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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008: The Year of the 'Stache?

A number of sources have declared 2008 to be the Year of the 'Stache: Urlesque gave it the New Trend award and the Huffington Post surveyed celeb upper lips to come to their conclusion. And there were others.

The World Beard and Mustache Championship site got passed around the web about 9 trillion times.

I was sold "mustaches on a stick" in the streets of Portland. I got emails from coworkers about growing mustaches for Movember to raise money for charity. I met friends with fingerstaches from Sweden.

Marketers even got into the act with Australian Schick giving us a lesson in Manscaping. And a spot from La Comunidad for the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival taught us just what having a mustache is like.

Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival ad

(Side note: Did Crispin Porter predict/cause this cultural concentration with its 2007 campaign for the Western Whopper and its microsite Maybe.)

BK Western Whopper ad

One of the best pieces of mustache news I found recently was existence of the American Mustache Institute, whose motto is "protecting the rights of, and fighting discrimination against mustached Americans by promoting the growth, care and culture of the mustache."

In these lean economic times, the organization gives hope to the mustachioed by sponsoring a discount card that gets them 5 percent off at select small business. (The businesses are so select that there are only a handful of them. But still. It's the thought.) I'm applying for membership right now.

And of course I'd had my own mustache experiences. First in the actually at the end of 2007 and then also these past three and a half months.

In that time I've had some puzzling interactions, been stopped in the streets, recognized on mountains, hugged in bars and—one time—had a girl actually trying to rip it off my face because she thought it was fake. And I'm pretty sure half the reason I got my job was because I had a ridiculous mustache. It's been a trip. I want to write a memoir about the whole thing called Life with a Mustache: One Man's Struggle with His Upper Lip.

So yeah. Maybe 2008 has been the Year of the Mustache. That begs the question then: What will next year be? The Year of the Neck Beard?

(Where you at, Araujo?)

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