Mustaches: Facial Hair 'Do of Year?

By Capitano, Laura | The Florida Times Union, January 15, 2008 | Go to article overview

Mustaches: Facial Hair 'Do of Year?


Capitano, Laura, The Florida Times Union


Byline: LAURA CAPITANO

I do love when Esquire magazine hits the mail box. It's edgy, humorous and packed with topics that help keep me in touch with my masculine side.

You'll never guess what they propose in the January edition: that the mustache is back. Not the grunge-era goatee, but the Earl Hickey, David Crosby, full-on lip strip standing strong above a naked chin.

Indeed, designers doctored photos of staffers to show various mustache styles in the masthead and included mustache-based terms in the magazine's recurring The Vocabulary section, along with a sketch of a Wilford Brimley-looking character. I can't say for sure if it's him since he isn't going on about Quaker Oats or checking your blood sugar.

Further in, there's an article about a batch of Esquirians meeting a mustachioed man in an elevator, and he changes their outlook on the lip warmer's place in our modern times. "It's empowering," the stranger told the doubters. "It's a declaration. Try it. Set yourself free."

The Men's Health Girl Next Door trumpets the mustache's return as well, calling its revival a backlash from the metrosexual "girlie-man era" of which dudes are growing tired.

I don't know, man. Beard and goatee variations are one thing. They're generally accepted, non-alarming and inconsequential. For some reason we're not meant to understand, mustaches stand apart from their more full-faced brothers. Hairstyles on the upper lip alone are conversation pieces, lifestyle choices, defining characteristics. They're the part guys shaving their beards leave for last, you know, "Just to see what it would look like."

I doubt style trends are what influence men to go all Magnum P.I. with their facial hair. Rather, I think a man's preference to grow a mustache is ingrained at the DNA level. …

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