5 Things I Learned From Growing A Mustache During Movember
I shaved my mustache tonight. It wasn’t easy. Why did it feel like I was breaking up with someone? Why was any emotion involved? Turns out those hairs on my upper lip taught me a lot more than I signed up for.
5. I Don’t Look F.O.B.
For the last two years my company has asked me to grow a mustache for Movember. I always said no. The thought of me with a moustache brought images of thin-framed men in off-white linen riding rickshaws somewhere in Delhi to mind. (Hey, India is the most mustache-dense country in the world.) One of my concerns was that I’d look fresh off the boat. Sure, that may sound superficial and a tad racist toward my own kind, but I think that’s a real thing for a lot of ethnic men. I quickly realized that between the clothes I wear and how I groomed my ’stache, I didn’t look F.O.B. – and chances are neither will you.
4. We Men Have Options
We don’t get nearly as many opportunities to play with our appearance as women, but facial hair is something that is uniquely male. Not that this is a man versus woman thing, but maybe it kind of is. It felt good to break out of my normal five-o’clock shadow routine and act on other facial hair style options. Heck, because I can grow one in a week, I might just rock one more often.
3. My ’Stache Is More Transformative Than I Thought
Believe it or not, my moustache influenced the clothes I wore (I definitely played up the lumberjack thing); I began seeing myself differently in my usual navy suit; and even started attracting a different type of guy. It wasn’t just an outer thing; I felt confident sporting one. A few weeks ago I appeared on TV and proudly wore my ’stache — this coming from the guy who thought he’d look F.O.B. All of this because of a few more hairs on my upper lip.
2. Ask And You Shall Receive
You know how you receive emails every now and then from someone you vaguely remember going to college with asking you to donate to such-and-such a cause? Well, I was put in a similar position during Movember, trying to get people to donate to me or my team (well, mostly me). There were some supporters I expected to deliver – like family – and then there were others who really surprised me. People do care and will help. Put it out there because every difference makes a difference.
1. It’s Not About You
When a guy hesitates to grow a moustache in the name of raising money for prostate and testicular cancer, that’s proof positive he cares about his appearance. I’m guilty as charged (see point No. 5). Sure, part of me agreed this year to finally grow a ’stache because I secretly wanted to know how I’d look, but a bigger part did it because it was to raise awareness and money for something that’s much bigger than my packaging.
Until we meet again, mustache.