The rise and fall of the mustache

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In the past, mustaches were always synonymous with manliness. Many rugged actors sported the old duster and rocked it masterfully. Actors like Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds were notable “manly men” mustache wearers. For any hero type profession, a mustache was almost mandatory. For example, Tom Selleck played the role of Thomas Magnum on Magnum P.I. Magnum was a private investigator living in Oahu Hawaii. Simply put, Magnum was “the man”. He’d come and go as he pleased, work whenever he wanted, and when he did work he would ultimately swoop in on his Ferrari and save the day. Along with the Ferrari, he also had a seemingly unlimited supply of beer. Magnum was the guy that every hegemonic male wanted to be like.

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But mustaches weren’t only a trait of so called manliness, it also represented free spirits and hipster fashion as the Beatles rocked the stache in 1967. Mustaches were also a staple of the gay community as even icons such as Freddy Mercury from Queen brought national attention to the mustache as “gay style”. Basically you could be the manliest of men, or go the complete opposite direction and a mustache would still suit you. Geez, is there anything they couldn’t do?

Sadly the mystique of the mustache has dissipated over the years. While slapping a mustache on someone used to be a sign of character, it is now a sign of mockery. Mustaches were used to enhance someone’s character, they’re now used in a satirical sense to try to make the character look more funny and ridiculous. Quite frankly, I don’t feel like providing any examples. Just kidding, let’s have a look.

Borat: Cultural Learning’s of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was officially billed as a “mokumentary” film. It was only fitting for him to have a ridiculous mustache to enhance the lunacy. Sacha Baron Cohen still had lawsuits pending against him as of 2 years ago. To his credit, having a terrible mustache wasn’t one of them.

I may catch some flak for this one as Ron Burgundy certainly is legendary. But do you really think his character has a mustache to be taken seriously? It was the exact opposite, it’s in place so you would look at him and just crack up (mission accomplished by the way).

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Family guy even dedicated 12 minutes of an episode openly mocking mustaches, using quotes such as: “with great mustache comes great responsibility”. Peter Griffin then proceeded to save someone from a burning building, due to the “heroism” that obviously comes with having a mustache.

There we have it, the rise and fall of the mustache! It went from being such a multi purpose look, to just being downright laughable. Of course, people like Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck can still pull it off, but it’s important to remember that these men basically coined the mustache. It’s also important to consider that you are neither of these men. But you never know it may make a comeback someday.