Beardsman, I watched a video this week that made me emotional. Now, I’m not generally one to show much in the way of emotion. In fact, I’m of the Ron Swanson mindset that states “Crying: acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon.” But this video wrenched my gut, and brought tears to my eyes.
Israeli agency BBR Saatchi & Saatchi recently released a three minute video for Super-Pharm’s Life M6 razor blades, and the video has been making its rounds across the internet. In it, a 44 year-old bearded husband and father named Amit shaves off the beard he has had for 14 years. Amit admits at the start of the video that his wife and children have never seen him without his beard, and when he finally reveals his newly-shorn face to his family, they barely recognize him. Their mouths drop, they reach to touch their fingertips to his cheeks, his wife and children giggle and smile in awe, sweet piano music plays behind, it’s quite an emotional moment. And now you understand why I was so choked up.
This guy shaved off a perfectly good beard for a razor ad. That’s heartbreaking!
The video does present a few interesting ideas, though. When asked about his sentiments on shaving his beard, Amit jokes and says with a laugh, “Loss of virility, loss of intimidation power.”
In an article by Adweek.com, BBR representative Eva Hasson remarks that the agency was surprised to learn of the “volume and sheer power of the emotional attachment men have developed toward their beards.” The author of the Adweek report, David Gianatasio, makes mention that after viewing Amit’s transformation, the completely shaven look made him appear “more friendly and approachable than he had before.”
Both of these statements glean some intriguing insight into something far more fascinating than just the physical transformations made by growing/shaving a beard; the psychological effects of facial hair on not only the wearer, but those around them as well.
By his own half-joking admission, Amit admitted that his beard made him feel that he cut a more imposing figure, and supporting that claim is Giantasio’s statement that a completely shaven Amit was more “friendly and approachable”, insinuating that with his beard, Amit projected a more intimidating presence.
Over the years, countless studies have been conducted to research the psychology of beards, and in September 2014, Psych2go.net published an article entitled Holy Moley That Beard Looks Fine: A Short Look Into The Psychology of Beards that discussed findings from some of these studies. One such study was conducted by researchers Barnaby Dixson and Paul Vasey in which they showed both male and female participants photographs of men with and without beards. They found that female participants felt “a stronger allure to the bearded men,” while male participants felt the bearded men seemed “more attractive,” but they were also “more intimidated” by them.
You’re telling me that we basically come across as intimidating and attractive to everyone we meet? This sounds like a win-win to me, guys.
So before you go reaching for any Life M6 razors to try to horn in on the fleeting good vibes of surprising those in your social circle with your newly-smooth face, remember that you’re also going to be messing with everyone’s psychological well-being.