A society of stubble

I mustache you a question: how do you really feel about facial hair? Whether it’s a bushy hipster beard or a pencil thin mustache, no one can deny that the trends of men with something on their face is as ever changing as the razor blades that grace their bathrooms.
My father had a Burt Reynolds style mustache for all of my youth, until he went for the full beard that he still wears today. I have never, in my entire life, seen even a glimpse of my dad’s upper lip.
My husband is not such a stagnant man when it comes to decorating his face. There seems to be a fluctuation of follicles throughout the year as he decides to grow a beard during hunting season, keep it long for warmth in winter, and then shave it off in parts come spring. Last week’s goatee was yesterday’s fu Manchu, and is today’s standard ‘stache, with minimal coverage just below his nose.
Such options, men have these days.
Not only options, but long gone is the time when a clean shaven face was thought of as being groomed. Suddenly, men are spending more time and products on their faces than I do on my own hair. There are entire social media sites dedicated to the mustaches of certain celebrities, none of which are my high school English teacher, which is disappointing because to this day, that man epitomizes the true meaning of the mustache.
The short of it is, unless bound by a religious practice, men have nearly as many options on their face as women do on their heads. The popularity of the mustache or beard seems to be as booming as bacon and zombies, and no matter your personal opinion, it’s hip to be hairy.
And if you’re a man looking to sprout some fuzz, there is good news coming in our weather. Apparently, mustache hair grows faster than any other body hair and it grows faster in spring and summer than in winter or fall. And if you’re going to just shave, settle in because statistics show that if a man starts shaving at age 14, by the time he is 75 years old he will have spent 5 months sculpting that fuzz. That bit of time is only slightly more than the time he spends touching it, though. The average man with a mustache touches it 760 times per day, so says the Internet. (That’s roughly 45 times per hour if a man sleeps 7 hours, which makes me want to silently observe and count next chance I get.)
I suppose every gender needs to embrace his or her own right to make a statement, so men, may your faces become the canvas of your personality. Let it grow, let it grow.

Originally written/published 4.26.15. 


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