When the going gets tough, I say go to a beard contest. At least that’s what I did last night when I attended the First Annual Silver Lake Beard and Mustache Competition held at the Silver Lake Library. After all, there’s nothing like a room full of coiffed facial hair to lighten your mood and make you smile.
Far from being a mass of motorcycle and trucker guys (not that there’s anything wrong with that), this contest was, if I dare say, quite civilized. The men in attendance were some of the best groomed and well-dressed specimens I’ve seen in a while, and the event was a rare glimpse into what I now understand to be a full-blown beard culture. Though there was an air of competition, overall the room was filled with a sense of camaraderie, and the audience enjoyed marveling at the wide array of facial hair styles, shapes and colors (not to mention the well-planned outfits to boot).
There were many categories – mustache, scholarly, full beard, freestyle and Santa Claus – and since we are so progressive here in LA, there was even a women’s category (yes, fake) and a chance for kids to strut their stuff, too. I personally was there in support of my friend Brad, who has an impressive 2-year-old beard. Brad has been nice enough to put up with my photography experiments this year (see below) so I felt the least I could do was show up to support him and his beard.
Los Angeles is host to many fun and unexpected events, and the Silver Lake Beard and Mustache Competition was yet another unique way to experience our great city, and the creative and artistic people who live here. Can a beard be art?…absolutely!
Here are a few photos from the event. I was only able to capture a small sample of who was there. Not to worry, they’ll be doing it again next year.