Who restarted the totally unattractive facial stubble trend with all the male actors? Between the three-day growth look and the greasy, just-hanging-there hair, they all look like they crawled out from under a rock.

By: Sue, Naperville, Illinois

A.B. Replies: Stylists, trendmeisters and the Utterly Fabulous tell me that this ongoing trend is merely an homage to casual California living--a style shift that has been playing itself out since George Michael was still pretending to be straight.

"It's just part of the I'm-gonna-play-it-loose kind of lifestyle," Hollywood hairstylist Billy Lowe tells this B!tch. "It's just sort of an ongoing movement--more of a lifestyle look than a trend. It represents a relaxed, unkempt look that says 'no worries, I got it covered.' "

I would also say that more men are sporting stubble in Hollywood out of excitement for the upcoming movie rendition of Miami Vice, but my check from Jamie Foxx has yet to clear.

The truth is this: Actors sprout stubble when they're feeling confident in their stardom; the more women who want to have sex with Orlando Bloom, the more visible the black, wiry hairs on his upper lip. (Based on the photos from the Pirates premiere in Tokyo, the entire Ginza district would like to do incredibly nasty things with Mr. Bloom.)

Conversely, male stars will hack it all off the second they do something very, very bad, and suddenly need to win back the hearts of the doughy moviegoers of America's breadbasket.

Take Brad Pitt. When that murmur of populist disapproval over Pitt's wayward semen reached an audible pitch, the actor whipped out the Mach 3 and scraped that cheatin' pie hole completely clean. Not coincidentally, we're now seeing some confusion over the level of Pitt's true assdom; one slavering housefrau recently wrote to People magazine that, "baby Shiloh is a lucky girl! I wish the golden couple much happiness with their three kids."

Tom Cruise also seems to have sworn off his occasional fling with chin hair, now that Oprah has showcased his hidden talent for scaring the crap out of her. Instead we have what appears to be a permanently cleaned-up and respectable Tom Cruise. At least on the outside. (According to this fax I just this very second got from Cruise's remarkably talented, ruggedly handsome and apparently psychic legal team, Mr. Cruise is also quite respectable on the inside.)

On the more confident side of Hollywood, I should inform you that, per Lowe, "Jesse Metcalfe is sporting a big six-o'clock shadow right now." Other top actors who have recently sported whiskers include George Clooney, and that foreign chap who pretends to be a loveably irascible American on House.

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