It seems like only yesterday that bearded men ruled the world, when the sight of a prickly jawline or a full-on beard (!) had us swooning with admiration and lust. Bonus points for the tattooed gents and the irresistible man-bun-and-beard combos.
But beards might be fading in favorability — and for more than one reason.
We may have reached peak obsession with bearded men, according to a new survey. A U.K. survey by video sharing site Eva, conducted via Censuswide of about 2,000 people, found that 62% of respondents prefer a clean-shaven man over one with any scruff.
Women, it seems, are mostly grossed out by the thought of dirty beards; 44% of women said their least favorite thing about beards was that they look "unhygienic," followed by 39% who fear random food getting stuck in them, Eva reports. In other words, beards might be a nice fantasy, but they might make for impractical, awkward dates.
Even then, if a bearded man gets a pass on the dinner date, he still might be bad news. The survey also found that men with beards were more likely to have been in a fight, cheated on a partner or stolen something.
The main culprits: goateed and mustached men.
The survey found 45% of men with a goatee had gotten into a fight, whereas only 29% of "peace-loving clean shaven men" had, Eva reports. Also, 40% also said they'd stolen something, compared to 17% of men without facial hair.
And when it came to cheating, men with "long mustaches" were the worst: 47% said they'd been unfaithful, compared to 20% of the smooth-faced gentlemen. (We're thinking the 'stached bandits must have twirled the corners of their long mustaches while plotting their next venture.)
Of course, it's hard to tell for sure that facial hair really exerts that much influence on behavior. Science has a lot to say about beards, surprisingly — researchers have shown that beards are favorable when they're rare and make men stand out, while one reporter found that beards are indeed full of bacteria — but less on whether all those men with beards are also cheating, lying scoundrels looking for a fist fight.
But those bearded dudes are probably less desirable these days, given how many of them there are. When asked if they thought a beard was a good look for a guy, Eva reports about 65% of the women respondents said no.