Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A day late and a dollar short: Movember

Okay, I know that November was so yesterday, but I have been wanting to post about Movember all month. Yeah, that's right--Moustache November baby.

During the second half of November I couldn't help noticing that mustaches were on the rise, growing, perhaps, to epidemic proportions. Could it be that mustaches are making a comeback? Something must be horribly wrong, I thought. I have been having flashbacks to the 70s, even though I never lived in that decade, and my fear of being mugged or molested has increased. Come on, mustaches have very few positive connotations these days. I must admit, though, in all honesty that I think it is very sad that they have come to be associated with pedophiles--I think that is pretty unfair. But I am a product of the aesthetics of my time in that I only know about 10 people who look good in a mustache. I should mention here that my father is one of those people, and he's one of the least creepy people on the planet. He just looks like a Tom Selleck throw-back from the seventies--harmless.

So, despite the fact that a well trimmed beard or goat-tee looks infinitely more respectable these days than a stash, my university's grooming standards only allow facial hair on the upper lip. Unless you are a woman, of course, in which case you could look like Karl Marx if you could grow it. Perhaps the University knew that only those men who didn't care about getting dates, and didn't mind frightening small children, would grow one. Perhaps this was the master plan to achieve bare faces across campus. Anyway, so when I started seeing all of these moustaches last month I thought it evidence of an organized, underground, cabal--bent on reclaiming at least a modicum of facial freedom. There is even a prominent work of art on campus, that appeared in early November, of a large metal-tubed moustache that is apparently filled with kerosene because at night it becomes a flaming stash. It's even in the style of the 19th century saloon keeper moustache--you know, it perks up at the ends, like an extra, hairy smile. Well, the work is entitled, "Self-Portrait" and I have seen the artist--who looks like he must be the leader of the underground movement.

Then I heard of no-shave November and figured that growing a stash is the only thing that BYU students can do, so no surprise there. Though it is definitely more prominent this year than ever. Well, then I stumbled upon Movember in the urban dictionary. People grow moustaches in November and then compare them at the end to see who grew the best one. What a fabulous fad--or is it only a fad? I am going to keep my eyes open today to see if they begin to disappear. I'm going to make a prediction, however, that Moustaches will make a brief comeback in the next few years.

First, they have to get past the ridiculousness that moustaches seem to invoke right now. Moustaches have to be brought back into fashion through a joke. There's no feeling on campus that people are growing moustaches because they seriously think that they look good. There's really something tongue and cheek about it, with a bit of a wink, wink in every moustache that I see. It's a bold, slightly subversive, expression of whimsy and I think I like it. I am tempted to be part of this group myself, but now I fear it is too late. If I grow one now I will be that guy who is still making April fools jokes on April 2nd. So, I'm going to keep watching faces to see if the lip hair trend continues. Time will tell whether this was just a Movember thing or if there really is an underground coterie that will accept me into its ranks.

P.S. Notice the two different accepted spellings of moustache/mustache--nifty.

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