The Gentleman

 

August 16, 2012

For Every Great Man, a Great Mustache.

Impressive Mustache

Thanks charlie llewellin for the great mustache pic

So you want to be a man’s man? No, we don’t mean a slaveā€”but you’ll have to be a slave to appearance if you’re going to pull it off.

The mane of the male lion makes this ferocious cat appear larger, provides an excellent display for intimidation, and separates the men from the boys (and even some women, as it were).

Manly facial hair, as you see, affords the same distinctions in the realm of Man, though the rules are a little different.

Men who have been quietly frustrated at living in civilization for the last 12,000 years use facial hair less as a civilizing practice, and more as a social marker. It’s a pack mentality.

If you’re going for the man’s man look, you’ll need to adopt one of these five styles with diligence. Most importantly, you’ll need to pick a style and go for it 100%, because the man’s man is educated, respectful, groomed, well dressed, and driven. He handles his liquor, stays in good shape, and lives his life in accordance to his own moral barometer. He does what he says. His actions are in concert with his convictions.

Women want him and men want to be him.

In other words, if you’re growing manly facial hair, let it be known that “manly” does not mean “more”; this isn’t an eighth-grade pube contest. This is a forum for a serious discussion on manly facial hair.

Manly Facial Hair: The Top Five

The Beard
This one’s simple. For some, growing manly facial hair is no more complicated than letting nature take its course.

A beard is a real hit or miss enterprise. When adequately maintained and trimmed, a beard can serve as a quite attractive feature on men, especially those with square facial features. An attractive, premeditated, beard can be achieved by:

  • Growing your beard out (past the point of comfort)
  • Running an electric razor, with a guard, over the entire face
  • Cleaning up the neck and cheeks

The last is the most important. There’s nothing worse than a turtleneck connecting your chest to your face…

The Handlebar
Embraced by millennia of lady-killers, most notably cavalry hotshot George Armstrong Custer and Comrade Joseph Stalin, the handlebar will give your lady something to hold onto, and boys at home something to aspire to. Leave your “less is more” sensibilities at home and get this thing into orbit. Manly facial hair has never been such a straightforward endeavor.

To achieve this look, it’s going to take time and patience. Many have attempted it, but the handlebar claims its victims daily. Prepare for months of mouth tickling. You’ll have to sacrifice your looks during this time, but once the rough patch is over watch as others revel in glory. Commitment is key. So is pomade.

The Soul Patch
Originally providing comfort for jazz artists using a trumpet mouthpiece, the soul patch is a small tuft of hair sprouting below the lower lip that now provides comfort to those with a perceived lack in soul. This face-doo will set you apart from your friends for better or worse, lead to social stigma or success, boom or bust, fight or flight, nurture or nature, good or evil, East or West, do or do not do: there is no try. In the end, we admit that we’re left scratching our heads at the notion of the “soul.” Certainly the soul patch takes balls.

The soul patch takes balls.

The Fu Manchu
A full, straight mustache that grows downward past the lips on either side of the chin, the Fu Manchu flows like a river. A flowing, hairy river. Enjoyed by evil geniuses’ ever where, the Fu Manchu looks best with an otherwise clean-shaven face and is distinguishable from the horseshoe “biker” look (a la Hulk Hogan) by its relative nearness to the face, smooth texture, and lack of meat pie crumbs.

Going great with glasses and other civilizing facial accoutrements, the Fu Manchu is manly facial hair for those who have surpassed manliness. It’s no coincidence that ‘man’ is found right in the name.

Very meta. Very mysterious.

The Goatee
It should be noted that the “goatee” is a misnomer for the Van Dyke: a combination of a goatee and a mustache.

From Pan (the Greek god of the wild) to Johnny Depp, the goatee, when properly introduced, can make you a real standout and create an air of sophistication, intellect, and adventurousness. Ernesto “Che” Guevara wore one. Vladimir Lenin wore one. Malcolm X wore one. Noticing a theme here? Larry the Cable Guy might serve as the exception.

Rebellion. Intelligence. Passion. Goatee wearers go all the way.

All or nothing; this is the essence of manliness.

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