It was early this morning when I walked into a meeting. I was very tired and waiting for my coffee to kick in. During this part of the day, it is easy for things to slip by me. I may not notice things. I am fairly certain that if I were ever stabbed in the earlier hours of the morning, I would not notice it for another couple of hours or couple of cups of coffee, whichever comes first.
Finally, a couple of hours later, my brain began to operate normally. I took a deep breath and looked around the room. That’s when I noticed something. In the room with me were three other gentlemen. All three had mustaches.
Normally this is something I would notice almost immediately. It is not every day a person is outnumbered three to one by mustaches. Having been caught off guard, though, I was a bit startled. My initial gut reaction was one of confusion. Why would these people be wearing a mustache? I, of course, knew the answer. The moustache, the facial hair of choice for all authority figures in 80’s movies and a surprising percentage of criminals on your local news, has inexplicably become all the rage again.
Mustaches have been around since the time of cavemen, being depicted in a cave drawing as far back as 300 B.C. As history progressed, we saw many different moustaches. There were handlebars and pencils. Charlie Chaplin became famous for his mustachioed antics, becoming so popular that Adolph Hitler decided to adopt the look for his “Worst Human Ever” world tour in the 1930’s and early 40’s. Even video games have depicted mustaches on plumbers who spend most of their time jump on winged turtles and eating funny mushrooms.
The original mustache was a majestic piece of facial hair meant to specifically compliment the face. Just imagine Tom Selleck with and without mustache:
This was the golden age of mustaches. Selleck and Burt Reynolds wore their mustaches and wore them proudly. It fit. As time went on, though, the mustache became the most scrutinized of all types of facial hair. It was replaced by goatees in the 90’s and the era of mustache was, thankfully, over.
Or was it?
Now, for no real reason, the mustache has come back with a vengeance. Hipster after hipster has made the conscious decision to grow hair on only their upper lip. If you were to walk into an Urban Outfitters, you would see a mustache flask, a talking mustache key chain, a mustache shower curtain, and an iPhone case with emblazoned with a mustache because nothing says “This is a serious phone call” like a sketch of facial hair.
Even girls are getting in on the action, posting pictures like this everywhere:
It’s all in good fun, they say. Multiple people I know have thrown parties where the theme is mustaches. Everyone wears a cheap fake mustache and, I suppose, talks about how hard it is to eat or drink while you are wearing a fake mustache.
While everyone has fun, though, I feel for one group.
The true mustachioed men of the world did not grow their mustaches to be hip. They grew them as a fashion statement. They wanted to say, “Hey world. I have a mustache. How do you like them crab apples?”
Then along comes the hipsters. Much like they have done with records and my favorite music and Zooey Deschanel, they have ruined it for everyone. Now people look at the true mustachioed men and wonder if it is an ironic moustache. People in skinny jeans see them and declare their facial hair “awesome,” not because they are impressed, but because they think they have found another person who is an individual in the exact same way as them.
Whether those gentlemen in my meeting were mustachioed because they were hipsters or because they could never quite figure out how to shave their upper lip, I do not know. All I know is I dream of a world where a man can grow facial hair without having to worry that it will lump him in with a group. A world where a mustachioed man can be complimented on his facial hair and know that it is not being done ironically. A world where men like Tom Selleck are admired for their facial hair trailblazing and not just for their fantastic works like “Mr. Baseball” or “Christopher Columbus: The Discover.”
Not that I want to grow a mustache. Those things are nasty.
- I Moustache You to Help a Good Cause! (theheartyherbivore.com)
- Fantashtic: World’s greatest beards and moustaches on show in Las Vegas (mirror.co.uk)
- Festive Facial Hair Infographics – The Moustache Styles Infographic Makes Movember Memorable (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)
- Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock strikes out at the ‘feminization of men’ (o.canada.com)
- 5 Most Hated Moustaches in the World (holytaco.com)
- In pictures: The US Beard and Moustache championships (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Movember: Don Frye and the 10 Best Moustaches in MMA History (bleacherreport.com)