Thoughts About The Mustache

Jonathan asked if I had planned to do anything special for Movember this year. I replied that I was disqualified from participating because I refuse to shave off my beard. (One of the rules of Movember is that registered participants must start the month of November clean shaven.) I did plan to contribute to some men’s health charities and that I’d mention it on my blog.

I asked Jonathan what he planned for Movember. Then he pointed to his upper lip. He’s one of those guys who can only grow peach fuzz. My friend laughed and said, “I’m letting this grow out.” He’s also going to contribute something to the charity.

Movember is a charitable organization that raises awareness and funds for men’s health issues. The main concerns are prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health concerns, and suicide prevention. Their website is at: or you can do a web-search for other information.

When I was a young man of Jonathan’s age, I sported a mustache during summertime weather. In the cooler months, a full beard was grown. I found a grainy old snapshot from 1970 as an example to show Jonathan. It shows my friend Max next to me with my stache.

“The Toothbrush mustache was first introduced in Germany by Americans, who turned up with it at the end of the 19th century the way Americans would turn up with ducktails in the 1950s. It was a bit of modern efficiency, an answer to the ornate mustaches of Europe–pop effluvia that fell into the grip of a bad, bad man.”–non-fiction writer, Rich Cohen

Infamous tyrants like Hitler and Stalin favored their own trademark mustaches. When we think of Hitler, we often think of the Hitler mustache. There’s the urban legend that claims Hitler modeled his mustache after Charlie Chaplin’s stache. The speculation is rooted in the Nazi dictator’s stated favorite film stars–Greta Garbo, Shirley Temple, and Charlie Chaplin. That notion was nixed after the release of Chaplin’s movie “The Great Dictator”.

I recently noticed a man wearing a handlebar mustache–a style that doesn’t work for many men, but it does for him. That man’s mustache is a reminder of mustaches of bygone years. Mark Twain’s stache was part of his persona. Perhaps the most outrageous mustache was grown by Friedrich Nietzsche.

“I didn’t want to wear a checked shirt and grow a mustache–that’s what you had to do, and everyone did.”–Neil Tennant

It seems that mustaches periodically come into style and go out of style. Besides the 1970s, mustaches were all the rage back in the 1920s and sporadically during the 1800s. They seem to be coming back in style again as of late. I’ve noticed that mustache wax and associated grooming products are showing up at retail storesĀ and on-line.

Now that we’ve reached mid-November, have you been doing anything for Movember?

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes novelist and play-write, Edward Carey. “I inhaled Dickens as a kid, and I’ve always been fascinated by the Victorians. So many ridiculous objects they had! They created things like mustache cups, so you wouldn’t wet your mustache when you were drinking tea. And eyebrow combs. What’s happened to all the eyebrow combs? Marvelous things.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, Entertainment, Health and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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