Must Not Mustache: Young White Men Can’t Be Taken Seriously with a Mustache

Why do none of my friends have a mustache?  I’d say a lot of it has to do with the fact that most of my friends are within 5 years of my age, meaning that I don’t know any 24 to 34 year olds who are mustachioed.  The mustache could quite possibly be a dying tradition, with the exception of cops.

Recently I saw an independent movie called Margot at the Wedding, starring Nicole Kidman and Jewish comedian Jack Black.  For the first 30 minutes of the movie, Jack Black has a mustache.  During that time, he apologetically explains to everyone that he recently had a beard but while he was shaving it off he thought it would be funny to just keep a mustache.  But eventually he shaves it because he doesn’t feel like he can be taken seriously by anyone.

Good point.

Can a man under the age of, let’s say, 40 years old be taken seriously if he has a mustache?

Yes.  But there are definite rules to making it work:

1)     Be a cop, as previously mentioned.  It just sort of goes with the job.  In fact, I don’t think I could take a cop seriously UNLESS he has a mustache.

OR

2)     Be an African American man.  I’ve never seen an African American man who didn’t look good with a mustache.  Will Smith is the epitome.  In fact, I remember on the show Scrubs when Donald Faison shaved his mustache, it bothered me.  Heck, African American men can even pull off the even riskier goatee without exception.  (See Chris Rock and/or Darius Rucker.)

It’s no coincidence that in the sitcom My Name is Earl that Earl Hickey had a mustache.  He was a white guy under 40 who was a loveable idiot.  To enhance his character trait of being out of touch of social expectations, he had to have a mustache.

What’s really interesting is that in a recent study, it was discovered that mustachioed men earn 8% per more money that bearded men, and 4% more than clean shaven men.  Not only that, but men with mustaches are more likely to hired during a job interview.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/business/Study-More-Mustache–More-Money-63930997.html

So does that mean that I am being discriminated against by my own society?  A culture that refuses to take seriously white men with mustaches under 40?  Am I simply at a disadvantage until 11 years from now when I become of age?

I am missing out on a 4% to 8% salary increase over this.  Maybe it’s worth a shot to at least try.

(Looks to stage left, rubs chin for dramatic effect, then begins to plot a bad idea…)

Click here to see what happened next: Operation: Mustache (A Social Experiment)

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on mustaches, why not read my perspective on being a dad?  That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view.  I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant.  I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below:

dad from day one

Stuck in Back in Time Like Ned Flanders, Dwight Schrute, and Austin Powers

 

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…

Like a good bottle of Pepsi Clear or a box of Pop-Tart Minis, every person has an expiration date. Of culture, that is. There comes a certain year in a person’s life where they no longer continue moving forward concerning the way they dress, wear their hair, speak, and use technology. I’m not talking about a 16 year old kid who buys all his clothes at Goodwill, proudly showing off his 1985 Huey Lewis & the News t-shirt, and fashions his hairstyle after Ashton Kutcher in “Dude, Where’s My Car?”. Being retro on purpose doesn’t count.

For me it’s most obvious when I’m at Wal-Mart and the cashier lady’s hairdo consists of teased bangs brushed back into a permed Brillo pad of a mullet: 1984.

Or the retired farmer who is still wearing his Dwight Schrute style glasses and refuses to use a cell phone or the Internet: 1979.

Sometimes it’s less obvious- maybe that co-worker with a thick goatee, wearing a cell phone belt clip, still saying quotes from Austin Powers like “Yeah, baby, yeah!”, and whose cell phone ringtone is “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed: 2000.

This concept became obvious to me when I was accompanying my wife as she shopped for clothes on a Saturday afternoon. I walked into a Van Heusen outlet and realized that while they did have some good deals, if I actually attempted to buy anything from the store, my wife probably wouldn’t let me wear it. Why? Because everything available in a Van Heusen store is designed for men who are stuck in 1994.

It amazed me that a whole company would purposely make outdated clothes. But the executives at that company know their audience. If these outdated clothing stores suddenly stopped making pleated light khaki pants, their abandoned customers would just pledge their allegiance to another outdated store instead. Customers who still say “been there, done that, got the t-shirt”. And the t-shirt they are referring to is a Big Dogs shirt with the quote “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay off the porch!” Yes, because that’s still cool.

Even though I am well aware that every person at some point in their lifetime freezes in the culture of a certain year, my awareness does not exclude me from the inevitable. I admit that whether it’s when I start having kids, or maybe not until I retire, still I will definitely get stuck one year, not even realizing it until it’s too late and I’m either too stubborn or apathetic to change.