Fuzz for funds: Fargo-Moorhead men growing their facial hair – and the women in their lives have something to say about itFARGO - Jane MacBean has her clippers ready. Since November, she’s reluctantly watched her husband’s facial hair grow for The Hotel Donaldson’s annual prostate cancer fundraiser.
By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM
If you go
What: Bros on Broadway main event
When: 6 to 10 tonight
Where: HoDo Lounge, 101 Broadway, Fargo
Info: $25 admission includes a drink, appetizers, live music, games and contests. Tickets are available online at http://brosonbroadway.com or at the door.
FARGO - Jane MacBean has her clippers ready.
Since November, she’s reluctantly watched her husband’s facial hair grow for The Hotel Donaldson’s annual prostate cancer fundraiser.
The 40-year-old Fargo woman tried to get him to shave it off for Christmas, New Year’s and again in “FeBROary.” No such luck.
But after tonight’s Bros on Broadway finale at the HoDo Lounge downtown, Jane will get her usually clean-shaven spouse back.
Like with October’s Bras on Broadway, the money raised stays in the community in the form of gas cards for cancer patients’ transportation to treatment.
Though men are sporting mutton chops, handlebars and goatees for the cause, the women in their lives have some strong opinions about the hair sprouting from their faces.
“Jane doesn’t like to kiss me with any facial hair, so I try to keep it clean-shaven,” says her 39-year-old husband, Paul Ouradnik.
Other women prefer their spouses with whiskers.
Though he was clean-shaven for a job when they first met, Laura Lempe likes husband Bill with a beard.
Mustaches are a no-go – she made him shave his off before the Fargo couple’s recent Florida vacation.
“For my husband, my personal feelings are, he’s so much more handsome without a mustache, I’ll put it that way,” she says.
Bill, however, likes to experiment with his facial fuzz, especially for Bros on Broadway.
He’s done the big, bushy Zach Galifianakis, the Colonel Sanders, and a redheaded version of Jason Lee’s character in “My Name Is Earl,” to name a few.
“People have come to know that he does wacky things with his beards and mustaches,” Laura says.
Whenever he changes his facial hair, it takes some getting used to.
“The craziest thing, though, is when he decides to do his facial hair at night when I’m in bed, and then I wake up and I have this guy with this Fu Manchu mustache,” she says.
Chelsey Ehlen's 27-year-old husband, Alex, who’s on team Fargo Fuzz with Bill, has tried many different looks in the 13 years they’ve been together.
“I’ve watched his facial hair evolve since he could grow it,” she says with a laugh.
His current look? A 1950s pompadour with a long beard.
“Personally, I like a beard. I think it’s distinguishing, as long as it’s well-kept and shaped,” says the Fargo woman, also 27.
The two co-own Everett’s Barbershop on Broadway, where Chelsey’s also a barber. This past month, she’s been hearing a lot of buzz about Bros growth from clients.
“I think a lot of guys are envious of each other’s beards,” she says.
Paul compares a man’s well-manicured beard to a woman’s makeup – it changes your look, and you have to work to get it right.
“It’s really one of our only options to change our facial appearance,” he says. “It can shave years off, put years on, make you look more hipster, make you look more grizzly.”
“Accessorizing” your face, whether it’s with a razor or a makeup brush, can alter the way you look, and how others perceive you, in just a few minutes.
Husbands and wives alike say experimenting with facial hair gives men a way to express themselves.
“It’s a way for them to be individuals. We see that, especially this time of year,” Laura says.
Those wacky whiskers help men in the area like Paul, Bill and Alex bring attention to a topic that’s difficult to talk about – prostate cancer.
“You can grow it all year long if you want, so some of these guys have some pretty impressive stuff going on,” Bill says.
Chelsey says Everett’s will have a styling station set up tonight in the entryway of the restaurant for touch-ups before judging. Anyone who stops by for a tweak will get a coupon for a hot shave.
Paul, who’s on team BroDo with five other Hotel Donaldson employees, plans to treat himself to one after revealing his final look at tonight’s Bros on Broadway fundraising party.
“It’s a fun way to promote men’s health, and there’s nothing more manly than a beard,” he says.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590