Story by Tiffany Jarva, Photo by Swärg Pätël Photography
To unite bearded men of all cultures, races and creeds in a brotherhood devoted to loyalty, honor and respect toward all peoples, dedicated to the betterment of mankind through fraternity, charity and kindness.
-Bearded Villains Mission Statement
It’s Movember. Scruffy is in. But beyond scruffy, there are many men sporting full-on beards and full-on commitments to their year-round bearded lifestyle, as well as giving back to their community.
“Bearded Villains was chosen as the name because stereotypically most heroes are clean-shaven and beards are typically worn by villains,” explains Jeff Barry, captain of the Northwestern Ontario chapter. “We challenge this stereotype of bearded men, showcasing them as social activists, fathers, husbands, professionals, fashion conscious, and philanthropists.”
Initially an instagram “shout-out” page, Bearded Villains was started in 2014 by Fredrick Von Knox, a worldwide beard model and entrepreneur. Barry says it has evolved into a true brotherhood. To join all you need is to have a beard and a good attitude. There are now nine Canadian chapters and 29 chapters in the United States, along with chapters in Mexico, South Africa, Europe, Australia, U.K., Asia, New Zealand, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Columbia, with more are submitting applications every month.
“As you get to know other Bearded Villains you realize that there is a deep connection between the members who share not only a beard, but also a sense of social conscience—you also have a place to stay in any country in the world and brothers that will have your back when times get tough.” All chapters organize and participate in charity events. Recently the Toronto chapter organized provisions for the homeless campaign, contributing 100 bags of essentials, food and mats. All chapters contributed to sending Matthew, a young boy with cancer, on a Disney cruise.
Barry looks forward to giving back to his own community now that the Northwestern Ontario chapter has recently been given its official seal. “Men can be subjected to a lot of social pressure to shave. It’s helpful to know that you have the support of other beard-loving guys in the same situation.”