World Beard & Moustache Championships
By Robin Jay
In a facial-hair faceoff, 300 gentlemen from the world over flocked to parade their handlebars, goatees, fu manchus, mutton chops and other whiskered styles for a chance at being crowned winner of the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Portland, Oregon last October. Madison Rowley, pictured below on page 97, took home top honors. His prize? An all-expense-paid trip to the 2015 World Championships in Loegang, Austria.
Photographer Greg Anderson was on hand to snap portraits of the contestants. He sat down with South Florida Opulence to talk about the interesting men behind these fascinating beards and moustaches.
“When I first started taking portraits at the national competition in 2013 in New Orleans, I was new to the bearding world. What I discovered is that the old stereotype of bearded men being unkept or vagrants just isn’t true. Beardsmen come from all walks of life – from plumbers and accountants, to cowboys, doctors, rock stars, bikers and lawyers,” Anderson said. “And while they all have their unique backgrounds, and may be young or old, they all have a common bond. It’s like a brotherhood of sorts; a subculture. Many of the men see each other biannually at the World Championships – it’s like a reunion to them. They may not speak the same language, or share the same economic status, but it doesn’t matter, they are having a great time together.”
Many of the men take a serious amount of time and hairspray to style their facial masterpieces. Whether they’re donning a Dali moustache – a narrow, long and pointy moustache named after artist Salvador Dali – a toothbrush moustache like the ones worn by Charlie Chaplin and Oliver Hardy, or a horseshoe ‘stache like Hulk Hogan’s, the contestants Anderson photographs all have great stories.
“The competition attracts a lot of interesting characters. Take Madison Rowley, the 2014 winner, for example. It was his first time competing and he won. From his look in the photo, you’d think he might be able to rough you up in a dark alley, but really he’s the nicest guy around – an actor and cinematographer in his mid 20s who’s actually a little shy. The competition gave him a platform to literally let his hair down and enjoy being amongst fellow bearded comrades,” Anderson explained.
“Once I noticed that a guy in line to get his picture taken was frantically working his Rubik’s cube. I asked him, ‘What’s your story?’ He said, ‘I just wanted to solve it before it was my turn. Would you like to see me pound a nail in my nose with it?’ And then he did!”
Another contestant was an invasive species expert who flew helicopters to shoot paintballs at infected trees. But he said that the most dangerous thing in his life wasn’t his job, it was his pointy long moustache that poked him in the eye. He wore an eye patch.
To check out the hundreds of bearded portraits Anderson has photographed, search up his Facebook page or go to www. gregandersonphoto.com.
And, if you sport a moustache or beard and would like to show off your stuff, the 2015 World Beard and Moustache Championships in Loegang, Austria
is on October 3.
View some of the entries below:[print_gllr id=10456]