Interview With The Bearded Lord High Constable

Chris McCune is Lord High Constable of the Upstate and Classy Beard and Moustache Society. Please note, that's "moustache" with an "o". They are a competitive facial hair growing club, competing under the auspices of Beard Team USA, which competes in the World Beard Championships.

Naturally, The Giant wanted to interview one of the manliest figures in his own backyard.

What does the Upstate and Classy Beard and Moustache Society do? Why is it worthwhile?
"Here at UCBMS we are all about promoting a better community where everyone helps one another and are able to do so in a supportive and soulful atmosphere. Aside from catering to the needs and benefits of different awareness groups/charities, we present a traditional family environment to our members and the public that stops to chat about our coiffed faces. We are able to use our hard earned resources to support local and national underground talent by organizing concerts in Clemson (about to start talks for booking events at The Handlebar in Greenville as well). Some charities include The National Breast Cancer Foundation, which we had our 1st annual Beards for Breasts fund raiser, we are participating in Clemson University's "Marrow-thon" and various members join in at the university's blood drives.

I would say that it is worthwhile because we have created a unique counter-culture follicle niche. From the monthly parties we throw here mixed with the fact that we are strategically placed, as employees, at all the local hang-outs, you can't see someone with a festival of hair on there face. The brotherhood (sisterhood as well) that we have created in the past year has gives a semi-hazeless, non-elitist, pseudo-fraternal support group where all are respected and given there own power in the society."

Obviously beards are very male. Are they masculine? What do different hairstyles say about the man wearing them?
"I feel that beards are technically masculine being that they are the product of testosterone. That being said, beards, to us, are very masculine in a different sense of words. Looking like a man is one thing but we try to bring back the true aspects of manhood.

A beard holds the experience of lessons learned and the reminder of what it is to be a man: humble,respectful,a thinker. As for what does style say about character, there are a few answers. Commitment, for the fact that training a full beard or meticulously groomed style is like caring for a bonsai, the moustache is typically for the joker of the group so you'll always find laughs with a stache, and finally confidence comes with the more outrageous styles."

One of the Society's goals is to "generate respect for beards and moustaches". What do you mean by that/why is that something worth doing?
"We mean that the negative remarks of 'Chris Hanson must be looking for you', or 'Did that moustache come with a van?' will be less likely to happen when you come out to our festivities and talk to us and see that facial hair doesn't just belong to creepier persons as some think. In a society where we are taught that the clean shaved man is the sexier man, it takes some generation of respect to be physically appealing with a six inch frock hanging down your cheeks.

It is totally worth doing if only to scream off a mountain 'I am a man, embrace how I am supposed to look'."

Many of the beards one sees in competitive beard circles are more bizarre or fantastic than they are impressive. I guess I mean that they're straight up freaky. How do you reconcile that with generating respect for beards?

"I would say that the issue isn't how freaky they are. I recently competed in the Charm City Beard and Moustache competitions in the freestyle section. It took two hours to style and I don't have the largest beard in the world, I'm guessing there are some people who spend upwards to four or five hours preparing. With that being said, it would be apparent that the real heavyweight competitors aren't just styling for a competition but for a lifestyle. With the amazing amount of dedication put forth to stay looking that well kept, I'd say that it generates respect in itself."

You're a Beard Team USA chapter. What does that involve? How many of your guys are competitive?
"Being a part of BTUSA means keeping up with the bearded community by supporting other chapters in their endeavors. We've attended two competitions thus far, Charleston and Baltimore, as well as holding a competition here. It also brings into play promoting some awareness that this is a legitimate way of life that is rapidly increasing. Having facial hair was big in the past, the 90's and 2000's kinda dissuaded us from growing with the whole 'metrosexuality' phenomena, it's a new era of beard that is growing fast (no pun intended...well not too much). We have four traveling competitors in the group as of now; however, with [the competition in] Norway approaching, more are lining up to go with us.

Thanks for the chance to alert some folks about who we are!"

Here's a video by online tobacco icon PipeFriendCHS on this very same club.


  1. I would love to have a career that allowed facial hair.

  2. I never thought about moving to the Carolinas, but m'thinks i have a built in social group there....

  3. I do envy a good beard. Being unable to grow one myself, I try to encourage all bearding in others, just to try and do my part!


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