The hipster beard craze has ensured that an entire generation of women will one day discover, far too late, that their spouses don’t have a jawline.
Oh, the humanity.
Whatever your beard length, it’s likely that you haven’t gone nearly as far as the cast of Whisker Wars, a show about the competitive ‘sport’ of beard growth and maintenance.
On September 29, professional beardsmen, including former cast members of Whisker Wars, came from all over America to compete in the Great American Beard & Moustache Championship.
No doubt about it – the beards are majestic.
The gentleman pictured above and below with the octopus beard is Aarne Bielefeldt, a much-loved cast member of Whisker Wars, writes The Washington Post.
Obscure and short-lived — “Whisker Wars” aired for two brief seasons on IFC in 2011 and 2012 — the show nonetheless changed its stars’ lives. Bielefeldt is uncomfortable with the label “hero.” But since the show, that’s exactly what he’s become to many self-identified “beardsmen.” Aficionados of the mutton chop, the full natural and Fu Manchu, they are a brotherhood of the beard.
You can check out a trailer for the first season of Whisker Wars here:
Bielefeldt, a self-described wild man, is as much loved for his lifestyle as he is for his characteristic octopus beard.
When Bielefeldt’s house caught fire and he was unable to rebuild it, bearded men came from all over the country to help him.
Says Bielefeldt, “Ninety percent of the help I have gotten has come from the facial-hair community.”
The RVA Beard League in Virginia set up a PayPal donation site. Wisconsin’s Brew City Beard Alliance held a beard contest in Bielefeldt’s honor and gave him the proceeds. In England, the Wessex Beardsmen sold T-shirts with a drawing of Bielefeldt’s face on them.
Bryan Nelson, a fellow “Whisker Wars” cast member and president of the Austin Facial Hair Club, set up a GoFundMe page. The show changed Nelson’s life as well. For one, he became good friends with Bielefeldt. They share a similar philosophy: Every man should grow his beard out at least once in his life. “I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to know what they really look like,” Nelson says. “Most men in America are missing out on seeing what they’d look like as a wild man.”
No, your eyes did not deceive you – there is a facial hair club.
For months, guys from various beard clubs across the country have been driving up to help Bielefeldt rebuild. “Every two weeks, I have two beards show up here with a camper or a trailer,” he says. “They don’t ask for anything. They drive a distance. They say: ‘We don’t need a guest room. We have our own bathroom.’ They spend some days here and help me.”
Bielefeldt is such an icon in the facial hair community that those who showed up to help him would like to set up a bearded colony just to be near him.
“It’s a dream,” says Dingo. “We want to be up there with him. Live near him. Live by his property. Be forest helpers.”
Dingo is a Whisker Wars superfan and a teacher, but would give it all up to be near his idol.
A surprisingly sweet story for a piece about beards.
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