Mustaches are having a heyday. Once exclusive to the face, you can now find mustaches on mugs, wine glasses, as finger tattoos, on Lyft cars, and other kitschy items. Why this obsession with a specific type of facial hair? What has it come to represent?
Society has had an on-off relationship with the mustache. The ability to grow and style one in a super impressive way used to be seen as a sign of virility and power. The helmets of Medieval suits of armor were designed with mustaches in mind, and both King James I and Charles I were famous for their handlebar and goatee styles. After a style resurgence of full beards, the 19th century saw the return of the mustache, as beards were believed to harbor bacteria. Years later, in the 1970’s, a CBS researcher included “men with mustaches” on their list of characters that viewers would never accept as a lead. The lone mustache had become associated with immorality or stuffiness. Tom Selleck changed all that, and the mustache became popular again.