By Jane Wells, CNBC.com
Men get mixed messages. Be manly, but sensitive. When women say "nothing" is wrong, it means everything's wrong. Open the door for me. No, wait, don't patronize me!
Here's a new one. Even though women say they like your three day growth ... most don't.
Men have taken to facial hair in a big way. Scraggly wisps have covered faces as flawless as Brad Pitt's, but kissing such men is leaving women feeling like they've just undergone microdermabrasion therapy.
Maybe it's time for the perpetual five o'clock shadow/Fred Flintstone look to be retired with faux hawks, ballcaps worn backwards, and hoodies without sleeves.
That, at least, is the opinion of women surveyed by Gillette. Yes, I know, Gillette is in the business of selling razors, and everyone from baseball player Brian Wilson to the guys from Duck Dynasty are the worst things to happen to the razor biz since Robert Redford turned himself into Jeremiah Johnson.
So take these results with a grain of salt, but it bears out what I hear from girlfriends about beards-a smooth face is the best face. More than a thousand women were surveyed by Gillette, and they were allowed to pick multiple answers. Here's what they said:
Which of the following men's facial hair styles, if any, do you like the look of?
-Smooth or clean shaven: 85 percent
-Trimmed beard: 59 percent
-Moustache: 49 percent
-Light stubble or five o'clock shadow: 45 percent
-Goatee: 41 percent
-Long beard: 14 percent
Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants. Nearly nine out of the ten women surveyed said they find a clean shaven man "kissable," while more than half say kissing a guy with facial hair has irritated or scraped their faces. Women also say they would kiss a clean shaven guy more often and for longer (TMI, Gillette, get a room already).
However, only 37 percent of the women surveyed were under the age of 35. That's the core group which has come of age with grungy looking boyfriends. Maybe they're more forgiving. Or maybe they're tired of applying hydrocortisone cream to their faces after every date.
More Difficulties for Men
Women aren't the only ones who fret over their bust size. Men do, too. I mean, men fret over men's bust sizes.
Blame it on Ryan Lochte.
The swimmer more famous for his physique than his breaststroke may be one reason "moob reduction surgery" jumped 38 percent in a year. The Daily Mail reports the increase in surgeries for men seeking to reduce their chest flab is partly the result of watching the Summer Olympics and wanting an easier solution than mastering the 400-meter butterfly.
Pin Up Boys?
Finally, sexy women sell equipment calendars. Why can't sexy men? Why should half the species be shut out of this lucrative exploitation?
One German car wash decided to stretch the envelope with its annual calendar, putting men in hilariously suggestive poses. Mr. March is all the proof you need that this is a woman's job.
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Fifty Shades of the Weirdest News of 2012
Video: Sex at Work and the Collateral Damage
By Jane Wells, CNBC.com