I guess it’s true that you learn something new every day. For me, it was the fact that facial hair research teams exist. I guess if I thought long and hard about it, it’d kind of make sense. Who knows where we’d be without facial hair research teams looking out for the chin follicles of our favorite men? Note: While I’ll be riffing on these guys throughout this entire article, it’s totally out of jealousy. I probably would have changed my major if I knew that facial hair research was an actual thing, and now my life is ruined.
Unfortunately, our facial hair geniuses have noticed a trend that upsets me – a self proclaimed facial hair enthusiast – greatly. This year, a team from the University of New South Wales discovered a different behavioral effect related to facial hair: If everyone is bearded, women prefer a clean shaven man. The same principle also works in reverse.
A study was done which included the viewing of 36 pictures of men to a group of 1,453 bisexual or heterosexual women and 213 heterosexual men. Participants had to rank a few of these photos based on attractiveness (which is kind of a weird and possibly shallow survey, but hey – I’m not part of a facial hair research team, so I can’t really judge). From the 36 photos, the first 24 were either pictures entirely of clean shaven men, bearded men, or in some groups, a mix, in order to “condition” the participant. The next 12 images were actually judged – and for the groups who saw a bunch of beards, they listed a clean face as being the most attractive. According to research member Robert Brook, “We may well be at peak beard.”
Men, just because we live in a bearded world, it doesn’t mean that you need to shave yours off tonight. First and foremost, you should keep the facial hair that makes you happy. But if you find yourself upset over the practices of those evil facial hair research teams, here are ten of my absolute favorite bearded celebrities, who prove that facial hair should always be celebrated.
1. Taye Diggs
Taye Diggs might be the only man I’ve ever seen who can totally rock a goatee. In fact, all of his facial hair decisions have been successful – but of course, my favorite is the full beard. What can you say. The man knows his face looks good regardless of the trends.
2. Jason Sudeikis
I don’t know about you, but I took Jason a bit more seriously after he grew a beard. I’ve been a big J-Suds fan for awhile now – long enough to create the nickname of “J-Suds” and dream of it actually catching on. Jason has grown up a lot since originally being hired as a script writer for SNL well over a decade ago, as he’s expecting a baby any day now with the lovely Olivia Wilde.
3. Paul Rudd
The world got to know Paul Rudd after he starred in the classic film Clueless, but at that time, we didn’t know that he had the capability of growing absolutely amazing facial hair. Seriously – no patches at all. I think that I actually prefer a bearded-Paul over a clean-shaven Paul (but let’s face it – I like him no matter how he styles himself.)
4. Ryan Gosling
I’ll admit it. I put him on the list, because he’s Ryan Gosling. Ryan Gosling is still, to my knowledge, the number one most adored dude in the galaxy, and for all of the right reasons. I mean, let’s forget The Notebook for a moment, and reflect on films like Lars And The Real Girl, and Drive. He’s talented, sweet, and can seriously be a huge inspiration to any man who is considering the challenge of obtaining a brand new beard.
5. Jason Mantzoukas
If you guys aren’t familiar with Jason Mantzoukas, you should YouTube this guy instantly. Jason is absolutely hilarious, and pops up on all of your favorite comedies – like Parks and Recreation as Dennis Feinstein, and The League as Rafi. But despite being crazy talented, Jason has a beard like no other. It’s simply glorious.
6. Nick Offerman
Speaking of Parks and Recreation, let’s take a minute to appreciate Nick Offerman, who is famous for his signature facial hair. While his mustache is often a point of discussion, his beard – which is grown when the show finishes shooting – is absolutely incredible.
7. Zach Galifianakis
When you think of bearded celebrities, your mind might direct you immediately to Zach. Not only does Zach have a great beard, but it’s part of his persona. In fact, Zach without a beard looks just like his twin brother, Seth.
That’s some fine acting, Zach.
8. Aziz Ansari
The facial hair on Tom Haverford might be one of the few signs that he’s an actual adult – and who knows? Maybe it’s one of the reasons as to why “Tom’s Bistro” is probably going to be pretty darn successful. (Will they serve Chicky Chicky Parm Parm? Definitely.)
Aziz Ansari is an incredible stand-up comedian and actor, and I simply can’t imagine him without a tiny bit of beard.
Wait, yes I can.
He shared this picture with the internet awhile back, realizing that shaving would be a monumental, Instagram-worthy affair. I barely recognize him. Keep the beard forever, Aziz!
9. Aaron Paul
While Jesse Pinkman had a little bit of facial hair happening towards most of Breaking Bad, we only got to see him with full-on shaggy hair after he was held captive during the last season. Thankfully, Aaron Paul has decided to keep a better maintained beard since the show wrapped. Both looks fit him well, but facial hair helps distinguish him from the meth cook we were originally introduced to.
10. Jon Hamm
Sigh. Jon Hamm. Is there anything this guy can’t do? We’ve seen him be serious and sleazy, and we’ve seen him be absolutely hilarious (in Bridesmaids, 30 Rock, and countless other projects.) Jon with a beard helps remind us that he’s not Don Draper – instead, he’s a talented and versatile actor who will continue having an amazing career once Mad Men wraps up.
Which male celebrities do you think should have made the list?