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Mustaches: They're gross, they scratch my face, and the Civil War is over

Never caught with a mustache: Nick Valensi and Humphrey Bogart, A.K.A. total babes.
Never caught with a mustache: Nick Valensi and Humphrey Bogart, A.K.A. total babes.

Editor's note: Mustaches are derigeur on uncles, cops and closing pitchers, but they've also become a fixture on the upper lips of the young and the hip. In fact, it's hard to imagine a time since the Civil War when razors were so ignored. But the look can be polarizing, and Westword contributors Samantha Alviani and Bree Davies each represent the opposite ends of that spectrum. See Alviani's take in "Mustaches: they are exciting and they celebrate a classic ode to manhood,"; here's Davies's:

Instead of burying my position on facial hair between paragraphs full of my manifested obsession with a bygone era of male style and the notion that I'm almost always attracted to the only clean-shaven gay man in a room, I'll just say it: I fucking hate mustaches. I hate them. I hate them almost as much as I hate beards, and I only hate beards more because they have a higher volume of unnecessary facial hair on a normally attractive dude.

See also: - Winning Movember, week 4: On the sexuality of the mustache - What's in your bag? Fake mustache, tickets and more! - James Holmes hearing: Mustache, outburst, no decision on unsealing files

I also hate beards because they seem to be a complementary aesthetic of musicians who, to me, make the worst kind music on the contemporary planet, a genre Hipster Runoff so perfectly pegged as "Civil War Wave."

But the thing is, I hate mustaches for purely selfish reasons.

David Justice circa 1993, A.K.A. Babe City, pop: 1.
David Justice circa 1993, A.K.A. Babe City, pop: 1.
AP

I cringe at thinking about kissing a man's face that has a mustache, or worse, a beard. Because, to a pale, snow-white princess whose first layer of face peels up and falls off at the thought of temperatures below fifty degrees, facial hair hurts. It makes my skin itchy and red, and if I like that man a lot, it usually means a chin rash.

Kissing a face with a beard also reminds me of getting pecks from my dad as a kid. That's gross for many reasons, but mostly because kissing your dad in a similar capacity to your boyfriend/husband/partner/whatever is barfy. And illegal. Combine a beard with a cold leather jacket that smells like cigarettes, and there's no chance in hell I'll want to get near you, dad, I mean, boyfriend guy.

Of course, my disdain for mustaches has a lot to do with my "type" (is that still what people call the kind of people you want to bone? Is it just my group of friends that keeps the "bone" slang alive? Am I asking too many questions about boning?) My type is, for the most part, is tall, thin and healthy-looking, with dark hair and light eyes. That isn't always the kind of man I end up trying to court, but in my dreams, that's what he looks like. And he doesn't have facial hair. Ever.

To give some examples of mustache-less men who are my type that I would like to bone, here is a list. To me, they are beautiful (and there are special notes for when the attractiveness only applied to a particular era of their lives) and could not possibly be as beautiful if their faces were cluttered with gross hair. And although I've listed them in no particular order, the first seven picks are definitely the dreamiest of them all:

Montgomery Clift John Famiglietti Nick Valensi Ezra Koenig Humphrey Bogart Damon Albarn Sean Connery (The only good kind of James Bond) Everyone else in The Strokes Marc Bolan Johnny Depp ("Winona Forever"-era) James Iha Milo Aukerman (Milo Goes To College-era) Henry Rollins Ian Curtis Lou Diamond Phillips (1987 through 1990) Drake
Rob Zabrecky Dr. Drew Gerard Way David Justice
(circa 1993) Ryan Ross Billy Corgan (ONLY between the post-Gish long hair and pre-Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness creeper baldness time)

Exceptions: Kurt Cobain (because he was my first famous person crush on) Dave Grohl (his attractiveness is completely dependent on what band he's playing with at the moment, and I especially like it when he's mustache-less and has pigtail braids) Freddie Mercury Gay guys in general with mustaches*

*Because most gay dudes are inherently perfect, I think it is completely acceptable for them to have beards, too. Hell, they can have those big, gross Civil War Wave beards and I find it endearing. They might even be in a Civil War Wave band and I'll think it's cool. But that's because I'm biased toward gay men. I should also fully acknowledge that sexual orientation is a giant, beautiful grey area, so when I say "gay men" I mean a whole lot of different kinds of them.

 

Johnny Depp at his mustache-less best.
Johnny Depp at his mustache-less best.

While we're on the topic of types and dating, I want to talk about the "Nice Guys of OKCupid" Tumblr, which collects and showcases the dating profiles of various dipshit dudes and points out how fucked up they are toward women based on their answers to OkCupid's bizarre perfect-matching questions. Although the Tumblr has apparently been shut down in the last 48 hours, one of the most frequently responded to inquiries by men is in regards to a girl's responsibility to keep her legs shaved.

Of course, for the sake of human free will and feminism in general I believe it is no one's responsibility to shave his or her legs. But I do. And I know that when I am getting ready to go out, or if I think some mundane grocery-shopping trip might lead to meeting the love of my life at Sprouts, I shave my legs. Maybe it's just the tween in me that so meticulously bought Flicker razors in the '90s to shave my legs with because some skewed beauty magazine told eleven-year-old me that was what I needed to do to attract a man, and I've been doing it ever since.

But back to mustaches. As much as I hate them, my disdain has accelerated to an even higher level because of the kitschy culture that sprung up almost a decade ago and is still holding on for dear life (in Colorado, anyway.) I hate stick-on mustaches, mugs with mustaches on them, fake glasses with mustaches chained to them (I also hate fake glasses because only idiots who have no idea what it's like to have prescription glasses wear them), mirrors with mustaches painted for you to "try on," mustaches tattooed on the inside of an index finger and t-shirts emblazoned "free mustache rides." I hate it all. It is annoying, stupid and the furthest thing from ironic and not close to being funny.

But I don't think I could have such a big, sassy attitude about facial hair without acknowledging the obvious: I believe you can look like whatever the hell you want. It's your body. If you like having a mustache, have it. It doesn't mean I, or anyone else, has to like it. Taste is subjective; the fact that I think mustaches are gross doesn't have any bearing on a person's character or life's work. I have (or maybe it will be past tense after this piece is published) plenty of really wonderful friends with mustaches.

Oh, Monty. I'll take grass in your mouth over a mustache any imaginary day.

Aesthetically speaking, there are plenty of people out there who love your mustache. They think it's hot. They want to ride it, just like your shirt might be saying right now. The truth is, you might have a mustache, and I might still find you attractive. (Though chances are I fantasize about what you look like without one.) But in the free world, you can have any kind of mustache ya want, and more power to you.

But maybe I just don't like your mustache because it hurts my inner thighs. ZING!



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