The moustache. If you can pull one off, it’s that ultimate symbol of cool and a way of broadcasting to the world that you’re more manly than others.
The moustache’s most recent heyday was in the 1970s but recently they’ve been making a comeback in society. Some people have never given them up but more and more, you see young people growing out their soup strainers as a sign of their coolness.
Part of the trend is no doubt due to Movember, the increasingly popular fundraiser in which men are encouraged to grow out their mouth dusters while at the same time raising money to increase awareness of men’s health issues, notably prostate cancer.
Movember was started in 1999 in Australia by a group of friends. In 2004 the Movember Foundation was launched and over the years the event has spread worldwide. The Movember Manifesto has three main rules:
• On Shadowe’en (October 31st), the complete moustache region, including the entire upper lip and the handlebar zones, must be completely shaved.
• For the entire duration of Movember (Movember 1st – 35th inclusive), no hair shall be allowed to grow in the goatee zone – being any facial area below the bottom lip.
• There is to be no joining of the moustache to sideburns.
In Revelstoke, the Movember movement has been spearheaded by the Last Drop, which has encouraged the growth of nose neighbor’s by hosting an annual party at the bar. Participants are asked to show up on the first of November clean shaven and then have their picture taken every week as their lady tickler’s grow out. It’s all culminated by a party at the end of the month where awards are given out and bros show off their mos.
Last year I took part and I was just happy that Movember lasted a whole month – that’s how long it took me to grow something resembling a moustache. At the same time, I was worried how my work would be impacted. Would parents let me be near their children? Would I be able to interview a woman without them bursting out laughing? Fortunately, I made it through the month without issue.
This year I decided to consult with some local moustachioed men for some insight. Why do they grow moustaches? How? Do they have any styling advice?
Unfortunately, Frank Fik, the man with arguably the greatest moustache in town, declined an interview. Instead, I first met up with Glen Cherlet, the winner of the best theme moustache at last year’s Movember party. He started with the moustache party while living in Panorama and got caught up in Movember upon moving to Revelstoke.
Cherlet was sporting something between a rocker ‘stache and a Fu Manchu when we met. He acknowledged Tom Selleck’s Magnum PI mo’ as the best.
“Moustache, beard – I can grow it, so why not?” he said. “I’m not big on shaving.”
Neither am I, so that’s a start. Unfortunately, I can’t grow a proper beard either (my masthead photo is the result of four months unemployment). What else?
“It’s more shaping than growing a moustache,” he good. “I got a pretty good beard that grows pretty fast. I can shave it and probably have it back in three or four days.”
Still no good.
Jon Pembroke, courtesy photo
The next day I called up Jon Pembroke, who got involved in Movember while living in Australia and was one of its earliest promoters in Revelstoke. He said he likes the looks he gets when he’s sporting a moustache.
“I like the way other guys with moustaches give you a nod of approval when you’re walking by, kind of like you’re in an intimate club,” he said.
His favourite moustache style?
“The dirtier the handlebar the better,” he said. “I also like to alternate with the slug – the dirty Tom Selleck one right beneath the nose, just dirty and hairy.”
What’s the secret to his moustache proficiency? Turns out it’s much the same as Cherlet’s – grow out a full beard and then shape it from there. Sometimes he does it and sometimes he lets his wife have free reign.
And a touch of conditioner helps relieve the itchiness.
Fortunately, he had some advice for those lighter of hair: shave early and shave often in the days leading up to November 1. In theory, that will encourage your hair to grow faster. “I don’t know if there’s any actual proof behind that but it’s a theory,” he said.
To take part in Movember sign up at ca.movember.com. You can go at it alone or join a team; consult your local establishment to see if they have one going. All money raised goes towards men’s health issues.