You think it’s just some egomaniacal quirk and odd personal affectation? Not according to science. From the Daily Telegraph:
Scientists think they may have solved one of the great mysteries of the age. Whyare so many of today’s men growing beards?
The answer, according to The University of Western Australia researchers, is because men are feeling under pressure from other men and are attempting to look aggressive by being more flamboyant with their whiskers.
Published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, Dr Cyril Grueter and colleagues were investigating the idea that in big societies, male primates have developed increasingly ostentatious “badges” which may enhance male sexual attractiveness to females and give them the edge over other males.
These include cheek flanges in orang-utans, elongated noses on proboscis monkeys, upper-lip warts in golden snub-nosed monkeys – and beards on humans.
This news comes at a fortuitous time for me as I’m heading to an orang-utan sanctuary outside of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia–a part of Borneo–this Friday. I’ll be sure to ask our hairy orange cousin. I wonder if they know they’re all hipsters?