More studies have revealed the remarkable relationship between beards and tattoos: they can already be comparable to peanut butter and jelly. To understand this analogy, women tend to go for guys with visible tattoos and beards like little kids go for crust-free PB&J. Beards and tattoos send a message to the world about individuality, masculinity, health, and strength – they say strong like PB&J says “tasty.” Learn more about the connection here.
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To expound on the link between beards and tattoos, let’s talk about the power of each, beginning with the beard.
Beards have been a sign of virility since the Egyptian pharaohs. Some of the ancient rulers even wore a metal beard to show their power.
Beards project a masculine vibe, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. The women in the study identified pictures of men with beards as more masculine than guys who are cleanly shaven.
The women in the study also associated other qualities with bearded gents such as the following:
What about a tattoo design? Surprisingly, tattoos don’t tend to blast a message saying a man with tats is better-looking. The message is more subtle.
A 2016 study in Personality and Individual Differences showed women didn’t find men with tattoos more “attractive.” They rated pictures of men who wear tattoos as:
Take all these qualities together and that’s a “good thing,” right?
A beard can be a “badge” of identity. Scientists at the University of Western Australia studied over 150 kinds of apes and monkeys.
They found out the ones that lived in big societies used obvious “badges” as visual signals. The purpose, from the smallest monkey to a giant ape, was to show how dominant, attractive, and high-ranking the male was.
The researchers associated the ape behavior with human traits. An ape beats his chest or grows a back full of silver hair. Men display their masculinity with beards and tattoos.
Beards and tattoos are secondary sexual traits, according to researchers. They help you stand out in a crowd.
Online dating qualifies as a “big crowd.” Some researchers think the rise in mobile dating and snap decisions have led to more facial hair. Tattoos also send an instant non-verbal message.
A guy named Nigel Barber studied beard trends in the UK between 1842 and 1971. He found out during times when there were more single guys competing for fewer women, beards and mustaches were more popular.
Studies on whether or not women prefer beards show mixed results. One study found women ranked men with a 10-day beard as “most attractive.” They compared clean-shaven men to light stubble, heavy stubble, and full beard growth.
Another study showed women identified bearded men as more desirable mates and potentially better dads. The same research revealed women had even stronger beard-positive attitudes at the most fertile time of the month.
When it comes to beards and tattoos, the latter don’t just influence the way women react to men. Tattooed men were perceived as more manly and dominant in a study published in Personality and Individual Differences.
A lot of the scientific studies showed women pictures of men with different stages of beard growth. It turns out not all beards are created equal.
An Australian university study covering 351 women and 177 men ranked men’s faces for masculinity, attractiveness, health, and parenting potential. Among both men and women, guys with light beard stubble got low scores in all four areas. Lightly-stubbled guys were viewed as less confident and less sincere than full-bearded men in a study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.
It looks like the takeaway is: if you grow a beard, don’t shave and grow it out. The five-o’clock shadow look doesn’t qualify as a “marker” or “symbol” of desirable manliness.
Getting the partner we want isn’t always just about attracting her. Sometimes it’s about knocking the other guy out of the competition.
Some research shows while women may not automatically view tattoos as attractive, males perceive other males with beards and tattoos as more dominant and aggressive.
Tattoos are popular, with 4 in 10 millennials having some ink, according to the Pew Research Center. A 2011 study discovered tattooed men had high self-esteem and high body appreciation scores after getting inked.
Science backs up this theory. Studies including men showed they saw other men with beards and tattoos as worthier, manlier competitors. Clean-shaven or stubbly ink-free men were ranked as less competitive.
Conservative grooming still plays a huge role in the job market. For employees with beards and tattoos, it can be a challenge. A lot of jobs still have a dress code that bans beards and requires tattoos to be covered.
Fortunately, these codes are changing. Even the NYPD Police has relaxed its standards to allow beards, tattoos, hijabs, and religious head coverings such as turbans.
In some jobs, the perception of bearded men with body art such as tattoos as more manly and dominant can even be a benefit.
Tattoos used to be associated with “rebellion” and negative qualities. Beards haven’t been this popular with the masses since the days Abraham Lincoln was chopping wood and beating guys up.
Beards and tattoos can look manly and cool regardless of age. Here they are, sported by a 50-something Dutch bodybuilder. Watch this video from Mind PUMP Motivation:
Science looks like it’s leading the way in uncovering the unconscious positive messages sent by facial hair and inked skin. Beards and tattoos are a combination that sends a confident, healthy, manly image.
How do you view men with beards and tattoos? Tell us your thoughts below!
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