Reflections on a Moustache

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 11:47pm.

As I look down at the little auburn hairs speckled over my sink's white porcelain, I am forced to accept that I no longer have the moustache. I am left with nothing more than memories — memories of a furry little follicle friend — memories of my best friend. I am left to listlessly finish out my college career, reflecting on life when I had a moustache. ~ Michael Tucker


It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Moustaches don't happen overnight. There wasn't a magical moustache fairy who pranced into my bedroom and whimsically granted me one. My upper lip was never touched by an archangel and blessed with a virgin "˜stash — my moustache was not divine. No, my moustache was the product of hard work.

The moustache growing process is a long and arduous road. I strongly suggest that any man wishing to trek down this path only do so after some true soul searching. A guy must first decide if he can handle the whispers, the snickers, and all of the "why-in-hell-is-that-guy-growing-a-moustache" looks. If he can look past contemporary society's unfounded scorn for the modern moustache, then he is ready to begin the growing.

In the beginning of the cultivation process, the entire face is covered in stubble. This stubble becomes scruff, the early stages of a beard (and another article). At this point, the grower has hit a fork in the road. He can turn back, endure an emasculating shave, and assimilate back into the faceless masses. He could continue to let his scruff run amuck, embrace the beard, and gradually increase the amount of flannel in his wardrobe. Or, boldly, he could use his razor to announce to the world that he is man.

I decided to take that leap, to shave away everything but my moustache. Unfortunately, instead of a majestic strip of hair straddling my upper lip, I was horrified to see that I had "dirt "˜stash." It looked as if a few specks of dirt had rubbed onto my lip, thus justifying the affectionate term. I had hit a humiliating twist on the road to the moustache. I allowed myself to fall victim to a starry-eyed construction of what a moustache should look like. Luckily, I learned to find beauty in my own moustache.

The awkwardness of my social interactions during the dirt "˜stash phase was worth, to me, the joy I would receive when my moustache grew in thicker in further.

"Eww, a moustache?"

I thought the dirt "˜stash phase was the worst. I was wrong. There is a final twist on the highway to the moustache, the twist were all but the strongest turn back. I am speaking, of course, about the pre-moustache.

The pre-moustache is, itself, somewhat of an accomplishment. The pre-moustache's owner can truthfully and proudly claim to no longer have a dirt "˜stash, because he technically does not have one. He cannot claim, however, to have an actual moustache. "But why?" you ask.

The pre-moustache exists in the brief period between the dirt "˜stash and the real moustache. During this time, the upper lip is covered in a spatter of disgusting whisker, thick enough to draw attention but still thin enough to reveal the lip underneath. Believe it or not, this look is not appreciated by women.

The final day of this phase is the worst day of the entire growing process. On this day, the moustache is as disgusting as possible. It is no longer a moustache. It is a molestash. (If you have ever seen pictures of sex offenders, then you will understand where this name originates.)

During this day, I would suggest just skipping class. It is easier to stomach the quick-passing guilt and extra reading that's results from skipping class than it is to go to that class and sit on a personal island as everyone else in the room tries to look at your molestash without letting you notice. If you absolutely must leave the house, it is integral to avoid all women and children. No moustache is worth a child's tears, and the molestache could make even the most grizzled of humanity get misty-eyed.

Most importantly, avoid looking into a mirror. The mere sight of one's own molestache is enough to send its owner into shock, forever miring him in self-loathing. If you can make it through this day, you will be rewarded!


Does the man make the moustache, or does the moustache make the man?

The moustache is the boldest of physical statements, and a true mark of self-confidence. After all, a man must be fully comfortable in his own bravado before he dons a moustache, the pinnacle of outright masculinity. Look no further than archaic pop-culture icons such as Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck for affirmation of the moustache's manliness. The moustache is, arguably, the only gauge of manliness more accurate than how much weight a guy can bench press.

Put in relative terms, the moustache is to stylish expressions of masculinity what the mullet is to expressions of Canadian nationalism. I was aware of this fact and started question whether or not I had what it takes to continue cultivating my facial hair.

On tenacity and grit alone, I survived the pre-moustache phase. I had earned it. I was manly enough. My moustache had blossomed into a full, fuzzy boomerang of love that I was willing to share, equally, to all the women of the Tufts campus.

But that day never came. Women were no more interested in my robust, eye-catching moustache than they were in the earlier fuzz. I was shocked. Could they be so blind? Then I realized what should have been obvious from the onset — Tufts is not ready for the moustache. The Tufts community, as a whole, was too busy worrying about elections, classes, and the like to notice that something beautiful was unfolding right before their collective eyes.

Defeated, I shaved the moustache. I, much like van Gogh, was a casualty of a society not yet ready to accept my art. It is no coincidence that van Gogh flirted with the moustache, sporting one in between his different beard styles. It is also not a coincidence that he did his best work while wearing the moustache, a claim that bears little historical merit but is safe to say on assumption alone.

But it doesn't need to be like this; we can change. If we can first learn to accept the moustache, maybe we can put aside our other disagreements. Through tolerance of alternative views and lifestyles, America has moved, together, towards a better and brighter tomorrow. Why, then, is the plight of the moustache so in the dark?

Guys, remember that every second you are not shaving, you are technically in the process of growing a moustache. You will always be just a few selective razor swipes away from showing the world that you, too, can grow one. Girls, if you see a man with a moustache, don't be shy. He already knows that you are looking at it You and I both know that you want to wink at him, so go ahead.

 by Michael Tucker - February 15, 2008 - posted at

Michael Tucker is the Arts Section editor. He is currently regrowing his moustache. This is the first installment in a series of a articles on Tufts fashion. Look forward to future articles on sideburns, chest hair, tweed suits, and why fat will be the new skinny in 2008.

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 11:47pm.