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Why Casting Directors Pick Clean Shaven Actors to Unshaven

"Clean Shaven" Campaign for actors by Bollywood
"Clean Shaven" Campaign for actors by Bollywood

Do you like to be unshaven hoping a 'Macho' profile for auditions?

Unfortunately, Indians still being tied to our culture has a notion that an unshaven is unbathed, smelling and dirty. This is more a common view of women looking and assessing men.

The casting directors, too, seem to have this view. When I discussed with some of the casting directors, they opinionated that though there are exceptions, an unshaven actor with a stubble may block their creative vision and may thus offer limited casting options (a thief, villain, beggar or in other negative roles), whereas, if the performance interests them, a clean shaved actor's face may trigger their imagination in creating a diverse profile by working on a clean slate. Even if he is not selected for the auditioned character, a casting director may consider him for future

You may comment 'But many Bollywood actors have stubble or have developed beard'
Yes, but after they attained success and stardom. Not during their early period of struggle!

Salman Khan before and now
Salman Khan Shaved during the struggle period and now

Though my objective here is not to offend men with stubble or unshaven except to give an audition advice, below here is an interesting event last year where many Bollywood celebrities participated and expressed their opinion on “unshaven vs shaven”

  • 83% Women think men with stubble haven’t taken a bath*
  • 86 % Women think clean shaven men smell good*
  • 84% Women think clean shaven men make a good first impression*
  • 81 % Women are attracted to a clean shaven man*

Mumbai, January 9, 2014: The nationwide ‘Unshaved is Unbathedmovement, on a  mission to urge all men in India to shave every day and to make shaving a part of their daily regime has achieved tremendous support and encouragement from both men and women across the nation. Bollywood actors and popular film stars Chitrangada Singh, Sneha, Soha Ali Khan, Neha Dhupia along with women from all walks of life endorsed the thought “Unshaved is unbathed”, by travelling from city to city including Delhi, Lucknow, Indore, Bengaluru, Chennai among several others.

In a first of its kind ‘Shave theatre’ the Finale event gave us a preview into numerous homes & bathrooms across the cities the movement has traveled, demonstrating how women all over India prefer men with a clean shaven look. Women were seen protesting Unshaved is Unbathed and didn’t let their partners get out of the bathroom unless they are clean shaven and made it a daily regime as well. In a rare visual, leading Actors Arbaaz Khan & Vidyut Jammwal were seen shaving seated on bathtubs as they agreed to the Unshaved is Unbathed protest.

Malaika Arora Khan and Neha Dhupia highlighted their preference for clean shaven men and voiced the opinion of Indian women who think clean shaven men are more attractive. They make a better impression and they also smell good. Talking about routine grooming, hygiene, the actors expressed their disapproval of men who are not clean shaven, highlighting that they look unclean and unattractive, like they have not had a bath.

They further highlighted, “Grooming includes several things like well-maintained hair, clean nails, smelling good & overall hygiene amongst the rest. But, you have to start somewhere and men can do that with shaving every day to be clean. When a man sports stubble it looks like ‘he has not had a bath’. He doesn’t look fresh. Not just us, but 83% of Indian Women think men with stubble haven’t taken a bath*. If women can spend hours on grooming to look good, we would like men do the same not just for us, but to look fresh, clean and attractive. By shaving men can actually save themselves the trouble of having a bath twice, a quick shave makes them look fresh just like they have had a bath.”
In acknowledgement, actors Arbaaz Khan and Vidyut Jammwal said, “Yes, we agree with the sentiments of the women who are against unclean stubble. 83% of women in India think men with stubble haven’t taken a bath*, men need to pay more attention and start shaving like they bathe every day. While we do feel lazy to bathe sometimes, shaving helps us look fresh just like we had a bath in two minutes.  Moreover, men should realize that women put in so much effort to groom themselves for their partners, the least that men could do is stay clean and well groomed.”

*Based on Grazia India reader survey done on 300 respondents all over India.

As a manifestation of their strong protest against men with unclean stubble, Indian women unveiled the three mandates and vowed to follow them if their men didn’t shave:

  • “We will not be your date if you don’t shave”
  • “We will not share our space & things if you don’t shave”
  • “We will go out alone if you don’t shave as we think no shave means you haven’t had a bath”

The moral of the story for actors

 Better to be clean shaven and look more stunning than unshaven, especially if a casting director or a director is a female!

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