Get ready to check off every name on your holiday shopping list. We found the one gift that will please everyone this holiday season. It's a calendar — but not just any calendar. You won't find puppies, inspirational quotes or photos of some island paradise in this calendar.
This is the Merb'y calendar, and on every page, you will find photos of bearded men. Wearing mermen tales. And it's for a good cause.
The men in the calendar are members of the Newfoundland & Labrador Beard and Mustache Club. They created the calendar to raise money for Spirit Horse, a charitable organization that aims to teach life skills to children and adults with mental health issues via therapeutic recreation with horses.
The calendar name, Merb'y, is actually a combination of two words: mermaid and "b'y", which is slang in Newfoundland for "buddy." A fitting title for a calendar that focuses on the friendships of men in a whimsical way.
The idea of a photoshoot involving men in mertales was not only challenging physically — think lots of squirming and hopping — it was also mentally challenging for the models themselves. William Whelan, one of the merman, shared his thoughts about the experience on the group's Facebook page:
This experience to me has been surreal. I have struggled with body image my entire life. Fat kid from day one. I have avoided social situations involving the removal of my shirt on more occasions then a grown man should. Shame. That's how I felt. Being a part of this has made me 100% more comfortable in my own skin. About time seeing as I'm 36.
The Merb'y calendar was the brainchild of the NL Beard & Moustache Club’s founder (a group that welcomes anyone with an appreciation for facial hair), Hasan Hai, who came up with the idea after seeing photos of a merman-themed photoshoot on Facebook. He posted what he called an "open call to the universe" to see if any bearded men would be interested in participating. To his surprise, more than 80 men responded.
In all, about 30 men can be found gracing the pages of the Merb'y calendar, posing in pubs, pumpkin patches, and of course, at the beach.
The calendar skyrocketed in popularity since the club started posting pics online, so much so that they actually delayed the launch so that they could get more calendars printed. But never fear, you can still order a calendar (or 10) here.