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St. Louis Beard and Mustache Club Hosts First Facial Hair Competition This Weekend

Categories: Community

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St. Louis Beard and Mustache Club
Richie Darling founded the St. Louis Beard and Mustache Club almost a year ago.
For the president of a club about men's facial hair, Richie Darling is actually quite the feminist.

"To hold office and vote on important club things, you have to have facial hair, which makes it a men's club by default," admits Darling, founder of the St. Louis Beard and Mustache Club."But I like to be inclusive as a leader. I don't want to be exclusive."

To even out the gender imbalance, the club is holding a fundraiser, the Facial Hair Competition, this weekend at Llywelyn's Pub in Webster Groves and donating the proceeds to the Covering House, a shelter for girls who are victims of human trafficking.

See also: Should St. Louis Cardinal Michael Wacha Shave the Beard Before the World Series?

"This is a way for an all-male club to do a charity event for female victims," says Darling.
More than 70 people from as far away as West Virginia and New York have already signed up to compete in the facial-hair competition, where five judges will assign scores to men's facial hair (and to competing ladies' fake mustaches and beards) based on size, density, color, symmetry, grooming and creativity.

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St. Louis Beard and Mustache Club
Richie Darling measures a club member's beard.
Contestants can compete in nine categories, including best mustache, partial beard, business beard, full natural beard under eight inches/over eight inches, fake beard/mustache and freestyle. Five judges -- a Covering House staffer, a former NBA player, a burlesque dancer, a hair/facial hair stylist and a beard club member -- will assign a score between 1 and 10 after examining and feeling each submission.

The heavyweight category, says Darling, is the one for the full, natural beard longer than eight inches.

"That's the one everyone gets most excited about," Darling says. Several men with "belly beards" are coming to St. Louis from all over the state to compete.

See also: Blues: St. Louis Woman Grows Different Kind of "Playoff Beard" To Show Her Support (PHOTO)

Three categories -- freestyle, fake beard and fake mustache -- get extra points for creativity.

"This is where the ladies usually get involved with these giant crafted beards," made from straw, yarn and more, Darling says. "It's really a crowd pleaser."

For anyone who wants an up-close, sneak peek of this fascinating facial hair, the beard and mustache club is hosting a meet and greet at 7 p.m. Friday at Llywelyn's Pub in Webster Groves. The club usually meets once a month to "promote facial hair growth, pride, culture, acceptance, and competition in the St. Louis area," according to the group's mission statement.

"We talk about beards and mustaches. It's a commonality we all have," says Darling. "We're trying to promote this new image of the bearded man [as] less scary."

St. Louis' chapter of the beard and mustache club is almost a year old, and this is the first facial-hair competition. Kansas City held a similar competition last year.

Registration is still open for anyone who wants to compete. Signing up is $20, and watching the competition is free.

The St. Louis Beard and Mustache Club's first Facial Hair Competition starts at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Llywelyn's Pub in Webster Groves.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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34 comments
Epic Coffeetime
Epic Coffeetime

David Black wonder if they have a "survived radiation " category?

Robyn Lynn Douglas
Robyn Lynn Douglas

DancingBear Britney category for fake mustaches for the ladies to enter.

Linda SansSouci
Linda SansSouci

Don't look now; but I think there's vermin lurking in those beards!

Joey Marie
Joey Marie

Laura Dee - Sign up at Llywelyn's Pub tonight or on stlbmc.com

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Andy Lamont is just jealous he's not man enough to grow a beard. He looks 12 in his picture.

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Where does one go to sign up?

Chris Proctor
Chris Proctor

I already got an invite to the event. I am a firm "maybe".

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