There's a hair fight a-growin'.
Depending on your own personal hair situation, you may already be aware that Portland is set to host an event called the World Beard and Moustache Championships in September 2014. As in similar competitions since the first World Beard and Moustache Championships in 1990, bearded wonders in categories from Partial Beard Freestyle to Full Beard with Styled Moustache will descend on the city to compete in general follicular excellence.
But the Germans at the World Beard and Moustache Association have declared the 2014 Portland championships invalid—an Avignon beardship!
The 2014 championships are being staged by Phil Olsen of northern California, owner of the facial-hair-positive organization Beard Team USA, and host of four different national beard and moustache championship competitions in the U.S.
But on its Facebook page on September 8, the WBMA wrote:
"Contrary to what has been announced by Phil Olsen, owner of Beard Team USA, there will not be an approved World Championship in 2014 in Oregon. The next approved championship is in November this year in Germany and the next is in 2015 and will be held in Austria."
"For those who are not aware, the long standing tradition has been that World Beard and Moustache Championships have been held in odd numbered years. Continental championships etc. have been held in the even numbered years. These championships have been organized by the WBMA and the VDB (Association of German Beard Clubs)."
"Phil Olsen normally does nationals," says Brian Snoderly, a senior council member of the Portland Beardsmen. "He's essentially changed the name of his national competition to 'World.'" Snoderly says the Beardsmen are remaining neutral, but that some in the hair club intend to boycott the competition as invalid, and that the WBMA is the organization respected by the international beard community.