Recently, my girlfriend Sarah and I were talking on the phone about what plans we had for May 5th, affectionately known as Cinco De Mayo. Although, we have early afternoon plans to sit in on a speech given by a professor on the influence of Muslim women- the better to keep our intellectual image up- there is no doubt that what follows will be an unintentional, uproarious smear of a whole culture in less than 24 hours. However, it was Sarah’s next statement that made me stop and wonder…
“I’m totally buying sombreros and mustaches!”
Wait, what? Sombreros I get, but mustaches? Are mustaches Mexican?
And then it got me thinking even deeper about this facial hair phenomena: when did they become so (not at all) funny? I have seen whole albums of pictures on Facebook that are exclusively dedicated to a couple of chicks wearing fake mustaches posing over and over again. Why? If they don’t have fake mustaches, women will draw them on or even worse draw one on their finger and then place their finger on their upper lip in a way that is reminiscent of one sniffing their own digit. (This causes me to involuntarily gag every time.) Mustache cups, mustaches on sticks, felt mustaches, finger mustaches, adhesive mustaches, mustaches on babies, mustaches on dogs, mustaches made of pubic hair. Worse still, there are now, not one, but two months dedicated to men growing out mustaches (Mustache March and Movember). I believe to create awareness for prostate cancer or something, however, the only thing it alerts me to is that suddenly every man in the area looks peculiar and creepy. And it doesn’t stop there. Oh, no. Tee shirts, coffee mugs, posters, even down to home furnishings (I have seen chairs, toilets, and head boards for beds- fucking head boards for beds) have become covered in this wide spread joke, that is, the mustache.
It’s not funny.
Every time I see yet another picture or tee shirt or toilet or baby bib or anything at all aside from a man who has always worn a mustache’s face with a mustache on it, my soul cringes a little bit. Instead of making me more aware of prostate cancer or making me laugh with utter enjoyment it rather makes me aware that I’m so damn lucky for not getting knocked up ever by a man that could potentially be growing out a mustache today on little ‘thank-god-I-dodged- that-bullet’ Johnny’s 5th birthday.
For the sake of curiosity, expecting to find nothing of any interest, I googled ‘why are mustaches so popular‘ and was surprised (although not really) to find whole discussion threads on this topic showing there are two types of people in regards to this topic: people who find it as baffling as me and people who find it sincerely funny and worthy of laughter.
Apparently, the mustache is a trend of the hipster, a class of people I find hard to define (although here is some attempt, I guess), because I am unsure what they are exactly. In an attempt to be ‘ironic’ the mustache is adorned as a joke and because I’m sure the first dude to grow one out for this purpose and the first chick to wear a fake one for this purpose got an exuberant amount of unwarranted laughter, it spilled over and now oozes through every corner of the United States.
But this mustache joke has gotten deeper than one might first suspect. There is an actual American Mustache Institute. According to themselves, “the American Mustache Institute is the world’s leading facial hair advocacy organization and think tank protecting the rights of, and fighting discrimination against, Mustached Americans by promoting the growth, care, and culture of the lower nose forest.” If you read further, you will realize that it’s a joke, and parts are (surprisingly) sincerely comical.
That was the first time I thought okay, that was kind of clever in regards to the mustache, and it is people making fun of the mustache epidemic.
So after my friend Sarah told me she was buying mustaches and after I said “I will not wear a mustache” and after I googled it and spent way too much time on the internet reading about mustaches… it’s still not funny. I still will never, ever partake in this not-funny joke. I will still roll my eyes every time someone uploads yet another picture of themselves with a finger mustache. Why, you ask? Because it’s redundant and not clever. It’s about as funny as when I start a story with ‘This one time…’ and somebody else finishes my sentence with ‘at band camp!’ You get my point.
Oh, and mustaches are not Mexican. Speedy Gonzales didn’t have one.