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What’s Happened To The Moustache?

Posted by on May 20, 2009

To those of you who know, yes, that is a picture of Richard Dreyfuss. Notice the moustache? Well, have you noticed many others lately?

It occurred to me last week that it’s rare in today’s society to see a moustache. I’m not even sure why it hit me to start looking, but from the day I thought about it, I’ve been walking around, looking for people who actually have one.

I’ve noticed a couple of things. One, you don’t see all that many by themselves. You’ll see one with a beard of some type, but not all that often alone.

Two, most of the people who have them are older. By that, I mean people around my age and older. Moustache’s don’t seem to be popular with the young crowd at all.

My wife and I put this to the test this weekend. First, Friday night we went to see the movie Angels And Demons, which was pretty good, but changed a lot of things from the book. We first walked through the mall, and didn’t see a single person with one; that was interesting.

The second thing, of course, was to go into the movie. During the previews, the only person in any of the movies with a moustache was Richard Dreyfuss, which is why I picked him for here. In the movie itself, there was only one character who had a moustache, but he was Italian. Not that it changes lots of things, but I don’t know if my comment fits for countries other than the United States.

Saturday, we went out to our largest mall because we had to pick something up. As we walked, we didn’t see anyone with a moustache. We didn’t see anyone with one while walking around. We did stop for awhile for me to get some ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, and during the half hour we sat, we saw 3 people walk by with moustaches. Each one of those guys was older than me; two of them were bald.

Sunday, our anniversary, we decided to go out for breakfast. During the hour we were there, only one person came in that had a moustache; once again, he was older than me, and balding on top.

Now, I could be way off, but this is what I’m seeing. I know there are some cultures where moustaches are big, but right now, I can’t think of any. The last thing I remember, though I don’t remember the full details, was someone saying they were thinking about growing a moustache, but didn’t want to look like a porn star. Talk about your old references!

So, tell me, what are you seeing these days? Am I right, or am I just not living in the same places that other people are living in, where it’s more prevalent?

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Susan Hall:

Moustachios forever! Speaking only for myself, I am a huge fan of moustaches; primarily because my husband, the (*ahem*) handsomest man in Marcellus, sports one. Admittedly, however, moustaches are as subject to the whims of fashion as any other hair adornment, male or female included. Flappers made the gamin-like bobbed cut fashionable in the 20s, but you rarely see that anymore. Moustaches were either seen as sexy or villianous (possibly both simultaneously!) for decades in the movies; it was the cinematic shorthand equivalent to a black hat, to slap a moustache on a man. In the sixties, it was a sign of rebellion, hippness in the seventies and just plain cheesiness in the eighties. (Ladies, am I right?) We won’t speak of the irritating attempts at facial hair treads that occurred in the nineties; they are too embarrassing to explore. But now men are resettling themselves- the bust has taken some of the air out of their revolutionary hairdos, and the time might be right for that distinguished long suffering soup strainer to make a reappearance. Here’s hoping it’s soon, and on many of our younger stars. Hey, Mitch- why not try one yourself?

May 20th, 2009 | 11:35 AM

Not me, Susan! Actually, there are times of the year where I’ll grow the little goatee beard, mainly because my wife likes it, but my skin will only tolerate it for so long, then it starts to rebel; it ain’t pretty. 🙂

You’re right, styles come and go, but this one isn’t all that popular right now. However, I’m sure that makes “Mr. Handsome” the most unique man in town. You’d better keep an eye on him. lol

May 20th, 2009 | 1:10 PM
Tim Manni:


Hahaha! First off, I find this post completely hilarious. What an interesting subject matter! I can only give you the perspective of a “younger” person as well as an interesting point of reference I picked up from the Discovery Channel.

I’ll start with Discovery: Dhani Jones from “Dhani Tackles the Globe,” was in Russia when he asked a man (I’m guessing in his 30’s) why so many Russians had mustaches. The man responded it was “a popular men’s fashion.”

So I guess that answers that…Mustaches, much like in decades prior in the U.S., and currently in Russia, is a “men’s fashion.” Fashions fad and re-emerge with time.

Currently and speaking, I think it’s safe to say the fashion statement is outdated.

What about goatees? Or the “soul patch”? They’re popular now, were they as popular in the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s?

Great post,

May 20th, 2009 | 12:32 PM

Hi Tim,

Actually, goatees were very big in the 60’s and 70’s; remember Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain wore them. That “soul patch” thing; now that one I don’t quite get.

Of course I’m having a bit of fun, as Sire might say, but you tell me how many moustaches you see over the next couple of days, now that I know you’ll be looking for it. See if you reach 10, and if you do, note the age of the people with them. lol

May 20th, 2009 | 1:13 PM

For whatever reason, dudes with a mustache just looks old school to me?? dunno why hahaha.. I think the goatee is much more prevalent.. at least from what i can see…

May 20th, 2009 | 3:42 PM

That’s kind of my thought, Jake, even though I’m kind of an old school guy. Still, it looks like you’d get some kind of argument from Susan.

May 20th, 2009 | 4:14 PM
Tim Manni:

I’ll keep a tally. Of the four people I can think of off hand, they are all over 40 (at least). If someone had a mustache when I was in high school, safe to say they would have gotten made fun of.

May 20th, 2009 | 4:41 PM
Tying trout flies:

the stache hasn’t seen much of the light of day since Magnum PI and Burt Reynolds. This hearkens back to the day when men had chest hair and didn’t feel the need to shave body hair. While I’m not necessarily a fan, I like it better than the grizzly Adams look which seems popular amongst the young unemployed crowd.

Tying trout flies´s last blog post..The Parachute Adams Dry Fly

May 20th, 2009 | 4:41 PM

Paul, that’s because it doesn’t cost anything to NOT shave.

May 21st, 2009 | 12:46 AM

OK, I still have a sneaky feeling that this post will catch up with me one day and bite me in the rear end, but here goes:

Richard Dreyfuss: Always struck me as a guy who couldn’t grow much hair! Whether on his head, face or chest, it just looked patchy, skimpy amd wispy.

Burt Reynolds is not an actor I ever really cared for, but Magnum? NOW, ya talking! Here’s a guy who has a good thatch on his upper lip and really good coverage on his chest (oooooh!)

Personally, I like facial hair and chest hair and while I appreciate my husband NOT looking like Yeti, I even love that little tuft that sticks out of the top of his collared shirt!

It might be the fashion to have ‘side boards’ or mustache (or no mustache, for that matter) at any given time, but one thing is certain….. as men lose hair on their heads, and the chest hair starts to thin and gray, everything heads SOUTH! I think that their hair starts to grow INWARDS, as it starts coming out of their nose and ears!

So, gentlemen (and one lady) I deduce that older men wear mustaches, not because they are able to sport upper lip hair, but because it is all growing downwards from their heads, through their noses and ends up being trimmed at ‘lip-line’!

Is it remotely possible that ‘side-boards’ might become fashionable, to disguise ear hair?

(The above is of course, tongue in cheek!)

May 21st, 2009 | 12:03 AM

That’s funny, Althea; you had me laughing! You’re right about the nose hair, as I have my trimmer always ready to get those bad boys because they tickle me and I hate it. I don’t have hair in my ears, though I’ve seen that; never seen it on a black man, though.

I used to think Burt Reynolds was the coolest actor in America; that is, until I heard how he treated Loni Anderson. Some men and their egos; sickening.

May 21st, 2009 | 12:50 AM
Vancouver Web Design:

Good post , But I am 21 have a moustache and Beard , and I really love it . I look odd and unique in the crowd , can get you some free publicity in a seminar and meeting .

Note :- Never judge people with the external beauty

May 21st, 2009 | 2:20 AM

Ah, but see, you don’t count because you have the beard along with it. That’s quite common in today’s world, but without the beard,…

May 21st, 2009 | 2:23 AM

Mitch, I keep not only a moustache, I keep a full beard too. It is rather unusual to keep both here in India, but keeping the moustache is very common and clean shaven is more the exception. When people ask me why I keep the beard and moustache, I always tell them, that it is because I cannot afford the shaving cream,blades, razors, mirrors like you have shown above etc. The truth is that I simply am too lazy.

Rummuser´s last blog post..The Great Philosopher.

May 21st, 2009 | 8:32 AM

That’s funny, Rummuser. So, moustaches are still common in India, although, to tell you the truth, I don’t know any Indian males here with one; how odd is that? They make a grand comeback some day, but for now, at least in the U.S., they seem to be relegated to the all or nothing camp.

May 21st, 2009 | 8:56 AM

I’m trying to think, he did it for some movie that’s not coming to me. Wasn’t really a big fan of his.

May 21st, 2009 | 5:55 PM

When I think of moustaches I think about Hitler, Saddam, Stalin and The Village People none of which are good images. There is a new film out with Brad Pitt where he has grown a moustache for the film and has kept it since, so maybe with his influence we will start to see more people sporting some lip fluff. When you get used to someone who has had a moustache for years if they shave it off it looks like their top lip has disappeared, something my wife pointed out to me and I have to agree.

May 27th, 2009 | 4:28 AM

I’ve been not wanting to mention Hitler, Khaled, but that’s who I always think about first. I finally watched this movie last night called Baby Mama, and this one guy who’s on Saturday Night Live had a moustache in the movie, and it just looked so odd and out of place. That, plus he was the only character in the movie with one. Weird. 🙂

May 27th, 2009 | 7:58 AM

Came across this while browsing this morning If you take a look at past results, 2007 and scroll down to near the bottom its certainly an eye opener.

May 28th, 2009 | 6:22 AM

I saw this on the news myself; they just had another contest recently as well.

May 28th, 2009 | 11:15 AM

hehe, I think they are dying out. Tho, being a girl, I prefer to kiss a guy who is clean shaven, otherwise you get scrubbed bare!

June 29th, 2009 | 8:04 AM

Hi Lucy; that’s one thing I’ll never have to worry about at least. 🙂

June 29th, 2009 | 9:50 PM
Gloria @ Nose Hair Clipper:

I don’t want my man to be harry, can’t stand the ticklish hair when we sleep. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s a bit out dated now. Not many men want to have facial hair, it makes them look older I believe.

May 16th, 2011 | 11:12 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

The pattern seems to be true Gloria, though it seems there’s a movement by some young people to try to start it up again. Looks kind of silly though. lol

May 16th, 2011 | 4:38 PM