At one point in the not so distant past, facial hair was considered creepy. The mustache in particular didn't have very positive connotations. Slang words such as "molestache" and "creepstache" were coined as snarky descriptions of strange men in vans who were out to get little kids on playgrounds.
As of late, however, beards and 'staches have, ahem, grown into their own and are now being celebrated. Whether the trend was born out of hipster irony or a genuine fashion statement, facial hair is coming back in a serious way. Beginning Friday, August 5, IFC (Independent Film Channel) will premiere a new program called Whisker Wars, which follows a team of dedicated facial hair growers as they compete in beard competitions across the country, pinning their hopes and dreams on becoming world champion beardsmen. Yes, there is a World Championship Competition held in Norway, and Beard Team USA is going for the gold.
Beard growing competitions aren't anything new, but have been gaining popularity. Los Angeles is hosting its first ever Beard and Mustache Competition this month, and our friends over in the hill country, The Austin Facial Hair Club, have been growing strong since 2007. We did some digging and found that Houston has a chapter of Beard Team USA, but it appears to be defunct. Sure, it's hot here, but we're hoping with all the hair hoopla going on as of late, the Houston chapter will consider getting their beard on again.
We found a lot of great photos of famous facial hair throughout history, some even in our own backyards. Here is a list of our top ten faves.
10. Local beards - Naturally, we have to start with our own ZZ Top (even if Frank Beard doesn't have a beard).
9. Celebrity 'Stache - Charlie Chaplin, hands down.
8. Commercial Facial Hair - Real chicken or not, we love Colonel Sanders.
7. Lady 'Stache - Frida Kahlo embraced her peach fuzz.
6. Brother against brother, beard against beard - Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.
5. Sports 'Stache - Doesn't get creepier than Keith Hernandez.
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4. The Presidential Beard - Abe Lincoln pulled off the chinstrap like none other.
3. Cartoon Handlebars - It's a tie between Boris Badenov and Snidely Whiplash.
2. Communist Facial Cover - Karl Marx loved a good class struggle and his full beard.
1. Uncontrolled Beard - Teen Wolf probably didn't want all this facial hair, but the ladies loved it.