The New York City Beard and Moustache Championship, indisputably the most important contest to take place in Brooklyn since the 1956 World Series, is coming to Williamsburg — just in time for the recession.
Sure, the March 14 contest will feature the world’s greatest beards — and the men who wear them — in a fight for facial hair supremacy.
But it is the freshly furry Brooklynites — men who have who lost their jobs and no longer have a reason to shave — who will battle it out in the newly popular “Recession Beard” category.
“The ‘Recession Beard’ is a salute to corporate America — it’s a way to show that you’ve been laid off, but you want to express your creativity through your beard,” said contest organizer Matt BEARDZZZ Saccoman, himself a hirsute hero.
Winning the “Recession Beard” prize — or any of the other facial hair categories contest next week at the Public Assembly club — will take more than color, length, width, and girth. It’ll take heart.
“Beards carry an element of a person’s personality — and we want to see that personality,” said Saccoman, who sports a bushy full beard in a style called “the natural.”
And there’s no competitor who brings more personality — and, well, more beard — to the stage than current World Champion Jack Passion, 25, whose red curls reach his bellybutton.
Think ZZ Top crossed with … ZZ Top.
According to Passion, the rise of the competitive facial hair circuit is just a sign that facial fuzz is not longer a faux pas.
“There has always been facial hair since the dawn of man, but for the past 50 or 60 years, the shaving industry has been a very powerful force that has both figuratively and literally fleeced us,” he said.
“But facial hair is back and it’s going to be back — we’ve just gone through a little patchy spot in history,” added the San Francisco native who took home the New York title for best natural beard when the contest was last held in 2006.
The fuzziest, shaggiest, and longest-whiskered will have a chance to showcase their personalities — and their mandibular manes — in categories including the best natural beard, which ranks unadorned scruff, and top mustache, where former Williamsburger and current New Jersey resident Natty Adams will test his waxed “There Will Be Blood”-styled ’stache.
“When I first grew it, I thought it was going to be funny, but it suits me alarmingly well. This mustache was made for my face — or my face was made for this mustache,” said Adams, 25, whose fuzz is equally inspired by Victorian novels and his Sikh great-grandfather’s facial hair.
Other kinds of beards, moustaches, sideburns and goatees will also get some face time. And so will people who can’t even grow a respectable set of whiskers.
Yes, there’s a patchy beard category, too.
“With them, the worse it is, the better it looks,” said Saccoman.
But no matter the category, the soul is more important than the patch.
“In art, you can’t say that any one painting is any superior to any other painting, but you can say that one painting moves you the most. If you are a judge at a facial hair competition, you choose the beard that moves you the most,” said Passion, who next month will release his first book, “Jack Passion’s Facial Hair Handbook.”
The 2009 New York City Beard and Moustache Championship will be held at Public Assembly [70 North Sixth Street between Wythe and Kent avenues in Williamsburg, (718) 384-4586], 8 pm. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door. For info, visit www.nycbmc.com. Participants must register by March 7.