shave until your team is out of the playoffs, many non-hockey guys are sporting pathetic cookie dusters for no apparent reason. Why would anyone go around with a peach fuzz mouse nest on their face? How can someone stroll around in a public place with a mobile tea strainer lip wig that looks like a dead rodent glued to his nostrils?
Statistics, that’s why.
According to the interweb, where all things are tried and true, 82% of women think men look more masculine with a beard, and two thirds of them would date a bearded guy over a clean shaven dude. “Hogwash,” you say – unless you are a guy with a beard.
How about this, then: research shows that 33% of American males and 55% of males worldwide have some kind of facial hair and that both women and men agree that “beards make men look older, more respected, of a higher status, and even powerful”. “Right on!” you say – especially if you are a dude with a batch of face fungus.
So in reluctant recognition of trendy beardies everywhere, how about a little Quiz? Quizzes are almost as popular as cheek ticklers and five o’clock shadows these days, right?
l How long is the world’s longest beard?
l How long does the average man spend shaving in a lifetime?
l What is pogonophobia?
l How much beer will be trapped in the average moustache?
l What is the name of the one member of ZZ Top who doesn’t have a beard?
For the Answers to this important FaceFuzz Quiz, turn your Advocate upside down.
So there you go, more than you never wanted to know about facial hair. But I have one more question: Why do I look like an aging orangutan with a bad case of mange? I figured the more that my face is covered, the better. And as difficult as it is to believe, I may be wrong.
Harley Hay is a Red Deer writer and filmmaker.