This has almost nothing to do with being childfree.
In Norway over the weekend of May 14, more than 150 contestants from around the world participated in the World Beard and Moustache Championship. In 17 categories, men’s facial hair designs were judged on size, grooming, originality, and how “good-looking” their style is. Medals were awarded.
While I’m initially drawn to the freak-show factor of the elaborate creations, I ultimately think, BRAVO! I love that these men have found a community where they are appreciated and celebrated. As Bruce Roe, president of a Washington-based Whisker Club and a multiple winner said, “The championships are an excuse for us to get together with our friends…I have some trophies, but the best part is the friends I’ve made through the years.”
Certainly, many people would look at these gentlemen and judge them as a sub-class of society. Funny, that sounds to me like how childfree women are often viewed. And, just like these fascinating bearded guys, we are ignoring our critics, demonstrating that we are fun-loving humans, reaching out to each other, and creating community.
I think that’s awesome!
P.S. Congratulations to Elmar Weisser of Germany who took home gold medals for the Full Beard Freestyle and Overall categories! Click here for photos of the 2011 winners.
Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She loves a feel-good human-interest story.