Of Beards & Ballots

Did the Congress lose UP on account of Rahul Gandhi’s stubble? Can new data shed light?

stubble beard style

The Times of India this morning, Page One, bottom right quarter, informed readers that 87% women dislike men with evening stubble.

stubble beard style

Among other “relevant data” (shown above) the survey uncovered was the fact that “88% of young women feel special when the boyfriend shaves for them in the evening”. Shaves his own evening stubble for them we’re assuming. This is consistent with a survey we carried out in our office that the expectations of Indian women from Indian men are at an all-time low.

To reinforce the findings of the survey, Malaika Arora Khan and Neha Dhupia held up shaving razors to the camera (shown above). To add insult to injury to those with facial hair, Malaika Arora was quoted as having said – “I personally believe clean shaven men are more romantic”, than bearded men we’re assuming, because it could also be that clean shaven men are more romantic than bearded women, or just any woman, even a clean-shaven one. But compared to any of those subsets, clean-shaven men are more romantic to the celebrity quoted.

The statement attributed to film star, Neha Dhupia was – “If a man expects his woman to be well groomed, he should be willing to groom himself for her.” Newslaundry tried to contact both stars for a clarification. Neha Dhupia, to check if a man using shampoo, conditioner and combing his beard and moustache qualifies as grooming. Malaika Arora Khan, for her romantic experiences with those who have facial hair (male or female). As of now we have got no response.

The write-up with ADVT on the top right also informed readers that Neha Dhupia and Malaika Arora Khan “oppose evening stubble by serving an ultimatum to men, ‘Shave or Crave’”. The piece stated “This belief has brought them to the forefront”(italics added by author for emphasis) “of the ‘Shave or Crave’ movement”. The campaign we’re hoping will occupy headlines up there with the Janlokpal movement and the petition to Drop Charges Against Shaheen and Renu for their comments about Mumbai Shutdown (Facebook arrest). The statistics of women who prefer facial hair as opposed to those who don’t, was provided by a survey done by Nielsen across 10 cities, it has been claimed. The company conducts market surveys, opinion polls, election related survey etc.

This ADVT-article brought to the reader’s attention – WOES or Women Oppose Evening Stubble, a movement or campaign where women fight back. Steering clear of less important battles for Indian women in today’s Khap panchayat and Fatwa-issuing India, it’s the male stubble that has raised hackles (incidentally hackles are the erectile hair at the back of the neck. So raised hackles is a good time to use that razor because in a survey I carried out across 5 rooms in my office, raised hair down the nape of a lady’s neck is considered unsexy).

We are hoping Nielsen uses this important data to buttress the analysis of statistics they gather while carrying out exit polls and political surveys. Such as the voting trend among women, especially those women who may not be in the forefront but are nevertheless part of WOES (Women Oppose Evening Stubble). For example, does the UP assembly election disaster that busted the Rahul Gandhi-magic myth have anything to do with the fact that he did not shave during that campaign and grew stubble, thus hiding his dimples? Why does that demographic (WOES or Women Oppose Evening Stubble) not let the white beard in Gujarat influence their vote? Or does it, but they do not step out to vote because the alternatives too have beards. And do minority communities also have similar attitudes to facial hair even though thought-leaders of their community may be opposed to razors on religious grounds?

Does WOES (Women Oppose Evening Stubble) have a sizable representation from the state of Punjab? This could shed significant light on voting habits in the state. In which case, do they also want to be a part of Anna’s campaign of rejecting all candidates (none of the above option on EVMs) since the overwhelmingly large percentage of candidates across party lines in Punjab have not just evening stubble but stubble from decades of evenings or at least years.

Is that also why the BJP’s Prakash Javadekar’s press conferences are given less airtime as against a clean-shaven Manish Tiwari’s, who has interestingly been pushed up as a minister? The person who takes such calls in the party is in fact a woman who is young by standards set by Indian politicians (see above statistic of young women feeling special) who may or may not be part of the WOES campaign, but has her judgment influenced by that demographic nevertheless. Also Manu Singhvi who gets a suspiciously large amount of airtime and is even smoother than Tiwari and has way less hair. In fact, he has very little and gets way more airtime than BJP’s Prakash Javadekar, or is it that Javadekar is a terrible orator and often what he is saying makes little or no sense?

Another finding of our research was that Neha Dhupia and Malaika Arora Khan are promoting the razor blade for men. And they belong to the demographic – women. Standing by for Arjun Rampal for Stayfree.


Image bySwarnabha Bannerjee

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  • Troll

    Gillette (not mentioned in the Ad) is in the business where it pays to hit where it hurts men like me & Abhinandan the most. But we will hold fort & fight on like the brave men of Rajasthan, who also take pride in their mustache & beard.

    Gilette can go to Gell… I mean Hell.

  • Paddy

    Going by the logic in your article vis-a-vis media and politicians, I can see why Narendra Modi is such a hated figure, not only does he have facial hair, heck, it’s grey!

  • sakshi

    what a beard perspective :/

  • vivek

    why can’t we just ignore this ADVT like any other advertisement in newspapers? yes, it’s stupid and shameless, and on the front page, but so are the jacket advertisements of volkswagen and the like.

  • Raajaysh

    The ad has forced me to necessarily keep a stubble to keep the likes of Neha & Malaika away !

  • Amit

    times, yet again proved. they are loyal to promoters

  • chandrakant

    Times of India is synonymous with Trash of India… all of us know that. We in Maharashtra only read this paper because The Hindu isnt launched here as yet. The day it is launched, TOI is kaput.

  • Hdk 17

    It’s a fact that not all men can grow a good looking full black beard. The men who can grow the full beard and take extreme care and pride in it don’t give a fuck about what women think of them. It’s a symbol a manhood separating him from the kids. It does become a difficulty to women when having a romantic time but atleast they should be happy that their man can sport a good looking beard which chinese, black, white men are always jealous of the ability to grow a beard from someone who is from the sub-continent.

  • Sriram

    And to think the CBI is now taking of White beard and Black beard – probably the well-bearded politicians must have taken a cue from this article :).