Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Death of the 'Stache

Maybe it's just me or the corner of the country that I live in, but I cannot remember the last time I saw a guy sporting a mustache. Of all men's facial hair trends, this one seems to have fallen by the wayside in recent years. I still see plenty of goatees, beards, and the occasional soul patch but nary a 'stache. I can't think of too many famous men today who regularly sport one (with the exception of Dr. Phil) and flipping through any magazine, you'd be hard pressed to find a male model with a mustache. Even John Oates shaved his off years ago!

I'm actually not complaining about this fashion trend; truth be told, I prefer the clean shaven look on men or the Don Johnson shadow if they can pull it off without looking too sloppy. Many of my long-time readers also know by now that I adore sideburns. But I've never been a fan of mustaches and I'm guessing that today's Gen Y and Gen X men echo that sentiment. So what happened?

I think the mustache - which lost its popularity during the 40s and 50s but gained it back in the 60s along with long hair - is too closely associated today with 1970s tackiness and porn film stars, such as Ron Jeremy and fictional anchorman Ron Burgandy. Although it was considered macho back in the day, the 'stache has a somewhat cheesy and sleazy reputation now. Back to Hall and Oates, I can't tell you how many times I watched one of their videos on YouTube only to see someone in the comments ask who "the guy with the pornstache" was!

I also think there may be some gay connotations with having a mustache (think Freddy Mercury and members of The Village People) or that it's the facial hair pattern of choice by child molesters and Adolph Hitler. 

Despite the stache's decline in pop culture and the general public, there is a group dedicated to men who still proudly wear one: The American Mustache Institute. They even have an annual charity event called the Stache Bash. And new this year is a book just published in called The Moustache Grower's Guide. Since fashion trends are cyclical, it's quite possible the Tom Selleck look could make a comeback. 

So, readers, what do you think? Do any of you guys out there wear one, and do you ladies like a guy with a stache or not?

10 comments:

twinklez1985 said...

I personally don't like them. I find when they try to kiss you you get a sort of rough scratchiness on your face and you don't want to be sporting any red rash do you now! Tom Selleck can pull that look off but its not me for me thank you

DrJulieAnn aka The Modern Retro Woman said...

The Mister has had a mustache and beard for almost our entire relationship (we celebrate 31 years in a few months). In 2000, he decided to shave it all off. I didn't recognize him. He was clean shaven for 3 years. I was soooooo glad when he decided to grow his beard and mustache back. He is totally hunky with facial hair *swoon*

Pam@GoRetro said...

twinklez1985 - I've never dated a guy with a mustache but I totally believe it. However, the last guy I made out with was clean shaven and still gave me a rash!

DrJulieAnn - that's sweet, and congrats on your upcoming anniversary!

Dave said...

DrJulie - I think the moustache as part of a beard is an entirely different subject, but it's not very often you see a moustache sported on it's own.

Personally I wouldn't sport one except for charity during Movember which provides a great annual homage to the moustache whilst working for a good cause.

richard mcenroe said...

Plenty of moustaches in my family. Of course. most of the men are firefighters and law enforcement.

Tom said...

The Stache has definitely a connotation around policemen too..
But you should come to France (especially Paris): there is a real trend around mustaches here, mostly young guys who wear a thin dandy mustache.

LaraAnn said...

I was a big fan of the mustache man in the 80's - my 3 biggest crushes had them - Tom Selleck, Perry King and Don Mattingly. Over time I began preferring the clean shaven look though, probably by the mid 1990s.

I remember when I was a little girl and I saw my Dad without a mustache for the first time I was upset then glad when he finally had one again. That's probably the only time I've seen him mustach-less.

It was and kind of still is kind of weird seeing John Oates without the 'Stache.

Whenever I see one of my current cute guys with a mustache or even stubble I can't help thinking please shave. Does that sound terrible?

Anonymous said...

I think it's all in how well it fills out and face shape. Thin tiny haired staches give me the porn vibe. But maintained thick ones with a strong jaw line give me the hunky feel. And particular hairstyles make the difference. I think that's why Tom Selleck can pull it off and Dr. Phil doesn't. His head is just too round and he doesn't the jaw or chin for it.

LisaJ

Amanda By Night said...

I think some men look better with them, such as the aforementioned Tom Selleck as well as Sam Elliot. Also, I REALLY like the look on black men. Demond Wilson, Fred Williamson, Richard Roundtree and Ray Parker Jr. are just a few men I can think of off the top of my head that I love with facial hair. I guess it depends, but overall I completely agree that it's not a great look in today times. I think Jason Lee from My Name is Earl did a good job with it though! Of course, it was meant to be funny, but I liked it. He's really cute anyway, I'm not sure anything would mess that up! :)

Hilarious article, btw! Made me smile! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I was late for facial hair (light blonde), but I now sport a salt and pepper goatee with some distinguished graying; I saw a pic of Brad Pitt with same color and style (I'm NOT comparing!) but it looks like below. I like it; and my wife of 30 years just loves it - it is her suggestion I keep it. Best Pam, s-a-h-d

http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/legacyimages/photos/uncategorized/2008/01/28/brad_shag.jpg

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