On August 5, the IFC channel and executive producer Thom Beers launch the new program “Whisker Wars,” featuring veteran bearders from the U.S. Beard & Mustache Championship team including team leader Phil Olsen and two-time world champion Jack Passion.

Jack Passion has bearding passion

And while the staff and administration of the American Mustache Institute are facial hair advocates in terms of promoting the growth of densely thick provinces of lush and vibrant bush, we are JV Team members as compared to the hardcore bearders profiled in “Whisker Wars.”

Indeed, these are the professionals. They are the Hasidim of the facial hair community.

Clearly, however, the show is not for those who do not wish to accept the sexually dynamic Mustached American lifestyle, such as the weak and mortal clean-shaven Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette.

“Perhaps it would work as a one-shot movie if executive producer Thom Beers brought a lighthearted tone,” he wrote in reviewing the series. “…Mr. Beers treats the ‘sport’ of competitive beard growing with the utmost seriousness…The show’s focus is almost entirely on the whisker warriors and their petty, bitter rivalries…but these are competitors you’ve never heard of in a sport most viewers probably don’t know exists….’Whisker Wars’ gives a few glimpses into the care regimen of these mens’ beards but fails to ask or answer an essential question: Why do they bother?”

Owens may have a point about the seriousness of the program, but he also doesn’t understand the context of the cast. You see, anyone who’s spoken with Olsen and other members of the U.S. Beard Team knows that — unlike the American Mustache Institute which uses humor as our principle means of advocating for facial hair — they take bearding with great seriousness. It goes beyond just causal growing — it’s a lifestyle and near religiously professional endeavor.

And whether or not the cast represents the right wing of the Mustached American party, “Whisker Wars” serves a hallmark moment in Mustached American history, providing a much-needed glimpse into the world of facial hair culture.

Of course, it goes without saying that the program would have far more credibility and mainstream support had Mr. Beers included the AMI’s participation and thought leadership. But it’s still worth the time, support and advocacy of the Mustached American community.