I’m certainly not claiming to be an expert on style here, as those who know me will surely attest, but this is a trend I’ve noticed over the last several years. That trend being a decrease in the number of mustaches I see every day. This chart indicates the frequency of mustache-spottings-per-day over the last 10 years:
Now clearly, I just made this chart up. However, I think it’s probably relatively accurate, though a bit hyperbolic. For the sake of clarity, I’m talking about mustaches-only — frankly I think a mustache is just part of a beard unless it’s riding solo. So why is this downward spiral occurring?
I think it can be explained by examining the types of people who still are commonly seen with a ‘stache these days. This group includes a) grandfathers, b) pedophile-esque folks, c) hipster-ironic folks, and d) those who simply don’t know any better. Let’s break it down:
a) Grandfathers I said grandfathers for a reason. Grandpas, granddads, or whatever else you might call your parents’ fathers, probably don’t have mustaches. However, grandfathers probably do, as well as a pocket-watch and a pipe. Maybe he’s a little racist, but in a he-doesn’t-know-any-better, endearing sort of way. Regardless, for some reason they look dignified with a caterpillar lip.
Credit: LordFerguson via Flickr
b) Pedophile-esque These can be seen on well-groomed-and-dressed middle aged men. There’s really nothing wrong with their appearance, but something just seems off. In a bit of a creepy way. These types of hairy-uppers can typically be identified by the queasy, uneasy feeling in your gut that occurs upon sight. Thanks for the example, Matt Damon:
c) Hipsters People love to talk about what a hipster is these days. In truth, nobody knows. If you see a person under the age of 25 with a mustache, chances are he is a hipster. Either that, or he hasn’t yet realized that puberty has struck and the time to start shaving was two years ago.
Credit: craigfinlay via Flickr
d) Those Who Couldn’t Care Less This is my favorite kind of person. These people can be intelligent or not, well-dressed or not, young or old. However, they all have one thing in common: they don’t really care about their appearance or what you think of it. They don’t care that some people might identify mustache-wearers as being in certain groups, as I’m doing now. In fact, that person is highly unlikely to be reading this, right now, because they would see the title, think to themselves, “Hey, I have a mustache…” and then decide they just didn’t care what I had to say about them.
In short, unless a person falls into the fourth category, folks likely avoid the kiss-tickler because they don’t want to be classified as one of those people listed above. Essentially, society has become too obsessed with appearance and passing judgement based on that appearance. Or maybe I’m just subconsciously reminding myself that I look just as silly with a mustache as most people.
One final note: If you have a mustache and feel that you don’t fall into one of these categories, I’m sure you’re an exception.