Why Do Indian Youth Grow the Beard?
Recently, it is observed that more and more boys are inclined to grow a beard. It is not to say that the boys did not grow a beard in the past. But the tendency to grow a beard was less popular among the youth in the last decades. Now, we find more and more youth are growing facial hair and moustaches.
How can we explain the phenomenon of growing beards in the recent context? Is there any sociological explanation for it?
In one research, it is observed that beards did not affect men’s attractiveness ratings consistently but those who let their facial hair grow were perceived as more dominant than others. So, one reason may be to increase their competitiveness to attract females.
In traditional Indian society, moustaches and beards were the symbolism of patriarchy. Kings and emperors were portrayed with moustaches and beards in their paintings. It was normally followed by the whole of society. In the present context, males are challenged by females in all aspects of life. Males may feel insecure. To overcome that insecurity, there may be the possibility of growing facial hairs to show their dominance in society.
It is also observed that whenever there is political and economic uncertainty, more proportion of men tend to grow facial hair. Since the last decade, India has been facing economic insecurity in terms of job opportunities and quality of life. This may be reflecting that more and more Indian youth are inclined to grow a beard.
To conclude, beards are often said to increase the perception of aggressiveness in men. The beard men are supposed to be more dominant, and aggressive and have a ‘ manly’ persona.