As Movember draws to a close, we have a unique opportunity to discuss and reflect on the role of mustaches in our society; the new wave of facial hair has thrust the topic into our daily conversation. Regardless of one’s personal opinion on what looks good or not, Movember has drawn national attention to many issues of men’s health, and has increased awareness about testicular and prostate cancer (among other things). Movember has also reawakened a spirit that many thought to be lost: nostalgia for the golden age of the ‘stache. That’s right, were talking about the 70’s, when bellbottoms and flowing hair reigned supreme, and the measure of manhood was not based on bench press numbers but on whisker prominence. In the words of Nick Offerman, “A mustache carries with it a little bit of derring-do. You’re the kind of guy who will come barreling up doing a power slide in your pickup truck and then give a girl a wink.”
Before I start waxing nostalgic about Burt Reynolds and Freddy Mercury, I have to confess that my own mustache-growing-ability is subpar, to say the least. I have remained committed to the cause throughout Movember, but I seem only to be able to grow a meager excuse for peach fuzz. No amount of “Just for Men” hair dye has been able to kick start my mustached campaign.
According to the American Mustache Institute, mustaches began to be accepted in daily American life starting in the early 1800’s, but by the end of WWII, the mustache movement came to a rocky halt. From the 1950’s until the 1970’s, the American mustache identity was somewhat of an enigma, and really didn’t have a true form. That all changed when Burt Reynolds busted onto the scene with his iconic “triple threat” look – the perm, the turtle neck, and of course, the mustache. From this point on, mustaches took center stage and American pop culture was changed forever. We’re talking Freddie Mercury, Reggie Jackson, Billy Dee Williams, Cheech Martin, and Mark Spitz. These guys were like the founding fathers of the 70’s stache movement. Unfortunately with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, the new conservative establishment took its toll on the mustache world, changing it forever…
…Which brings us to today. For the first time in years, people are starting to care about their mustaches with the same fervor that Geraldo Rivera once did. Movember has created a beautiful new resurgence in mustaches, a renaissance if you will. Celebrities like Nick Offerman and Sacha Baron Cohen have done wonders for the world of facial hair, becoming role models with fantastic whiskery growth. As with all social movements, though, Movember has its fair share of skeptics — first among them, my mother. Though it comes down to a matter of personal opinion (and here at the BlogDailyHerald we respect all opinions), it’s just a simple fact that facial hair of any form can only enhance a man’s appearance. Not only will a man look better, but his self-confidence will also shoot through the roof. If you’re still not convinced after reading this article, try and answer this question: what would Burt Reynolds say?
All in all, the mustache has cemented itself as an iconic piece of American history, and I am thrilled to see it making a comeback. My hope one day is that I, too, can grow a thick, voluminous mustache. I also hope that it becomes accepted to let the facial hair rage after the month of November. With iconic American heroes such as Nick Offerman waging a triumphant return in favor of the mustache, I feel as though this movement is in safe hands. As the month comes to an end, do not waiver in your commitment to the ‘stache.