Who's Wearing the ‘Stache Here?
What is it about the mustache that has made it such a cultural icon as of late? It seems I can’t go anywhere anymore without seeing a funky little hipster mustache logo on almost everything—cell phone covers, key chains, men’s clothing, women’s clothing, bumper stickers, etc. This week I saw a little girl in the grocery store wearing a mustache tank top. What happened to ponies and princesses?
Despite its popularity, the mustache has officially lost its irony on me, mostly because I’ve been dealing with my own facial hair issues for the last year or so. No, not on me (thank God!), but on my husband. A few weeks ago, Cullen Murray Kemp blogged about his own exploration into facial hair here and it sounded pretty similar to what’s been going on in my household. In the last year, my husband has tried out everything from handlebars to goatees, a brief experiment with a Hitler-stache and a full-on Duck Dynasty-esque bush of whiskers.
What does all this have to do with me, you ask? Apparently a lot. It wasn’t until his beard had grown out pretty gnarly that I noticed the reactions it was drawing from our friends and total strangers. From the men, he received only praise. “Nice beard, bro” and “Awesome beard, dude,” were common responses he received from mere passersby. The vast majority of women, however, disapproved of the beard and the response we got time and time again—always directed toward me—was, “You let him do that?”
It was funny at first and I would just shrug my shoulders with that “Men!” sort of sigh and eye roll. But after hearing this same response from almost every woman I knew, and didn’t know, it got a little tiresome. “I would never let my husband do that!” they said. “I’d shave it off in the night!” they said. “I’d just stop shaving too, if you know what I mean, and see how he liked that!” It was like his beard was somehow a sign that I couldn’t control my man.
I didn’t like this new light his facial hair were casting on me. So at home, I tried to get him to shave it. I begged, I pleaded, I tried to peer pressure him into it by calling him a hobo. But the more I negatively reacted to the beard, the more he stood his ground. Although I still prefer him clean-shaven, I finally decided to just let it go. It was his face after all and he seemed to be enjoying the attention.
Today, I am happy to report, he is bewhiskered no longer—but who knows, that could change tomorrow. In the end, it’s not about if I love the beard and mustache or not, it’s about the fact that I love the man underneath. I love him enough to not control him and his choice of facial hair expression like some women would have me do. So ladies, put down the electric razor and your attempts to rein in your man. Sure, he might look weird in pictures for a while, but it’s a small price to pay for happiness. And hopefully the next time you decide to experiment with a new look, he’ll be just as gracious.