One of Belper’s Borough Councillors, Ben Bellamy, has been nominated for the Hirsute Personality of the Year Award in one of many beard contests run by the Beard Liberation Front, a group who celebrate beardedness.
The Beard Liberation Front was founded in 1995 by social historian Keith Flett, who continues to run the special interest group. Despite BLF’s whimsical and light-hearted focus on beard contests, it has a serious side in campaigning to stop discrimination in the workplace against bearded people, especially those who wear beards for religious reasons.
Unlike the Beard of the Year contest which BLF run in December, Hirsute Personality of the Year is not about who has the best beard or whose beard is the best known beard, but is about “the gravitas and impact their beard adds to their public image and appearance” (Keith Flett). Other nominees include Michael Rosen, Frankie Boyle and Brian Blessed.
Ben is also up against fellow Labour politician Jeremy Corbyn who was named “Hairy Valentine” in the Beard Liberation Front’s February contest and has won Parliamentary Beard of the Year 5 times. Despite this high profile competition, Ben is fantastically far ahead in the poll with a stunning 53.85% of the vote. Ben said that he is “honoured” by his nomination. Let’s keep him in the lead Belper. You can vote for Ben on Keith Flett’s blog where you can also find as much information about Beard contests as you could possibly want. VOTE HERE.
The winner of the on-line poll which opened on 11th June will be announced on Monday 27th June to open Beard Week 2016. This is not the only beard contest running at this time, there are a plethora of beard contests for Beard Week. The contests are designed to promote a positive image of beards and will include the Beard Friendly Sandwich of the Year, Hirsute Broadcaster of the Year and the Beard Friendly Employer of the Year.
Update – Sunday 3pm: Ben now has 70% of the vote. Keep voting Belper.