By the end of the experiment, the man found out that his pictures where had his beard on, received 68.1 per cent matches while the ones without the beard received only 31.9 per cent matches. Well, looking their best on various online dating platforms is a priority to many and since the lockdown period happened and a lot of men let their facial hair grow, it actually helped them get better results in terms of matches via online dating.
“The range of presenting oneself online has significantly changed over the years. And people do want to look appealing because the instant impressions online are mostly about the looks. And this is not a shocker that people put their best foot forward. Ladies and girls use make-ups and hairdos with fancy profile filters to enhance their image. Men can, justifiably, use a beard with different camera angles to look presentable. Unethical will be lying about themselves, but here they have just a removable beard,” says Dr Shruti Khare, Psychologist and Psychotherapist.
So, Beard Baiting basically refers to when men grow out their facial hair in a bid to boost their dating success. An Australian men’s fashion website, referred to the beard as a ‘push-up bra for men’.
There are studies done by scientists that have claimed that a man’s beard carries more germs than a dog’s fur.Well, though it sounds gross, but for most women, it works like magic. So, what is it that makes women more attracted to bearded men?
“According to a research by Dixson and Brooks, women found heavy stubble on men as most attractive. And masculinity ratings by women amplified linearly as facial hair increased. Latest looks kept by iconic characters like Captain America or new trend of #NoShaveNovember, does affect the public, directly or indirectly. Beard can convey a commanding presence, women might see them as more mature, more stable, physically fit, and confident,” says Shruti.
Men also have this idea in their head that a beard projects maturity, security and more. A research done by Neave and Shields on the effects of facial hair on women’s perceptions of men’s attractiveness, masculinity, and dominance. The female participants were asked to rate male faces of average attractiveness. The faces were digitally altered to show different kinds of facial hair—clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, short beard, or full beard. For each variant, women were asked to rate the face’s masculinity, aggression, dominance, attractiveness, and social maturity. Participants were also asked to indicate their own desire for the male as a short- and long-term partner.
The results indicated that the women found men with light stubble most attractive; these men were preferred as both short- and long-term partners. However, the women perceived male faces with full beards as the most masculine, aggressive, and socially mature; the women also thought these men looked older. Men’s faces with light beards were considered the most dominant.
According to Ekta Dixit, life and relationship coach believes the media has played a huge role in sensitizing men about facial hair. “We did not see so many beard specific products 10 years ago. Most of the models who are on covers have a beard, most actors have stubbles, so this obviously has created this criterion which defines that men look more attractive in a beard,” says Diksha. She further explains why this term got so much light during the lockdown period, “because there weren’t many options of grooming during lockdown. The salons were shut, online stores were shut briefly, hence the lads just left it to grow.”
We all have flaws and we all want to hide them in various ways possible. “For a girl who has acne or some sort of scar or feels her face isn’t chiseled enough, uses make up to cover it, similarly a beard is being used by men to give their face a better dimension, cover up the double chin or the acne. And it’s totally fair if they want to do so,” says Ekta.
When it comes to online dating, out of 60 per cent of online daters, only 9 per cent have had a long-term relationship with the person they met online and that is because online dating platforms have an impression that whatever starts here is casual. “Finding a suitable partner can be challenging and time consuming, whether or not you are looking for a long-term relationship. One of the major reasons people prefer online dating is because they have a crunch of time. These profile filters and trendy looks give them instant attention and self-worth which they seek. And it works both ways, if someone mutually wants to be in a stable relationship, they can opt for it. For other just flirting or casual sex or few dates are easy to plan online with no strings attached,” says Shruti
Ekta suggests that while men and women can be a little deceptive on online platforms in order to get each other’s attention, if you really connect with that person, one should show the true self. “If you feel a girl really likes you and you both have emotionally connected well, then you must also show her a side, which probably doesn’t have any deception. Both men and women should be open about everything. And I feel, if you are compatible and emotionally naked with one another, no amount of beard baiting or catfishing can obstruct your feelings,” says Ekta.