Saturday, 03 July 2010
It's a everywhere. It's on wallets, it's on coffee mugs, it's on t-shirts, and you can even buy a fake one on the internet. The omnipresence of it is simply ridiculous and can even be touted as a popular culture icon of this generation. No, it's not Lady Gaga. It's the mustache.
Why is a certain style of facial hair receiving such unwarranted adulation? Mustaches enjoyed their popularity during the Victorian period and ended its run in the Seventies as did the phenomenon of free love. When the mustache revival came about in the mid-2000s, it was an odd trend indeed. Unlike the beard, it takes great care to grow a proper mustache. Having gone relatively free of upper-lip hair in the past two decades (save for the occasional sex-offender and unfashionable uncle), the mustache is a jarring look to say the least.
But that might be the very reason for its unexpected return. I wholeheartedly believe that the young people of this generation (born between 1980 and early 1990s) lack sincerity. With the plethora of camera phones, web cams, twitter, and Facebook albums, whose sole existence is to reveal as much about us to as large of an audience as possible, it is only expected that we have grown to be more self-aware than ever. With self-awareness, sincerity is often scrutinized and the prolonged study of the self can extend to a kind of self-embarrassment. So there awaits irony in all its non-judgmental glory.
But why does the mustache triumph over all the ironic styles of yesteryear? Is it the costume-y aspect? Is it because profit can be made from the accessories associated with the mustache, namely mustache combs? Or has the mustache, unbeknownst to its many fans, finally fallen out of the inner circle of irony into the same mundane trappings of khaki pants and navy blazers?
Do you have a mustache? Is it an ironic one?