World Beard and Moustache Championships
The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial competition hosted by the World Beard and Moustache Association (WBMA), in which men with beards and moustaches display lengthy, highly styled facial hair.
Since 2004, the WBMA has been the governing body for the championships. This association is fully responsible for awarding the contest to member clubs. Any club may apply for membership to the WBMA and applications to host an upcoming WBMC will be accepted from established clubs.
On September 1, 2007, competitors of the world's most hirsute faces from the UK, America, Germany and other countries convened for the championships in Brighton. It was hosted by The Handlebar Club with comedy performer Michael "Atters" Attree acting as Chairman and Master of Ceremonies. Facial hair categories were judged by celebrity moustache wearers including actor/singer Nick Cave and musician/poet Billy Childish. The international event was staged within the Brighton Centres Main Hall. Categories include Dali moustache, goatee and full beard freestyle.
The 2009 event was hosted by The South Central Alaska Beard and Moustache Club from May 19 to 24 in Anchorage, Alaska. SCAKBMC distributed over $16,000 to local charities via the International Lions Club 49A foundation 501C4 and the Miners & Trappers Ball Inc a 501C3 organizations. Anchorage hosted the most ever competitors, eclipsing the previous U.S. venue of Carson City, Nevada. A 50-minute British documentary named Tashalaska followed that year's Freestyle Moustache (Keith "Gandhi Jones" Haubrich), Chinese Moustache (Ted Sedman) and Freestyle Full Beard (David Traver) winners.
The 2011 championships were hosted by "The Norwegian Moustache Club of 91" in Trondheim, Norway on May 15. The 12th incarnation of the contest was held near Stuttgart, Germany on November 2, 2013 and was hosted by Belle Moustache Beard and Culture Club. The World Beard and Moustache Championships were held in Leogang, Austria in 2015. The Championships returned to America during the first 3 days of September 2017 when The Austin Facial Hair Club hosted the contest in Austin, Texas, which was the largest World Championships to date with 738 registered competitors from 33 countries.
In 2019 the WBMC will be held in Antwerp, Belgium. In 2021 the championships will be hosted by the New Zealand Beard Club. The official World Beard and Moustache Championships are held every two years, on odd years only.
There are 3 brackets of facial hair: Moustache, Partial Beard and Full Beard. Each bracket is broken into individual categories. There are usually 17 categories but there were 18 different categories for the 2009, 2013 & 2015 championships, and a whopping 27 categories for 2017, including 4 "Craft Beard" categories. A new category for 1cm short carved beards was introduced in 2013 and repeated in 2015 called the Trend Beard, which is in its own bracket.
- Natural Moustache - maximum of 1.5 cm beyond the end of the upper lip (may be styled but without aides)
- English - slender, hairs extremely long and pulled to the side
- Dali - slender with long tips, straight up or arching up
- Imperial Moustache - small and bushy with tips arching up
- Hungarian - big and bushy, beginning from the middle of the upper lip and pulled to the side
- Freestyle - All moustaches that do not match other classes
- Natural Goatee - facial hair grown only on chin, upper and lower lip (may be styled but without aides). In 2015 a Freestyle Goatee category was added in addition to the Freestyle Sideburn category.
- Chinese - chin shaved with moustache tips long and pulled down
- Musketeer - moustache long and slender, beard small and pointed
- Imperial - hair to be grown only on cheeks and upper lip
- Sideburns Freestyle - all other sideburns with shaved chin
- Alaskan Whaler - All beards with no moustache - (a one-time category at the 2009 championships)
- Partial Beard Freestyle - all partial beards not matching other classes
- Verdi - short and round, length not to exceed 10 cm
- Garibaldi - broad, full and round, length not to exceed 20 cm
- Natural Full Beard - as grown, no aids allowed
- Natural Full Beard with Styled Moustache - as grown, only moustache can be styled with aides
- Full Beard Freestyle - full beards not matching other classes, but considered the most creative over all other categories in the full beards.
Examples of winners
- Galvan, Javier A. (2014). They Do What ? A Cultural Encyclopedia of Extraordinary and Exotic Customs from around the World. ABC-CLIO. p. 341.
- WBMC 2007 official committee website
- BBC NEWS, Bearded wonders go head to head
- Sky News, picture gallery
- "2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships". www.akbeardclub.com. Archived from the original on 2009-02-11.
- "Eine Übersicht über die bärtigen Seiten von Bart & Kultur Club "Belle Moustache" e.V". www.jb-photodesign.de.
- The Austin Facial Hair Club
- Official homepage of the 2017 WBMC.
- Official homepage of the 2013 WBMC.
- Official homepage of the 2011 WBMC.
- Official homepage of the World Beard and Moustache Association.
- Official homepage of the 2009 WBMC. Hosted by the South Central Alaska Beard and Moustache Club
- Official homepage of the 2007 WBMC. Hosted by The Handlebar Club
- Official homepage of the 2005 WBMC. Hosted by the Berlin Beard Club
- National Geographic article about the competition
- The Bushrangers - Australia's first ever team for the World Beard and Moustache championships