In the last few posts, we have examined the story of moustaches from before Christ and into the Millennia from their Origins, via a short history and then into the perceptions held. What I forgot to mention and has now come into my notice since I've mentioned Christ is, even he had one, and boy, Christ is still most popular and most beloved. People look up to Christ. Anyway, now that we've covered fairly a large ground, and now that people today are more sensible than they were in anytime before now, it is necessary to see how men have started taking up moustaches again, even when women don't tend to like it.
Beards and moustaches have also been associated with philosophers and men with raised levels of spirituality. I could possibly vouch for it with a pretty silly analogy. It appears like thoughts are things that we can inhale and exhale, as if they are communicated to me with the air that I breathe, and I breathe through my nose, for the record. So, this ebb and flow is rather unnoticeable when the hair lengths are trimmed down to zero and the thoughts tend to stay for longer. I tend to catch and retain more thoughts when the hair are plenty. It seems like the hair on my face, act as a net to catch ideas and retain them before they fall off with the breath I take. As a result of that retention, I can write about something which affected me last week with pretty much the same details (except for the fine details which sieve through the forest) and also the added understanding from the past week’s introspection. Whereas in the case of bare lipped creative, I propose they are more open mouthed and quick witted because they let their ideas known as they come, and seldom make them available in a detailed work of labor. For example, the most shining example that I could think of as a brilliant literary and clean shaven suave man is Oscar Wilde who is described as “Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversation, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day.”
Growing a beard full cycle and then cleaning it up is a kind of ecstatic self-discovery for me. I usually don’t spend too much time in front of the mirror and a clean, creased coiffure on the scalp is my preference, on duty or not. So, when I let my beard grow on me and then after a while shave it, I do get a chance to see myself in a different light. It is hard to explain, in what terms and what light, but it is better this way than staying constant. Our face changes each passing day, but gradual changes are seldom noticeable. That is why friends we haven’t seen in long time or relatives often claim that how well we’ve grown up, and later, how old we’ve grown. This cyclic harvest on my face allows me to reflect on many things. Besides, it feels good, both with a beard and moustache on, and off, neither lasts much by the way and I think this is my way of breaking the monotony.
According to a study performed by Nigel Barber, results have shown a strong correlation between a good marriage market for women and an increased number of moustaches worn by the male population. Barber suggests that these perceived traits would influence a woman's choice of husband as they would suggest a high reproductive and biological qualities, and a capacity to invest in children, so when males must compete heavily for marriage they are more likely to grow a moustache in an attempt to project these qualities. “Gangestad's most recently published study on female preferences finds that if a woman is partnered with a man without a masculine face, her eye is more likely to wander during her fertile days. This wandering eye doesn't necessarily translate into a cheating heart. Most women probably notice nothing more than a ‘funny little feeling’ of lust during their fertile days, Haselton said. But other studies have shown that the hormonal fluctuations surrounding ovulation do change women's attitudes and behavior.”[More]
And all the men and women who so like to ape the west all the while thinking that it is their own decision, hear me out. Watch closely and don’t copy that t-shirt logo of ‘don’t die a copy’ without giving it a thought. Keep in mind that the fashion industry is much invested in making men buy and do new things. So there will be those pressures to perhaps become clean-shaven again. I know for a fact that the multi-million dollar grooming industry wants men to buy razors, either electric or blade. The ‘shave or crave’ movement for instance was initiated for the sole launch and advertisement of Gillette’s 5 blade product. Gillette, who were also the creators of WALS (Women Against Lazy Stubble) devised as a cheap low blow to the deep rooted links of men’s hair with their balls. The ‘intelligent’ and ‘socially aware’ contribution of people towards making a difference by active blog participation in these contests for prizes has made Gillette’s media campaign a whopping success story and their pockets a little more gloaty-bloaty [More].
By the way, do you even know the sample size that the surveyors thought was apposite? 1500 people, 1000 females and 500 males from 10 cities of India, out of which nearly 87% women claimed that ‘facial hair’ doesn’t turn them on and would rather like to kiss a clean shaven guy? While 1500 is hardly a qualifying sample size given the population in India given that the chosen ones were not even appointed by any unanimous referendum for speaking on the behalf of million others, it becomes more interesting when we know that these movements are spearheaded by popular people in entertainment industry and that these movements are always sponsored, to introduce a particular and new cosmetic product, say, in this case a five blade Gillette razor. Gillette’s introduction of an extra blade on the razor top has recently become the butt of meme jokes. No wonder the company has seen many ups and downs and every added blade to the original two has been their desperate attempt to stay afloat in what they perceive as their niche. But if there remains no hair, as men would embrace the laser removal of facial hair as the next (de)evolutionary step, companies like such would dwindle down or probably find other ways to swindle up. It is everybody’s wish to look good and attractive, but it is these companies which have been fanning the race for the fairest ultimately affecting how men see men, how women see women, and how they see each other.
There was time when trends took a lot of time to travel from the west to the east and from the east to the west. The emergence and widespread use of the internet has enabled bridge this lack of synchronization. But it has also whetted the appetite of every individual to be ‘liked’ and ‘admired’ in the social circle. The bigger the circle, bigger is the gratification. The proliferation of platforms like Facebook and Instagram has seen us run blindly in this race for ‘likes’. We crave compliments, who doesn’t? Incidentally, this is what is told of our Gods too. They are doing fine without our ‘bhakti’ but if one can offer the Lord his true worship, the Lord draws more strength so it shouldn’t come as an objection that we do not crave compliments. New and bohemian is welcomed, the traditional too, is evolving to match up to modern standards for the fear of being a thing of the past. Stereotypes are being broken on a regular basis time and again. Take the example of Porter who did not know how to tie a bow once is now popular on pinterest and instagram for his styling sense where people cheered him up when he posted his first few attempts at tying bows.
“Porter's experience is indicative of a style renaissance among men.” Men can do whatever they want — since the 90s, with the return of the goatee. “Everything else was unleashed after that: soul patches, sideburns, combination looks, stubble. The moustache was the final frontier, and so it doesn’t surprise me that men wanting to have an impact, to have their own trademark, have embraced the moustache.”
Men are free to embrace fashion. “From the streets of Oakland, where suits are replacing baggy jeans and Jordans, to the halls of Silicon Valley, where techies are laying their hoodies to rest, men are stepping up their style. And they have plenty of inspiration. From the dapper suits on AMC's ‘Mad Men’ to the impeccably dressed stars of hip hop and the NBA, today's fashionisto favors artisanal, well-tailored clothing that fits the way it's supposed to. …” [More] Indian cinema - Bollywood - has been marked by a constant absence of the moustaches on the heroes who have come to dominate it. The four-Khans, the Kapoors and Kumars have sported a hairless look for quite some time now and given the influence these movies have on the Indian youth, especially the North Indian ones who are considered more receptive to such changes in contrast to their south Indian counterparts, there has been lack of inspiration for young boys to look up to. Even the cricket superstars have long sported hairless looks. The scene is slightly different in the south of India which is believed to be more deep rooted in tradition. Almost everyone in the South Indian movies, be it the hero, the villain or the crowd usually sports a moustache. This intolerance to changing patterns is ascribed to the geography of South India which has been rather safer from influence of marauding enemies and their cultures because of the sea on three sides. It isn’t anything unusual as Amartya Sen also noted “depreciation of foreigners not only prevails among us and the Indians, but is common to all nations towards each other.”[Alberuni]
But the scenario is changing, yet again. Actors like Ranveer Singh, players like Ravinder Jadega and Shikhar Dhawan are making imperial moustaches rise from the ashes. On the international scene, women are writing unashamed love letters to Jared Leto, Ben Affleck, Clooney and other such men, drooling over their moustachioed looks, man buns and cuts. We all love Captain Jack Sparrow, do we not?
“This shift from ‘schlub to stud’ has been happening for about a decade, but it has accelerated in the past five years because of the Internet and social media”, says GQ magazine senior editor Will Welch [More].
"There are so many opportunities to go online and nerd-out about clothes now, and so many knowledgeable sources online that make it feel OK to get into this stuff," he says. "It used to be seen as macho for straight men not to think about their clothes for a single second. Put on whatever the wife bought you and go. Now, if a friend compliments your jacket and asks where you got it and you can say you bought it at a store in Alabama and it's based on a railroad worker's jacket from the early 1900s, that's macho."
If you don’t like a man with his moustache, by all means, don’t like him, don’t even try to like him. ‘I like you, but without your moustache’ is not an excuse. For every such man, there will be another who doesn’t have facial hair and may you be blessed to have a more handsome face call you dear but be wary that he’ll spend more time on himself than writing love songs for you. Don’t worry about the previous guy, for every two women who hate facial hair there exists one who loves it and knows that ‘Uber long locks, like beards, tend to look great on guys that would look fantastic without them. Handsome is handsome, just as hot is hot. There. Is. No. Substitute. I suspect you would not be waxing quite as poetically about, say, Harry Reid if he just let it "grow, flaxen-waxen"’. Boy, we love intelligent women don’t we? It is a whopping 59-41% ratio among men in favour of moustaches around the civilized world.
We have and are learning to respect your self-esteem, and probably you shouldn’t let the newly found freedom get into your head. Respect ours. While moustaches and beards might not increase sex-appeal in most men, research suggests it works wonders on their self-esteem, especially among the bros, and herds of women. There is no trespassing on that.
We love ‘You’, not your ‘concept of you’, we love you with or without pyjamas (the churidaars and patialas do suit most of you though)[Ref], we love you even when we aren’t the only reason you dress up for, we love you in your PMSes and we’d hate to see you dress up in anything that makes you uncomfortable. We expect reciprocation, suggestions are welcome, but dictum? We aren’t that level headed yet. We’re trying to break free from prejudices, not to fall from patriarchy into matriarchy. Gladly, the women of west have started to cooperate in movements like Movember.
In a world where approximately 45% of men cannot have a proper beard and moustache, it is but a rarity to find someone who does exhibit these traits of the wild, and I trust quiet love stories isn’t what girls dream of, wild love is what we all want; after all, it all started with a big-bang!
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