Northern Quarter beardy blokes have hit back at a recent university study that claims women are beginning to find facial hair a turn-off.
The study has suggested the growing trend of sporting facial hair may have hit ‘peak beard’ as research uncovers that women are starting to find facial fluff less attractive.
Researchers from the University of New South Wales found that when test subjects were shown a succession of clean-shaven men followed by individuals displaying anything from light stubble to Charles Darwin-style face-clouds – it was the first group that pushed the right buttons.
Researcher Robert Brooks said: “It appears that beards gain an advantage when rare, but when they are in fashion and common, they are declared trendy and that attractiveness is over.
“These trends usually move in 30-year cycles from when they are first noticed but, with the internet, things are moving a lot faster.
“If guys aren’t getting any joy with their beards, they will quickly change.”
Manchester is famed for its versatile mix of styles and the facial hair revolution is reflected in the city’s coolest area, the Northern Quarter.
The Northern Quarter is home to many facial forests as the trend has allowed those who are able to grow a beard the opportunity to make a bold a statement.
The area has undergone heavy cosmetic work in the past decade and its cultural stock has soared.
The city centre hot-spot is Manchester’s equivalent to London’s hipster capital Hoxton or New York’s Brooklyn.
But after facing an accelerated decline in the 80s and 90s, the Northern Quarter has been rejuvenated into an area with coffee houses and ‘multi-platform’ underground-bars-cum-galleries.
MM took to the Northern Quarter to find out what people thought of the research, and ask:
Do you think women still find men with beards attractive?
Toby Dickson, 27, coffee barista, from Baguley, told MM: “Beards are very popular at the moment, I think they look cool.
“There is nothing better than growing a beard as they make you look so much more sophisticated.
“I am surprised women are finding beards less attractive in recent time I have received more for mine than ever.”
SURPRISED: Toby Dickson said he gets lots of attention since growing his beard
James Dee, 19, a student, from Hale Barns, said: “Beards are a real turn-on for girls, they seem to love them more than ever these days.
“I used to think they were too much effort to maintain but now I look after it well I am reaping the benefits.”
Simon Fowler, 25, a teacher from Manchester, said: “Beards are brilliant, they give you an element of style that nothing else can. Women clearly do find them attractive; they just can’t make their mind up as usual.
SHOCKED BY THE STATS: Mike Faulkner thinks beards are fashionable at the moment
Mike Faulkner, 38, a finance advisor, from Hulme, told MM: “That is shocking. I think that having a beard is very in at the moment. They have become a sort of accessory that you can groom to perfection.
“It is surprising to hear that women find them less attractive, but I suppose that they are now less unusual which isn’t as attractive.
“Beards are common because people with less attractive features can hide behind them.”
JACK COLE: The retail exec thinks a lot of men don’t suit beards
Jack Cole, 28, a retail executive, from Manchester said the explosion of beards in recent times has seen a number of blokes sporting a look which just does not suit them.
“I think beards are pretty cool, they definitely suit some people more than others,” he said.
“I only have a bit of stubble and that works for me, but some people look quality with outlandish full grown beards.”
Jack Meekins, 22, a sales assistant from Eccles, agreed: “Beards look good on the right people, they have become too much of a fashion statement recently and people that don’t suit them are sporting them, which isn’t acceptable.”
Stuart Jackson, 48, a taxi driver, from Bury, has an alternative view as to why so many men have decided to go for the grizzly look.
LAZY? Stuart Jackson thinks a lot of men of sport beards through laziness
“A lot of people only have facial hair because they are too lazy to shave regularly,” he said.
“It is really easy to just maintain a short beard rather than dealing with the complications of stubble length.
“I am surprised that women are becoming less attracted to men with beards because the majority of the men I know have some sort of bear of facial hair.”
However MM did the same poll on the streets of Piccadilly, only a couple of minutes walk from the Norhern Quarter, and found quite different results.
The message is clear – if you have a beard, the Northern Quarter is a good place to be. Elsewhere, the verdict’s out.
Featured image courtesy of Phil King, with thanks.