Mustaches are…sexy? Or…not? You don’t know until you grow. That’s why, though many are ‘stache-curious, they haven’t had the guts to go all in. Then social isolation changed the landscape entirely. Now mustaches are flourishing.
Here’s the thing: Being cooped up inside during a pandemic isn’t exactly empowering. But growing a mustache? That’s a brazen act of self-determination. It’s looking at your face and saying, “I’m going to put a mustache on here because, dammit, I can.” When the world feels rudderless, growing some upper-lip fuzz is one way of exerting control—at least over your face.
For some, it’s also a practical concern. “I thought if it became necessary to wear masks, I wouldn’t want to shave my whole beard,” says home lifestyle blogger Matt Armato (above, far left). For others, going for the grow was helped along by sheer curiosity. “I was tired of looking at my face and wondering how I’d look with a mustache,” says Esquire’s own style e-commerce editor, Avidan Grossman (above, center left), who’s sporting one with a bit of an Errol Flynn vibe.
And for a few, it was a way to do some good. Lawyer Darren Grady (above, center right) is part of a group of guys all growing a ‘stache and donating $5 a day throughout lockdown to Chicago Hospitality United, which supports service-industry workers. “We not only have a sense of community,” he says, “but we’ve got an opportunity to see our friends differently. It brings positivity.”
For charity or not, isolation is an ideal time to grow. “Both the safety and novelty of isolation lend themselves to new aesthetics,” says Esquire deputy editor Ben Boskovich (above, far right). A mustache is low-risk: You can change it, unlike so many other things. And experimenting can lead to unexpected places. “My dad told me I look like he did at my age, and my grand father wore a mustache, too,” he continues. “It’s a nice connection to them. I didn’t realize it would bring me there, but it did.”
Beyond being a link to the past, mustachioed faces might become a signifier of a new world order—one in which personal confidence trumps old social norms. “Maybe I come out of this with a new perspective,” says Grady, who is imagining a post-isolation party with in-person ‘stache reveals. “I do anticipate wanting to keep it,” he says. “The question is, will I?”
This article appears in the Summer 2020 issue of Esquire.
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Source : Esquire