My Sincere Contempt For Ironic Mustaches


Okay, hipsters. I’ve got some beef with you. It’s not your plaid and skinny-denim uniforms that make you look like the world’s sickliest lumberjacks. As far as fashion goes, that’s not so crazy. It’s not your insane willingness to pay four dollars for a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon driving up the price of cheap beer. That’s your own dumb fault, and you can deal with the consequences. It’s not even your scoffing derision at any music or film that attains some sort of mainstream popularity. Feel free to hate things that are great. Your scorn does not diminish my enjoyment of Bruce Springsteen or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. What I really can’t stand are the mustaches.

I am not, I repeat, not anti-mustache. American history has a rich tradition of mustache excellence. Teddy Roosevelt. Zorro. Hulk Hogan. John Waters. Mario. Luigi. Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds. Sam Elliot in Roadhouse. Sam Elliot in The Big Lebowski. But those mustaches were all sincere. They had heart and soul. And more importantly, they looked good.

From Salvador Dali’s malleable ‘stache to Captain Morgan’s boozy crumb catcher, all viable mustaches share one trait. They all accomplish the mustache style that they attempt. Not so with hipster mustaches. They’re patchy and too blonde. They have gaps in the middle that make it look like a motorcycle could jump from one side to the other. Now, there is no shame in poor mustache capability. My own ‘stache is pretty weak. The only reason I have it at all is because my beard would look a little too Amish without any hair on my upper lip. It’s not great, but it serves a purpose.

If your hairstyle goals are unattainable, though, you should cut your losses and figure out a new ‘do. It’s that simple. Nicolas Cage wouldn’t have a credible afro, so he sticks with the weird hairline he has. If your mustache doesn’t grow in, it’s not so bad it’s good. It’s just so bad. There is nothing ironic about something that just stinks. The Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t ironically lose a lot of games last season. They weren’t a good basketball team. They were totally aware of it, but self-awareness doesn’t equal cool. Just because you know your mustache looks dumb doesn’t mean you’re playing a joke on the world. It still means the world has played a joke on your face.

Irony, at its core, is about an occurrence that defies expectations. It is ironic when Oedipus unknowingly engages in a sexual relationship with his own mother. It is ironic when Romeo kills himself, believing Juliet to be dead. There are only a few ways in which a mustache could represent irony. Like, a really pretty lady with a bushy ‘stache would be ironic. Ditto for a baby. Here is the only way your mustaches could be ironic, hipster dudes:

You grow your thin, crappy mustache for years. It is, for some reason, your pride and joy. At the same time, your girlfriend has been working on a full sleeve tattoo of birds and anchors and Radiohead lyrics. This year, for Christmas, you decide to shave your mustache and sell the hair to a company that makes facial wigs, assuming those are a thing. You use that money to purchase a gift certificate to your girlfriend’s favorite tattoo parlor so she can complete her sleeve with four cans of Pabst laid out like Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s Soup print.

At the same time, she is off having her arm cosmetically amputated so she can do a lucrative niche photo shoot for and make some money to buy you a fair trade mustache comb plated with organically mined gold flakes. On Christmas morning, you trade gifts, only to realize she has no place for her new tattoo, and you have no mustache left to comb. Boom! Irony!

In conclusion, if you are a guy with gauge earrings and tight pants who grows a thick, full mustache, I salute you. I am even envious of your hirsute skills. You keep the spirit of the (wikki wikki) wild, wild west (or at least a truck stop) alive in your urban environment. However, if you’re a snarky jerk who doesn’t even have the decency to grow out a decent ‘stache, I hope you lose your facial hair in a wheat thresher. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

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image – © ivar