The Moustache: A Brief History
In honour of Movember and our #UsedMo fundraiser, we bring you a brief history of the moustache.
A moustache is apparently more of a sign of manliness than I had ever known until I began researching this article. Men of all ages, since around 300 BC, have been proudly displaying their facial hair. “Why?” you may ask. A real man would never ask such a question, but I’ll tell you anyway. Moustaches, if grown properly, can allow for immediate seduction to take place (according to some sources). Let’s take a chronological look at the history of the glory that is the manly moustache.
The First Documented Moustache: 300 BC
A Pazyrik painting of a horseman sporting a partially shaved head and adorned with upper-lip hair, was dated to 300 BC, which would be known as the first documented moustache on the planet. This is not to say that the moustache did not grow before that time. Perhaps it just was never documented before 300 BC. Either way, the manly ‘stache trend began long, long ago.
A Marvellous Moustache in the 1500s
The beard and moustache combination became the norm in the 1500s when Henry VIII of England donned his famous ginger style in 1535. The painting of Henry’s facial hair is nicely displayed on the History of Costume’s website. In the 1500s, bathing didn’t occur on a regular basis, so a marvellous moustache could become a raunchy facial feature quite quickly. Let’s all take a moment to be thankful for our recent hygiene practices. Hear ye. Hear ye. Hygiene is a good reason to be thankful.
Combing It Out in the 1600s
In the 1600s, Sir Anthony Vandyke started a real moustache trend, much like Movember today! Men would spend time grooming their facial hair more so than in any other time period prior. Sir Anthony was ahead of his time, and he might have even known of the health benefits associated with keeping a clean moustache. It’s just as important to clean the moustache as it is to clean the rest of your body. A clean moustache might even equal more kissing. Damn straight!
Cookie Dusters in the 1800s
Believe it or not, the moustache became LESS popular in the 1800s. Many men fashioned the big and bushy beard, but fewer men wanted to wear hair on their upper lip. Did you know that a moustache can also be called a “crumb catcher”, a “lip shadow”, and a “bro ‘stache”? Cookie duster is still my favourite!
Animal Moustaches in the 1900s
In the beginning of the 1900s, the Walrus moustache, as seen above, gained popularity, and a clean shaven face was the most common look. As the 1900s progressed, so did the moustache. Every moustache style became acceptable in the late 1900s and into the 2000s, though after the 1980s moustaches seemed to get filed under “creepy guy status”. However with the dawn of Movember, moustaches are once again being worn for style, pleasure and fundraising!
For more moustache history and factoids, check out the official Movember website.