I like TV shows with the implied violence of the word “War” in their names—Cupcake Wars, Monster Bug Wars. And I like beards. So I’m going to watch Whisker Wars, the new documentary series that starts tonight at 11pm on IFC. It’s all about competitive beard-growing (or “bearding”) and the super-serious competitions that have sprung up around the… hobby? art? sport?
I’m also planning to watch it because I like beards. (No, not like Renee Zellweger). One of my first media crushes was Dan Haggerty from the Grizzly Adams movies and subsequent TV show. I didn’t understand that it was a crush at the time or why I was so fascinated by his unruly mountain-man facial hair, I just had this idea that it would feel great to touch.
Now that I’m grown-up I realize that I’m part of the least stringently regulated club on earth. Gay guys into beards are as unique as rocks on a beach. In fact, now that the overall trend in men’s grooming leans toward having facial hair, my enthusiasm is a full-blown contemporary cliche. I can couch it in anthropological interest if I want, quote from from the book One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair if I have to, but the truth is that I simply think men with beards are hot.
Now if only the guys on Whisker Wars were eating the cupcakes from Cupcake Wars while fighting giant insects…