Movember is here but some Ryerson students have been showcasing their facial hair for weeks now, on the new student-run Facebook page: Beards of Ryerson.
“All the beard fans can enjoy and explore the wonderful beards that Ryerson has to offer,” says Abdullah Idroos, a third-year business management student and one of the men behind Beards of Ryerson. “It’s a fashion trend these days. Everyone’s rocking a beard.”
The five third-year Ryerson students behind the page – Idroos, along with Husain Mulla, Hasan Mulla, Azeem Shah and Mohammad Shahid – wanted a platform for men to be able to show off their well-groomed beards.
“They absolutely love the attention they get for their beards,” says Idroos.
“Most of the men are like, ‘Oh, this is the first time I’m getting a compliment about my beard.’”
In less than a month Beards of Ryerson has already gained a lot of attention, with almost 700 Facebook likes.
It seems that bearded Ryerson men like to flaunt their beards, so much so that they are the ones messaging the Facebook page asking to have their manes featured.
But that’s not how it works with Beards of Ryerson. The men have a strict rule that all beards featured on their page must be found by them on their regular searches around campus.
The qualifications to appear on the page are strict, so much so that the men have written up official guidelines to follow: “So long as you have a full-faced patch-less beard you are in the hunt. The cut-offs are light stubbles, neck-beards and thin lineups.”
Idroos explains the need for the guidelines, “Everyone can grow facial hair, but not everyone can groom it properly. There’s a difference between growing your hair and grooming your hair.”
Beards of Ryerson mimics the style that Humans of New York has made famous by explaining what the individuals in the photos are all about.
“Most of the beards have stories,” says Shah, who is the Beards of Ryerson’s photographer and a third-year business technology student. “Behind every beard there’s a reason.”
Although the initiative only started on Oct. 9, Shah says they have already heard many different reasons as to why men decide to grow their beards, ranging from religious beliefs to being inspired by school project research.
For Movember, the administrators of Beards of Ryerson plan on raising both awareness and money through donation links and a beard competition. Bearded Ryerson students will be able to post photos of their tamed manes to the Facebook page.
The first, second and third winners will receive a to-be-determined prize.
Beards of Ryerson has reached out for sponsorship but if they do not find any in time the men behind the Facebook page are still determined to pitch in some of their own money to fund the prizes.
Although the Facebook page is still fairly new, the men behind Beards of Ryerson are already looking at possible options to expand.
Shah says, “Eventually, if it does open up to a lot of people, we might even change it to Beards of Toronto.”