The next installment in my series of interviews with other Internet-using beard-loving people is with Michael from the popular site Beard Revue. His site is just bristling with beard goodness. First Thursday Beard Art is a highlight as well as some quite indisputable beard ratings.
The Beard Coach: What was your inspiration for diving into the world of beard blogging?
Michael: Beard Revue is the result of a convergence of three main interests: my unflagging admiration for beards, snobby indie hipster music and social media. My unflagging admiration for beards is self-explanatory.
The hipster music bit comes from my love of the assumed authority with which Pitchfork approaches its reporting and album reviews. Pitchfork is often divisive—a lot of folks hate their reviews. But I think they’re witty, and often way to serious about themselves for me not to laugh. (They recently rated every Beatle album on their arbitrary 0.0–10.0 scale. Was that necessary? No. Was it informative, amusing and incredibly pretentious? Yes.) And my interests in social media stems from my friend Joshua’s challenge to maintain a blog longer than three months. I did, and now it’s popular.
TBC: From what I can tell, Beard Revue is a pretty darn popular beard site. What kind of traffic are you getting?
Michael: Find out for yourself at alexa.com. (Editor’s note: Beard Revue has an Alexa rank of 735,874 as of today.)
TBC: Has Beard Revue panned out the way you had planned it? Or has the road taken some unforeseen twists?
Michael: No. It’s become more popular than I initially thought and the format has changed as my interests and goals have changed. In fact, I’ve recently partnered with a crack team of developers to see how Beard Revue can accommodate more user generated content. I can’t really say more than that, though.
TBC: Your beard poster is fantastic! Any other handcrafted beard art lying around the house?
Michael: Thanks! Probably the most rewarding thing from Beard Revue is the community of artists to whom I’ve been exposed. I love all the little things that beards and moustaches inspire (thus, First Thursday Beard Art). I love that tattoo trend—the one where you get a ’stache tat on the side of your index finger and hold it up over your lip. Sometimes it’s just some one with a Sharpie and not a tattoo. It’s benign and it makes me smile every time I see a photo of one.
And so then there’s everything else. I’m a print designer by trade. So I have beard posters, prints and even Jack Passion’s first book in my collection of all things beardy. And the library affords me the opportunity to bone up on some beardage from time to time. Who knew there was so much beardstuff out there?
TBC: What is your take on the state of the beard today?
Michael: Save for the Victorian era, same as it’s always been. The beard is for the fringes of society. The artists, intellectuals, vagrants and anyone who’s willing to wear the badge of being different. Recession and playoff beards are fleeting moments of solidarity, but don’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things.
TBC: Name your 3 favorite bearded people.
Michael: Abbey Road and All Things Must Pass era George Harrison takes the cake. I just saw Kyp Malone last week, so I’ll say him. And my father, of course.
TBC: Name the top 3 people you wish had a beard.
Michael: James Beard (that guy totally wasted his name). I’d love to see Barack Obama don a beard like Malone’s. And anyone I’ve ever met who said they would grow a beard but just weren’t capable of growing one.
TBC: Why do you think people enjoy beards?
Michael: They serve such a wide range of functions for the wearer and the viewer, it’d be difficult to pinpoint one thing. That little bit of rugged panache can go a long way. I like that they’re natural. Since they’re both manifestations of our mature states, this might be an apt analogy:
Beard : Naked Face :: Natural Breasts : Implants
TBC: Please briefly tell your favorite beard-related story.
Michael: People do some funny things for facial hair. I had a wicked awesome handlebar moustache for Moustache May which garnered a lot of attention. Some one photographed me for their scavenger hunt, a gentleman almost got hit by a car crossing the street just to say “hi, nice moustache” and BT Livermore gave me a complementary tin of Man’s Face Stuff moustache wax. My favorite compliment was when a sweet young lass called me a walking sex toy.
TBC: Much of my site is devoted to beard-growing motivation. What is your best advice for guys who are currently growing a beard?
Michael: Have fun with it.