Moustaches are amazing…
Not just moustaches either: chin fluff, stubble, well-kept beards and full-blown Santa bushes are all deserving of the utmost admiration. Please do not believe Peter Griffin – Family Guy patriarch – when he explains what it means to be a ‘moustache dad’:
“There may be more lap-sitting then there’s been, and I may answer most of your questions with a story; but mostly my moustache tells people that there is a ninety percent chance that I’m poorly educated, that I keep upscale porn magazines out in the open and that I listen to The Little River Band with giant headphones.”
Nor is it a requirement, as Griffin suggests, that one must accompany a moustache with an outfit made entirely of denim, greet every other moustache-bearer with a special hand gesture or listen exclusively to country music. Moustaches signal so much more than a love of Ron Burgundy: they are sign of masculinity and of excellent personal grooming.
Would Clark Gable have won over Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind had it not been for his lady-tickler? Would David Niven have won the 1958 Academy Award for Best Actor had he not sported such an elegant crumb-catcher? Would Hot Chip’s single Ready for the Floor have been nominated for a Grammy in 2009 if it weren’t for keyboard-player Felix Martin’s nifty nose-neighbour?
I think not.
It is only fair that I admit my love of moustaches originated with the latter example – Moustachioed Martin of Hot Chip. His particular mobile tea-strainer is not only aesthetically pleasing but it is also solid proof that men who sport moustaches are actually cool.
The first facial accessory I ever encountered belonged to my dad; a gigantic (by six year-old standards) Indian man with greying hair and a handlebar moustache, tucking me into bed at night and kissing the top of my head. When the last thing you see, as you fall asleep, is something resembling a dead squirrel attached to your father’s face, you become less than a fan of moustaches from the outset.
Later on, I had the pleasure of watching my male peers attempting to cultivate manly hairs to accompany their descending testicles and ascending height. The majority of them failed miserably and looked pretty ridiculous – however one boy in particular, by the name of Joe, succeeded so well that he was able to buy vodka from the supermarket without being asked for identification. With this new found power to acquire alcohol illegally, Joe soon climbed the social ladder from ‘little weird kid with the excessive body hair’ to the dizzying heights of being the most popular fourteen year-old in my school.
Since scaling the walls of puberty and becoming a woman, I have had the experience of dating men with quite a lot of hair in all the relevant places on their bodies. My first encounter with a hairy-chested man took some getting used to, but for winter-cuddling value alone I now fully appreciate the hairier man for all he is worth. But despite my acceptance of hair on a man’s body (I had reached the point where I considered a man without chest hair unpleasant) I had yet to find an appreciation of a man’s facial hair.
The change in my perception of moustaches was down to Hot Chip; I had been listening to their first two albums without really paying much attention to the band themselves (I am not one for screaming at pop stars or being a groupie.) Then came the much-anticipated third album, which rocketed the band into the mainstream and allowed the media to bombard me with images of the men behind the melodies.
On becoming familiar with Hot Chip’s aesthetic, I became acutely aware of two things: firstly that the band had a considerable amount of hair between them (bass-player Owen Clarke’s occasional beard is particularly pleasing), and the second thing was that I had been very discriminatory; in the past, I have turned down perfectly nice men simply because they had a little too much stubble for my liking (and I am ashamed to admit to being that superficial). I never understood my mum’s love of Omar Sharif simply because he had a moustache, therefore he couldn’t possibly be attractive. I guess I had this unfortunate reflex of presuming that men with beards or moustaches weren’t good-looking or that they were even unhygienic. Therefore, I never thought for one second that a member of one of my favourite bands might sport a moustache.
I didn’t think moustaches were intended for the mainstream…
What I thought was a mere aversion to kissing a man with facial hair, actually turned out to be bordering on pogonophobia (the irrational fear of beards). Margaret Thatcher was a pogonophobe…was I soon to champion Reaganite conservatism too?! Thankfully, this particular lady was definitely for turning. The wonderful thing about becoming aware of your own shortfalls is that you can improve on them. I chose to realise that my aversion to male facial hair was moronic and that being caught up in the superficial makes me just plain ignorant.
I had always considered myself a champion of the notion that looks don’t matter but I guess I am not as squeaky-clean as I first thought. Perhaps we all have a prejudice of some kind, even if we are not aware of it; for you, could it be people with ginger hair? Maybe people who are larger in size than you? Or perhaps even the girl who wears white stilettos on a night out?
Granted, the choice to accept facial hair was directly influenced by my sudden appreciation of a certain aforementioned musician and his lip-warmer, but surely, that can be forgiven..?
I have a huge respect for the beard, the moustache and even the occasional goatee. Tom Selleck just wouldn’t be the same without one; Billy Dee Williams’ one made Star Wars the ultimate nerd fantasy; hell, I have never fancied Brad Pitt but he sure knows how to sport one! The only exception to the rule is probably when Ian Beale (Eastenders) attempted one , (the image still haunts many who are old enough to remember it!)
I have come to consider facial hair of any kind very attractive (how’s that for a U-turn, Mrs Thatcher?!) and consequently would prefer to date a man who is able to sport some serious face fungus. I have even scolded myself for being a woman and thus unable to grow my own moustache – I know women who have such hairy faces that they have to shave, the lucky things!
Sadly I must remain facially bald and resort to drawing curved lines on my thumbs so that when I hold them up to my face, it looks like I have a moustache of my own. I would not go so far as to have a moustache tattooed on my index finger (as I have seen done by others) simply because holding up your forefinger to your face to create a moustache is somewhat Hitler-esque – he can join Ian Beale in being designated the exception to the rule
In conclusion, moustache culture is something I wish I could be a part of…facial hair culture in general, to be precise. It is sexy, masculine and a sign that a man takes time over his appearance (what with the effort spent trimming and grooming his nose-neighbour/chin jacket). And, in clarification, it is not from a desire to be masculine that I wouldn’t mind having facial hair, simply that facial hair makes you stand out from the crowd; it makes you unique, and being unique is something to be proud of.
Moustaches are cool!
They belong to men who make music, who star in movies, who work in science and technology, who train to be doctors and firemen and eco-activists! Moustaches belong to men who I want to date (you get twice the kudos if it extends into full-on bearded bliss). It was a moustache that woke me up to the kinds of unrecognised prejudices that we live with every single day and that should be eradicated, because prejudices are simply barriers to the truth.
…In my case, the truth is that I like men with moustaches.