Despite being on ‘carrot top,’ Michael Collie is a man of modesty, proud to be flying the ‘fanta flag.’
Fresh off the podium after taking top spot in Buderim Ginger’s Hottest Ginger Beard competition, Michael sat down to a few ‘ginger beers’ to talk about life in the spotlight.
Where are you from and what do you do?
Originally I grew up in Dubbo, NSW, but over the last four years I’ve been a resident of this lovely place called Brisbane. It’s definitely a place I do call home now, I’m all 100% a Queenslander.
I work for a telco in the city and what that entails is sitting on my phone trying to help as many people as I can, sometimes while they’re yelling at me. That’s part of my job as a complaints consultant.
What’s the secret to consuming a beverage without soaking the mo?
A hell of a lot of wax to keep it out of your face and maybe a hand under the chin just in case something slips through. Also, you need to have a very low angle of drinking if you’re going to be worrying about yourself.
Before you started growing a beard, what were you doing with yourself?
Looking TERRIBLE. I had a very feminine face before I grew a beard.
What sort of comments and attention do you receive after having grown a beard?
There’s definitely a lot more attention, some guys will come up and compliment my beard and if I’ve got my moustache twirled up, people often ask if it’s real.
Who in your opinion has the world’s most majestic beard and why?
Such a tough question, but I’m gonna keep it local, Todd McBeardo the grand leader of the Brisbane Bearded Bandits. I think he’s definitely got one that’s pretty majestic all things considered.
What are your thoughts on shaving?
Why would you shave? It’s just an expense that I don’t wanna be a part of. I don’t need to buy $30 worth of razors every week, having a beard is cheap and it’s good to be lazy.
I’m a very budget conscious person.
Describe your perfect companion.
They just have to be honest. If you can be blunt, straight out flat with someone and tell them what you want and need that’s half the battle. If you can connect on an intellectual level with someone then great, that’s the most important thing.
Hasn’t worked for me so far, but there’s still hope!
In what way does having a beard influence one’s sex appeal?
I think in a way it does attract a certain demographic, but I still want to believe that it’s gonna really come down to personality. A beard’s just a fashion accessory, it’s not what you’ve got, it’s how you wear it. And it’s how you wear yourself at the same time.
What’s a day in the life as Australia’a Hottest Ginger Beard like?
I try to spend as little time on my appearance as possible, pretty much a quick comb of the hair and beard prep then off to work. I’m lucky to have a pool at my place, so when I’m not working hard I like to take the time to chill out and get a bit wet.
But when it comes to venturing out outside of work I like to spend a little more time on my appearance as you never know who you’re going to meet out on the street.
Contrary to my beliefs, now that I’m an ‘award winning ginger’ I suppose if I’m getting my photo taken and talking to people on a semi-regular basis, I kinda need to pick up my game a little haha!
What in life are you most proud of?
Being a ginger of course! When I was younger I thought otherwise and actually quite detested being a ranga. I’d wake up some days and wish I was a brunette, but once I started to reach my mid twenties I realised there’s not many people like me that can do what I do.
If you’re not true to who you are then you’re likely to miss out on all the things that you can provide for yourself and for other people at the same time.
Any tips for aspiring ginger beards who endeavour to one day become Australia’s hottest?
Oh look, it’s not gonna happen, but if you’re willing to try, I’m more than happy to support you along your journey.