Bow Tie Rarity May Lead To Sexiness
Science is marvelous.
Pogonophilia – The Love of Beards
Al Jazeera America reports this week how beards can make men more attractive to women. Barnaby Dixson of the University of New South Wales in Australia led researchers in a study of how women view men with various amounts of facial hair (clean-shaven, with stubble, and bearded), and published they their findings in this week’s issue of the scientific journal Biology Letters.
Basically, when a feature is rare, the scarcity of it can entice members of the opposite sex. According to Al Jazeera:
Novelty styles boost the chance of reproductive success because they stand out. Conformists then mimic these “influential early adopters,” which eventually leads to new rebels emerging in a cycle of change.
Bearded gentlemen can take solace in an earlier study, however. Dwight Robinson, a sociologist at the University of Washington, analyzed the history of men’s facial hair and found that the last major popularity upswing of beards, which started in about 1850, lasted about 50 years and that beards didn’t fall totally out of favor until 1956, suggesting that the current pogonophilia, or love of beards, may be here for a long while.
However, as male facial hair grows in popularity, its perceived sexiness will diminish.
“When a fashion goes mainstream it loses the advantage of rarity. And so it begins to subside,” explains Rob Brooks, Director of the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre at UNSW Australia, who also helped with the study. “Innovative new styles,” he said, “may enjoy a premium while they are still rare.”
I’m no scientist, but it appears to me that based upon the science of evolution, creatures with distinctive features sometimes enjoy more reproductive success as scientists “now believe rarity of features, scientifically termed ‘negative frequency-dependent selection,’ may explain some of it.”
Currently, most men choose to don traditional long ties as their neckwear of choice. Many blokes don’t feel that they can pull off a sartorial alternative like wearing bow ties. Perhaps that’s why the Aficionado gets so many compliments from women when he wears one; they appreciate something that they typically don’t see.
Related: How To Protect Bow Ties From Beards
One of the aims of this blog is to demystify his neckwear of choice. Many dudes feel intimidated by them unnecessarily, and half the battle is just wearing one for the first time.
So, if more guys decide to start sporting bow ties, that may render them less sexy. Why would we want that?
The point is not to convert a lot of men to exclusively make this sartorial statement, but it is to help more guys venture in to wearing alternative neckwear from time to time. That approach helps increase the following while preserving the distinctiveness of those who make wearing them as their personal trademark look or endearing quirk.
That seems like a win-win.
A Sum Greater Than Its Parts
Not only does the Aficionado enjoy his sartorial statements when it comes to what goes around his neck, he also enjoys what grows near his neck as well. Thus, this post touches upon two things dear to his heart — bow ties and his facial hair. He’s not the only one who shares this zeal. Check out this Pinterest board for wonderful pictures of these two fashion statements made at that same time.