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Jon Chattman

Jon Chattman

Posted: December 9, 2008 03:32 PM

The Curious Case of 'Inglorious' Mustaches


It's wonderful that George Clooney has grown a mustache for an upcoming role, and is getting press for it. Ditto for Jude Law, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt, all of whom have sported some sweet 'stache for films they're currently shooting.

The fad isn't limited to A-list movie stars. When Weezer released their new Red CD last spring, frontman Rivers Cuomo replaced his youthful face with an unflinching furry triangle under his nose on the album cover. He's not alone. Growing mustaches as of late have become more of a funny attention-getter than a real fashion statement.

In the case of Mr. Jolie, it was notable for various "news" services to report that in the midst of dodging paparazzi, Pitt has expressed interest in bringing the mustache back in full force (he's grown one for his highly touted "Inglorious Basterds" role). In all sincerity to Pitt and the others who have recently untrimmed their trim, the mustache doesn't need a comeback. It never left.

This trend of mustache-come-latelys only draw more appreciation to those who have sported mustaches for no logical reason. Just ask Obama's right-hand man David Axelrod, who clearly sports one because he wants to -- not because he's looking to make a fashion statement. (In all sincerity, Axelrod's pushbroom is a delight.)

In a way, one can say mustaches are the Duran Duran of a man's face. While there are peaks and valleys, they are always around and somewhat relevant. The group has been praised in the past for their infectious hit singles like "The Reflex" and "Ordinary World," but oft-times have hit a brick wall in their quest for another Top 40 single. And while "Red Carpet Massacre," their album released last year, didn't include a breakout hit, it still made waves for the Brits' unique collaboration with beat master Timbaland. Their subsequent concert tour continues to sell out by the way.

In conclusion, while it may take a Jason Lee or Borat to make a compelling case that the mustache is making a comeback, it really takes away from those mustachioed heroes that have worn them like a decade-old pair of jeans without the spotlight. Geraldo Rivera, for example, has always mugged it up on camera with a mustache fashioned tightly on his face. Ditto for pushbroom champions like Tom Selleck, Wilford Brimley, Sam Elliott, and Burt Reynolds.

The bottom line is, while it's nice to say you want something to make a comeback simply for the fun of it all, it's more impressive to honor those who never shaved them off in the first place. As I've found in my personal journey, it's far easier to grow a mustache than it is to actually keep it on your face.

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