Should you keep your Movember moustache?
December has arrived, and it will come as a blessed relief to many men around the world (not to mention their stubble-rashed other halves) for it means they can at long last shave off their moustache, knowing that they have done their bit to raise money for, and awareness of, men’s health charities. A month is actually a very long time for this most practical of jokes. Especially when the joke is on you. Literally.
But as a veteran of several Movembers myself, I know from experience that whether he will publically admit it or not, each mo grower will have asked himself this question: what if I just keep it?
Movember gives men a free pass to try out a bold new look and pass it off as a light-hearted act of philanthropy rather than a serious style statement. Growing a moustache will completely change your face. (This may not be a bad thing.) After a month, a moustache can really begin to grow on you in every sense. Just as you’re getting used to it, when your reflection no longer takes you by surprise, it’s time to whip out the trusty Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler and a month’s hard graft is gone in 60 seconds.
You were just getting started. Having gone through the pain barrier – for most men, week two is when the novelty wears wispy-thin and your top lip looks most offensively unattractive – you want to reap the rewards, not cut it off before it has reached its prime.
You start Movember with certain #goals about what you’d like to achieve by its end. Maybe, like me, you fancied yourself as a matinee idol in the rakish style of Errol Flynn – which ought to be fairly achievable. Perhaps you were aiming for a thicker soup-strainer a la Nick Offerman, aka Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation. Or if you were really ambitious, you had in mind a hipster twirler akin to everyone’s favourite Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. Unfortunately, unless you happen to be a particularly hirsute beast, such noble aspirations can take longer to realise than you hoped. You were only just beginning to be able to twirl the ends. And so, having got part-way there by 30 November, you think you may as well see the job through to completion. The fact is, a truly impressive mo takes the average Joe a good three or four months to cultivate.
Should it stay or should it go?
In order to help you answer this question, consider this: moustaches are a bit like trilbies – they look great on a select few who have the confidence to pull them off, but pretty terrible on the vast majority.
It is for precisely this reason that Movember works so well, year after year. If every man looked cool with a moustache, it would become a trend outside of the hipster communes of east London and the Northern Quarter of Manchester. And then Movember would lose the power of its visual cue.
In recent years as the beard trend has grown (it’s supposedly gone away again but I still see plenty of beards about), Movember has naturally segued into Decembeard – and even into Januhairy. But the comparative scarcity of moustaches for 11 months of the year means that when we do see them sprout again in November, we equate them to Movember and thus, one hopes, we think about our health, which is the ultimate aim of this game.
I have just two friends who look cool with their moustaches. Both of them work in fashion. Both of them are exceptions that prove the rule: for 99% of the population, the moustache is inherently uncool. And for the sake of Movember, long may it stay that way.
All of which is a long-winded response to the question posed in the title of this article.
Video: Movember 2015 - from beard to a sterling moustache
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