Bearded & Tschorn: What kind of facial hair hath Mel wrought?
Few celebrities engage in the kind of hyper-zealous facial manscaping that Mel Gibson does. Which makes him the perfect candidate to help us learn some of the 18 categories of competition in the upcoming World Beard and Moustache Championships taking place in Anchorage on May 23.
The laissez-faire, hermit-style, two-tone beard he was wearing during an Oct. 28, 2005, news conference in Mexico (he was scouting locations for "Apocalypto" at the time) is what's known as a "Full Beard Natural": "Full beard as it grows and left natural, the more natural the better. The moustache is blended into the beard. No aids allowed." (The 2007 winner in this category at the Brighton, Britain, competition was American Jack Passion. We'll be talking with him later in the week.)
In February of this year, Gibson appeared at the 59th Annual ACE Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in a variation of the styled mustache/strip beard configuration known as a "musketeer" (oddly enough, the same style Mickey Rourke was trying to pull off the next week at the Academy Awards): "Narrow chin beard that comes to a point. Moustache narrow, long, slightly curved, and combed to the sides. Moustache may consist only of hairs that grow within 1.5 cm past the end of the upper lip. Aids allowed."
If we were judges, we might be tempted to give Mel extra points for the way the tips of the mustache curl up, but that's just us. With any luck, Gibson is off pruning his visage into another learning experience for our enjoyment. (Is a Fu Manchu or a Dali too much to ask?)
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos: At top, Mel Gibson in October 2005. Credit: V / Reuters. At bottom, Gibson in February this year. Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.