Beard Of The Month - January 2014 - Michael Johnson
Take a break from shoveling the polar vortex and meet our beardo, Mr. January 2014! This is Michael Johnson, also known as "MJ," from Minneapolis, MN where he and his glorious wings of facial hair have resided their whole lives. Michael is happily married to his wife Nicole and has a 7 year old son. For the past 15 years, MJ has worked as a wine specialist, although he tends to lean towards craft beers these days. Michael and his beard can be found rocking out to Dale Watson, Daft Punk, The Cactus Blossoms, Outkast and more. He also recently filmed a music video with Big Jess and Big Wiz entitled "Beard Game Proper." Keep an eye out for it!
Keep reading to learn more about Michael Johnson and his beard!
Name: Michael Johnson
How long have you been growing your beard?: My current beard style has been growing for about 2 years but, I trimmed to meet the WBMA regulations for the Imperial Partial Beard category at the World Championships which took place in Germany in November of 2013. Now that the contest is over I have stopped trimming and I'm going to let my sideburns party for quite a while.
Why are you growing your beard?: It started out as an individuality thing but, I have come to realize it's more about people and adventure.
Have you won or placed in any competitions?: It's difficult to win and I'm thankful whenever I'm fortunate enough to make it happen but, yeah, I throw my hands up in the air sometimes...
- 2011 Moustache Monday International 1st Place
- 2011 Minnesota Beard-off Moustache Division 1st Place
- 2011 City Pages Best Moustache 3rd Place
- 2012 "Whisker Wars" Online National Contest 2nd Place
- 2012 CAKE (the music group) National "Mustache Man" contest 1st Place
- 2012 Minnesota WILD Best Moustache Finalist
- 2012 Wisconsin Beard-off Partial Beard 1st Place
- 2012 Minnesota Beard-off Best in Show
- 2012 Minnesota Beard-off Partial Beard 1st Place
- 2012 National Beard and Moustache Championships Bronze Medal Sideburns
- 2012 City Pages Best Mo 2nd Place
- 2013 Minnesota Beard-off Partial Beard 1st Place
- 2013 Wisconsin Beard-off Partial Beard 1st Place
- 2013 Wisconsin Beard-off Best in Show
- 2013 National Beard and Moustache Championships Gold Medal Imperial Partial Beard
- 2013 Just For Men National Growin' to New Orleans Contest 3rd Place
- 2013 City Pages Best Moustache 1st Place
- TMZ.com Best Moustache National contest 2nd Place
- 2013 World Beard and Moustache Championships 2nd Place Imperial Partial Beard
How did you find out about the bearding community?: I saw a photo of Steve Scarpa in 2009 or 2010 and I was hooked. At the time I thought the only options were clean shaven face or short beard. Steve's look made me realize people can take facial hair to legendary levels and I wanted in. I read about about beard contests and thought to myself it would be cool to maybe compete in one someday. The sound of that had a fun factor to it. My first contest was Austin 2011. I didn't even come close to winning but, it was the best time. I loved it.
Do you belong to any beard club?: I am the Founder of The Minneapolis Beard and Moustache Club. I'm also a member of The Dream Beard International Team. The people I get to meet because of the clubs makes having a beard go from great to grand.
Is shaving anywhere in your future?: Yes and no. I shave my neck to the jaw line and I shave my chin to create the sideburns/imperial partial beard looks that I like but, shaving my whole face is not in the forecast. At some point I will grow my beard to terminal length with no shaving or trimming...kinda looking forward to it, too.
What is the best compliment your beard has received?: It was during a conversation with Aarne Bielefeldt. We were talking about different aspects of bearding and different styles and all of a sudden he stops the conversation and says "Michael, you MUST keep this style." Hahaha, Aarne is an all-time master so, those words kinda stick with me. I've also been told my sideburns style looks like I'm wearing an airline pillow...I think that was a compliment anyway.
What have you gained from the bearding community?: Special event friends. That is what Jackie Lynn Ellison, Sean Raiger, and myself call each other because we are great friends but, we only see each other once or twice a year at big contests. It's great to pack a weekend full of contests, raging partying, calm dinners, and randomness then say "until next time!". Also, my club has an avenue to raise money for charities. Feels really good to have a contest and the hand money over to Kody's Closet or Villalobos Animal Rescue Center.
Also, some how, I've been featured on all four of my local TV stations, all my local papers, the History Channel, GQ.com, SportIllustrated.com, MSN.com, ReadersDigest.com, wired.com, and a bunch more... Also, recently I made my beard into the Indianapolis Colts logo and it went viral gaining 53,000 likes on the NFL's Instagram account with 4,000 comments between their IG and FB pages. Which is great, because my Mom tells me I'm famous when we are on the phone now.
Are there any competitions that we can find you at in the near future?: Come and Shave it 8 on February 22, 2014 in Austin, TX!!!!!
If you could give any advice to a group of people, what would it be?: Hmmmm. I read the book "Into the Wild" back in the day and something really stuck with me that I try to live by and I've benefited from it. "Happiness is only real when it's shared". Try to put yourself in a position to have great friends to share good times with and hopefully they will share theirs with you, too.