Many of our favorite Hollywood heartthrobs have covered up their chiseled cheeks recently with faces full of scruff. After almost two years of wearing a beard, Brad Pitt revealed a clean-shaven face earlier this Summer, and Ben Affleck let his five o'clock shadow mature into sexy stubble while promoting The Town. Robert Pattinson tends to let his hair go wild in between projects but maintains a closer shave when he's on the job. Think you know who looks best with a beard? Play our new faceoff game and read the official rules to enter for a chance to win $500!
Some of Hollywood's hottest guys spent much of the past year covering up their good looks with fuzzy facial hair. Brad Pitt let his sexy stubble turn into a beard, while other stars like Orlando Bloom and Paul Rudd went long for roles. Jake Gyllenhaal's new look might not be his best, but we'll take Robert Pattinson with or without a little scruff. Check out the official rules, then get started playing our new faceoff game, and enter for a chance to win $500 — have fun!
Beards have gone in and out fashion since ancient Greece. Peter I of Russia ordered all officials to shave their beards, and England's Henry the VIII imposed a tax on beards while growing one himself.
For the last 30 years, we've seen goatees and mutton chops and other styles I can't begin to name, but the full-on beard has been all but absent. It belongs to the mythical life of leisurely lit professors and, well, hipsters. Same thing. Now, with Jon Hamm and Robert Pattinson, the beard has gone mainstream. Why now? And where has it been?
Anthropologist Desmond Morris says shaving brings three advantages. First, it makes men look younger; second, it makes them appear friendlier; and third, it makes them appear cleaner.
I'm stuck on the cleanliness. The only thing Americans hate more than dirt is an unclean restroom. Just in case I'm wrong, here are four reasons beards have historically made Americans bristle.
- Communists: If there's one thing communists have in common — besides everything — it's facial hair. From Karl Marx to Fidel Castro, the beard says "I don't buy razors."
- Beatniks: Beards fell out of fashion after World War I. Soldiers shaved out of necessity — they needed to wear gas masks — but when the war was glorified by Hollywood, so were clean-shaven soldiers. Men remained smooth-faced for most of the 20th century; at least until the beatniks got subversive and stubbly in the early '60s.
Get the other two after the jump
Men's facial hair has always been an enigma to me. With all the options out there — from beard to mustache to soul patch (shudder) to goatee to side burns — how does a dude decide? It never occurred to me that an agonizing day of windowsill moping, reflection dissection, and chanting was involved. Men are so vain.
Men have facial hair - it's an annoying fact of life that they need to deal with just as we women have to deal with the nuisance of leg hair.
Some guys shave it all off so their face is soft and smooth, some guys let it get stubbly and scruffy for that sexy laid back look, and some guys grow it out and trim it like facial landscaping.
Every woman has her preference, so I'm curious to know what you like...