By Natalia Balcerzak
The beards are growing — both in the literal sense and in terms of popularity.
A new student-run Facebook page, Beards of Ryerson, was launched this October. Founded by Husain Mulla, a third-year marketing student, the page features photos and quotes of men with beards on campus.
Taking inspiration from the Humans of Ryerson page and after seeing a lot of beards around the city, Mulla said that he wanted to showcase something unique that no other school has done before.
“People have different reasons to grow it, but usually people who do grow it — there’s a certain point where you just want to keep it,” said Mulla.
Mulla, who has a beard himself, said that there’s a connection between other bearded men. Many of those featured said it’s flattering to be asked about their beard and feel it’s being taken more seriously now.
Within a week of the idea, Mulla was able to gather his team of five. Included in his mission was his brother Husan Mulla, Azeem Shah, Abdullah Idroos and Mohammed Shahid. All of them met when they were in high school and hold positions that contribute regularly to the page.
Shah, the photographer of the beards, said that whether it’s for religious reasons or for stylish ones, there is still some stigma against people with beards and they’re trying to get away from it.
“[Beards] are something that’s very diverse, it doesn’t just come from one race or group of people,” said Shah. “That’s why we chose something that wouldn’t be exclusive.”
With more than 700 likes, it seems that beards are gaining recognition and so far, the online response has been positive.
For Mulla, he said that he appreciates it when people compliment his beard. “There’s a lot of maintenance involved,” Mulla said. “I have to condition, put beard wax — it’s a huge process.”
Although many men have begun to message the page to flaunt their beards, the members choose to scout out their favourite beards instead. Mulla said they walk around campus and if they notice somebody with an admirable beard, they approach them.
With Movember attracting more attention every year, the administrators of Beards of Ryerson plan on raising money through a beard competition and donations.
Along with raising awareness for the cause, Mulla said they’re also hoping that more students will know about their page — and gain a new appreciation for beards.