The Swedes On Beards

Another headline I’ve always wanted to write. The winner of Sweden’s Best Beard contest is a construction worker, with a simple, lush and beautiful beard. Yes, they appear to be pandering at this point:

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 3.14.09 PMKristofer Larsson didn’t grow his facial hair as a fashion statement, rather he was too busy to shave while he was renovating his family home. But the carpenter from Varberg in west Sweden decided to take part in a national contest to find Sweden’s best beard, with the final held at the Victoria Theatre in Malmö over the weekend.

An audience of around 150 people voted for him to pick up the prize, after he was shortlisted by an expert jury of beard watchers.   The two runners up in the competition both had neatly clipped beards, but spectators opted for Larsson’s wild whiskers.

Wild? Now compare that with the winners of many other Western beard contests. Many readers send pictures of the finalists for a Beard Of The Week mention, and I have yet to find a single one that makes the cut. They’re way too grotesque and over-the-top to be taken seriously as beards. Twisted into pretzels, or grown to absurd lengths, or turned into sculptures, they’re unrecognizable as beards any sane man would grow or any sane woman or gay man might admire. Mr Larsson? Au contraire. The Swedes are better at everything, aren’t they?

(Photo: taken by Larsson’s boss, the wonderfully named Pontus Flatum)