BEARDS are back in fashion, and judging by the instant popularity of the newly created Tamworth Beard Appreciation Group (TBAG) last week, local admiration for facial hair is growing.
In its first two days, 500 beard aficionados had “liked” the group on Facebook. Bearded founders Dan Wilson and Blake Saban said they did it “for the love of beards” and the page was a chance for bearded men (and their many admirers) to show off their manes.
“We’ve had the Wolverine, the bat-beard, and even the half-beard,” Mr Wilson said.
“Part of its large success is that local bearded men post pictures, or their wives post pictures, to the site.
“It started off a few years back – as it always does – at the bowling club with a bunch of mates and a few beers.”
The crew were all sporting beards at the time and shared some laughs about forming an appreciation group, but it only came to fruition last week.
Mr Saban wanted to hold an evening featuring a local beard competition and bands, so he got in touch with Mr Wilson and reignited the passion for the project.
Both men have worn beards ever since they could grow facial hair.
“Blake and I have the curse that a lot of men have where if you don’t have a beard, you look like a 12-year-old boy,” Mr Wilson said.
Although the social group is primarily “a bit of fun, a bit tongue-in-cheek”, Mr Saban said they planned to sell stickers and shirts to go towards a men’s mental health bootcamp run by Hunter New England Health, Rural Fit Gym and headspace Tamworth.
“It’s a manly cause,” Mr Wilson said.
“But it affects the whole community – men’s health affects their wives, their partners, their sisters and their mothers,” Mr Saban said.
“It’s a good way we can give back to the community.”