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“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Your mum probably uttered this as she mopped your face with a saliva-covered tissue. A pointless perspective as your semi-pubescent self attempted to make sense of your changing interests.
Some years later she might add this crude footnote: “you can’t polish a turd but you can certainly roll it in glitter.” Comforting words from the person who will always love you unconditionally, no matter how disgraceful your topknot.
So we sat down with four women and asked them to trawl through a collection of Ryder Cup pictures, knowing full well that each preference would be different.
We asked them to rank each player based on style, grooming and “standalone hotness.” We then asked them to pick a top 10 and from this we could see which team was the winner. We didn’t reveal the nationality of each golfer.
Squad goals ? pic.twitter.com/Ywj8ndbZZv
— Ryder Cup Team EUR (@RyderCupEurope) September 30, 2016
There was little doubt which team won this round. Dressed head to toe in Loro Piana, the Europeans were the comfortable winners. The clothing bill was staggering; $10,000 per tuxedo, $3,000 for a pair of shoes, even the the wool pique polo cost an eye-watering $865.
Does this expense equate to style? “No,” said Amy, “it’s just the American’s look ridiculous,” she added. “They look like they’ve just walked off Jordan Belfort’s yacht,” Emily interjected. “I prefer the European’s laid back style, nice colours, nothing too outrageous. The American players are trying way too hard, far too ostentatious for me.”
It would appear that less is more when it comes to impressing this panel. The American should sack Dennis the Menace, his designs have beano and gone – sorrynotsorry.
— Ryder Cup USA (@RyderCupUSA) September 30, 2016
This wasn’t a clear-cut round. Asked about their preference for grooming, three of the four admitted they preferred clean-shaven men. Still, an appreciation for “confident” facial hair was also apparent.
Dustin Johnson was a clear hit with the group: “His beard isn’t ‘pubey,'” observed Fiona. “It’s well kept, without being too keen.”
Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler were never far from their graces, nor was Brooks Koepka, but it was a succession of Europeans that consistently got the votes. Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Martin Kaymer, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy were all described as “clean.” “They look super manly, but I’d say a little metrosexual,” said Amy. “I‘m seeing too many weird, gingery beards all round, it’s like they’ve discovered facial hair for the first.”
“If you can’t grow a full beard, don’t bother” added Bethan, the only one of the group who preferred facial hair.
This was an unbelievably close round, with a clear divide in the type of man each participant preferred. Europe take this by a margin, but it was a close shave (which ironically swayed the final judgement).
The group insisted that personality, charisma, overall style and general body language, all played a big part in overall attractiveness. But that wasn’t the question. I placed 24 pictures on a table and left them to decide who would make their top 10. After much discussion about topics like “smugness” they came to a consensus.
The Top 10
It came as a small to surprise to see Europe win every section of this small study. Apparently our American cousins are supposed to be superior in the looks department. Our panel proved that conventional looks don’t mean everything.
It was fascinating to hear some of the intricacies that came into their decision making; facial hair, body language, perceived confidence, all seemed to play a part. One conclusion was that “unusual and the quirky” always got the attention.
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