With most men in the Telugu Film industry giving the clean shaven look a miss, will stubble be the look of the season? Prabalika M. Borah finds out

When Munni aka Malaika Arora Khan, in a promotional campaign for mens’ shaving blades, launched ‘no shave no lipstick’ movement, did men really scurry to get a clean shaven look? They might have, after all, Munni’s request cannot be turned down. “Really? Neither Munni nor Sheila need to tell me to shave. That’s the first step to look civilised for men. I connect beard not just to a shabby look but also with people who are depressed, untidy and ailing. In fact, when men are hospitalised for long, the family makes sure he gets a shave at regular intervals,” says Mahesh Reddy, a businessman.

But closer home the leading men of the silver screen seem to think otherwise, contrary to how their seniors looked. Actors ANR and NTR would hardly be seen in a beard unless the role and situation demanded. Same was with actors Krishna and Shobhan Babu. Irrespective of which era an actor belonged to, beard or stubble was definitely not the in-thing. Especially, if he was a prospective groom courting his lady love. And when it was the time to sit on the mandap to tie the taali, the beard had to go.

Fast forward to 2012. The present generation actors seem to carry their thoughts about the beard from reel to real. The chocolate boy of Telugu cinema industry, Mahesh sported a beard for his rough-n-tough role in Businessman and in Mr. Nookaya for the various shades he played, Manchu Manoj decided to keep the stubble on.

Even as a beginner in the industry, Naga Chaitanya kept the stubble on, and despite the unkempt look in which he romanced Samantha and Tamannah, he managed to draw attention from his female fans.

In Varudu, even as Allu Arjun flaunted his chiselled abs, attention did go to his neatly cropped stubble.

Mature look

Hair stylists Vikas says, “Mostly men prefer the clean shaven look for special occasions. The stubble is a new thing and in real life I have hardly met anyone who would like to look that way for a special occasion. On screen, the stylist stresses on the beard for specific reasons. Either they want to give the guy a matured look or give him a very manly look.”

The big fat Telugu wedding of the year is still making it to the FB statuses and tweets. While the groom and bride’s affection for each other is for everyone to see, the groom’s 3-4 day old stubble caught one’s eye. “That must have been done on purpose to ward off the evil eye from the perfect looking couple. Well almost,” says a fan.

Earlier last year when Ram Charan’s cousin Allu Arjun said ‘I do’ he preferred to keep the Varudu look intact and as he posed as one of the perfect best men at his cousin’s wedding, perfect in a crimson silk dhoti and kurta, he had a peek-a-boo stubble. Justifying the look, a fan says, “as actors and youngsters with taste for designer clothes and accessories they will not do anything without giving it a thought.” And adds with a smile, we can always suggest the style to hide pimples and heat boils which crop up during times most unwanted.