As a woman, I’m naturally aware that a pretty distressing majority of men feel entitled to pass judgment on women’s body hair, and this is one way for us to sort of even that score. But I’m still a little disheartened that we do it. Just as every woman who can’t be doesn’t care to shave her legs, underarms, or “bikini zone” isn’t a lesbian (or even European), a man with a moustache does not necessarily sport one to identify himself as a creep or a disco fan. (He could be either, or both, but so could the clean-shaven guy next to him.)
Movember is a totally fun idea to raise money and awareness for a very important cause, and if you haven’t already given to a “MoBro” you know, take some time to do that. But while you’re at it, do take note of any of the gents who actually look good – or better – with a moustache, and encourage them to consider keeping it after the month is through! A small part of me has quietly mentally objected to the campaign’s ironic adoption of a legitimate form of fashion expression for men – an area in which we as a society particularly repress boys from a young age – into something “kitschy” and only temporarily cool.
The faddishness irks me, as does the notion that we’ve already apparently decided as a culture that a moustache in conjunction with any sort of beard is perfectly acceptable – but a moustache solo makes you some sort of deviant. Why? As someone with a lot of bearded-and-goateed friends, I can tell you that it’s the bottom half of that follicular facial arrangement that takes the brunt of the leftover meal bits, not the top. My dad had a moustache for almost the entire decade of the 1980s. He was fastidious about checking and combing it after meals, and I never saw a crumb in it. (Can’t say that for some beards of my acquaintance.)
This – amongst many other mostly imaginary issues – is one of the reasons women claim to be distressed at the mere idea of kissing a man with a moustache. In support of the head of the UK Handlebar Club‘s claim that “kissing a man without a moustache is like drinking champagne without bubbles,” I can tell you that one of the best kissers I’ve ever encountered rocked a full-on waxed-and-twirled moz, and the many pleasurable sensations of kissing were actually heightened by its presence. My friend Nicole says, “I love mustaches! I have a hard time even making out with a “man” without facial hair; it seems so much more masculine to have a stache.”
Without further ado, then, here are several very good reasons to date a man with a moustache:HE HAS INNER STRENGTH: Moustaches are not the easiest organic accessories to grow, never mind maintain. Then there’s the constant ogling and even fielding of questions from strangers – those with large visible tattoos and pregnant woman can probably also relate to this – who seem to have no compunction about offering opinions on one’s appearance. Moustaches require patience, endurance (as any man currently growing a Movember ‘stache right now can attest) and most of all, strength of character. He frankly doesn’t give a damn what’s currently cool; he has a more timeless sense of self, which is always in fashion. A man with a well-groomed moustache is a man of substance, who embodies the qualities we admire in others.
HE HAS A STEADY HAND: Most moustaches aren’t just upper lip hair left unattended: they are shaped, combed, even waxed and sometimes dyed to match the hair on the head. (Yes, men know it alarms us when the welcome mat doesn’t match the drapes.) The tools to maintain a moustache properly are very tiny. Anyone who’s ever had a paper cut on their lip knows how sensitive that whole area is, and trimming and plucking and shaving around it is delicate work. A man who can do that and not end up lopsided, cut, or having to shave the whole thing off and start over probably has a lot of manual skills. And those come in handy for so many things….HE LOOKS SEXY WITH WHISKERS: This is basic biology. Men evolved to have facial hair to attract the ladies. Full stop. You can deny it all you want, girls, but we’ve all seen Tom Selleck without his signature flavor saver, and it just doesn’t work, does it? Men can – and do – grow moustaches for the same reason lions have manes, and peacocks are more flamboyant than peahens. While so-called hipsters have lived to regret the trucker hats and PBR fetish culture they unwittingly created, I’ve known more than a few of them who started off with a moustache they grew for a gig or a costume, and were subsequently unable to bring themselves to shave it off because they knew it looked good. There are plenty of unremarkable faces out there, but precious few unremarkable moustaches.
HE CARES ABOUT HIS APPEARANCE: On a related note, my boyfriend, poor sport that he is, ended up shaving off his Movember growth three weeks into the process last year because he was getting too many compliments on it. My personal theory is that he did this to avoid having to pay more attention to what he wears, because a moustache does demand that the wearer bring the whole look up a notch. Unlike his barefaced peers, a mustachioed man does not care to blend in with the crowd. A man with a moustache in contemporary North America is no more asserting his boring machismo than a man in a dress. He’s asserting his fashion sense!
HE CAN ADAPT: I don’t know any men (besides my dad in the 80s) who have had a moustache and never changed it. There are so many exciting variations to experiment with, and being generally more adventurous than most, men with tea strainers tend to change up their styles with more frequency than their clean-shaven contemporaries would even consider updating the hair on their heads. While I was researching this piece – yes, I take my job seriously – I came across this anecdote in a men’s forum, and I contacted the author for permission to quote him on the subject:
“I rock an awesome Clark Gable mustache. Once while in public a young woman suddenly addressed me saying, “Oh my God! I hate mustaches, I would NEVER date a guy with a mustache!” I regarded her calmly for a moment and then replied, “Well, that’s good information but ponder this. If I meet someone who I’m interested in, and the mustache kills it for them, I can excuse myself, find a restroom and a razor and come back in ten minutes mustache-free. If you meet someone who you are interested in and being an overly opinionated, over-sharing twit kills it for them, what are YOU gonna do?”HE HAS A SENSE OF HUMOUR: And he can laugh at himself – because if you’ve ever hung out with a (non-old) man with a moustache, you’ll quickly learn that he has to because the world does, all too frequently. This is not to be confused with jaded hipsterism, either. My awesome (and single) friend Robert, an artist, author and performer who has been mustachioed more of his adult life than he has not, was kind enough to share with me a brilliant essay he wrote on the topic not long ago. If I had the space I’d make you read the entire thing, but here he is addressing why he was first inspired to grow his:
“I needed an antidote to the drab, frumpy goateed 90s. The only other person that I knew with a moustache was under-rated musician Evan Symons who paired his un-ironically with a mullet. Moustaches were a rare breed: when they were sighted, eyebrows would arch.
And what of the phrase ‘ironic moustache’ that came to rise? Personally I have never been one to enjoy emotional distance; if I so much as veer towards such isolating behaviours, a chat with my therapist is in order. Perhaps there was a tad more irony in the early days. One should never misconstrue humour with irony. I wasn’t deadly serious about my moustache, but I wasn’t a deadly serious person. The moustache helped to visually define my tastes and personality.”
HE IS GIVING: Especially if he is doing this for Movember, which believe it or not, many people still know nothing about. (Not everyone is as cool as we are, what can I say?) But beyond the excellent fundraising initiative this month, a man with a moustache is doing it for your pleasure. Or so says my (male) friend Sandy, who is currently clean-shaven, but has sported some of the best moustaches the world has seen this century:
“It’s not simply a lifestyle choice, rather an accessory for the delight of others. It takes time and effort to grow a successful ‘stache, especially one that is kissworthy (i.e. trimmed so as to not obscure the lips).”
Touché, my friend! Whether or not you “celebrate,” enjoy the Movember display, for the plumage is gone all too soon. And as always, for help finding the man (or woman) of your dreams, please get in touch with me, or visit my Junia Matchmaking Services website.