The subject of mustaches can be polarizing. Some people love them, while others think they’re creepy. Where do we stand in 2022? Are mustaches still creepy or have they come back around to being on trend?
Mustaches gained their creepy reputation after they fell out of style following their popularity in the 1970s and 80s. They were linked to infamous porn stars and pedophiles. Mustache trends have changed, and they are more widely accepted today. In 2022, many celebrities are wearing mustaches and increasing their popularity.
If you want to learn more about mustache trends and hear current thoughts from real men and women, read on!
When did mustaches become creepy?
Say the word “mustache” and 1970s male porn stars become a topic of conversation. The stereotypical “pornstache” was dark and bushy.
Mustaches grew in popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. Growing a thick “stache” was a sign of high masculinity and as a result, was adopted by male adult film stars. By the end of the 1980s, mustaches were falling out of style and evoked creepy memories of the thick “pornstache.”
Over the years, mustaches have fallen in and out of style. The height of the thick mustache revolution was the 1970s and 80s. Stars like Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds are still known today for their iconic mustaches.
Being able to grow such a full mustache screamed overt sexuality, masculinity, and testosterone. For these reasons, male porn stars jumped on the stache bandwagon. As facial hair trends changed, mustaches became less popular and the thick pornstache held a creepy vibe.
Fun Fact: The word “pornstache” is actually in the slang dictionary. Linguistically, this word is a portmanteau that combines the form or meaning of two or more words. Mustache was acceptably shortened to “stache” in the 1960s.
Are mustaches still creepy in 2022?
As with all clothing and hair trends, what goes around comes around again. The same is true for facial hair trends.
The popularity of mustaches was revived in 2003 with the establishment of the “Movember” movement. This Australian-born charity encouraged men to grow mustaches in support of prostate cancer. Their cause quickly spread throughout the world and normalized the mustache. In 2022, mustaches are largely considered trendy and stylish, not creepy.
The “Movember” movement, started in Australia in 2003, encourages men to grow mustaches during November each year. This charity has spread to over 21 countries in the past 18 years. Money is raised to grow a “mo” and the proceeds are donated to men’s health organizations. Many men decide to keep their mustache beyond the month.
A perusal of message boards uncovers proponents and opponents to the current mustache creepiness debate. One respondent stated, “a thin, sparse mustache is creepy, but a thick, well-groomed stache isn’t.”
Mustaches are more popular in some parts of the country than in others. The states of Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington claim to have more mustachioed men than bearded men.
Fun Fact: Burt Reynolds’ mustache has its very own Facebook page with over 2,700 followers.
Are mustaches attractive in 2022?
The attractiveness of mustaches is always going to be a little subjective. We all have our likes and dislikes. However, looking at current pop culture can tell us a lot about mustache popularity.
Mustaches are considered attractive in 2022. Celebrities, sports figures, and movie stars are wearing them. Men’s fashion magazines are writing about them. Mustaches are in the mainstream.
There are always going to be both men and women that don’t like the mustache or facial hair trend. A 2021 survey showed that one in six men have had arguments with a significant other over their facial hair (or lack of it).
Do females like mustaches?
While some women still think a mustache is creepy, many are open to the mustache trend. Some of the women polled stated that a man with a mustache reminded them of their fathers, evoking feelings of security.
Many females like and even prefer mustaches on men. Some women prefer the mustache with beard combination while others would rather they stand alone.
A 2018 study surveyed 334 women in various age groups. They ranked various facial hair styles. The stand-alone mustache and circle beard styles ranked at the bottom, while beard and mustache combos ranked high.
Looking at recent discussion forums and message boards reveals many in favor of the mustache. One woman responded that “Ryan Gosling and James Franco’s styles are creepy, but Tom Selleck and Henry Cavill’s staches are sexy.”
Another fan said that “kissing a man without a mustache is like drinking a margarita without salt.” Mustache lovers are drawn to the “contrast between soft lips and a prickly stache.”
Since 2008, six of People Magazine’s sexiest men alive winners have sported a substantial mustache or beard combination in their cover photo. Michael B. Jordan, Idris Elba, Blake Shelton, David Beckham, Johnny Depp, and Hugh Jackman proudly displayed hair on the upper lip.
What does a mustache say about a man?
Mustaches say a lot about a man. From Hitler’s dictator style to Tom Selleck’s sex symbol status, the mustache has garnered attention.
Throughout history, mustaches have been equated with masculinity, virility, supremacy, and even terror. Today’s mustache is still seen as a masculine sign. Mustaches in modern times tend to follow social trends and are also considered fashion statements.
Men seem to like the challenge of growing a full mustache. Message boards indicate that more men would wear one if they thought women would like it. Some men grew one to hide face asymmetry stating it made them feel more confident.
Many women say a mustache communicates “overt sexuality.” Others say it suggests “a bit of rebellion.”
Fun Fact: At the beginning of World War I, a mustache was required to enlist in the British army. If you couldn’t grow one on your own, they gave you a fake one made of goat hair. You would even be imprisoned for shaving it off.
Do mustaches make you look older?
Can a mustache make you appear older and wiser? It’s possible!
According to at least one 2013 study, mustaches can add up to 5 years to a man’s perceived age. Some men choose to grow a mustache to make them appear older and more mature.
A study conducted by a Manchester hair clinic surveyed 300 people to measure their perceptions of facial hair and age. They were shown two pictures of many celebrities. One picture with facial hair and another without. They were asked to guess their ages in each picture. The results found that facial hair does make men look older.
Is a mustache unprofessional?
In 2022, most kinds of facial hair are widely accepted. The increase in remote work and facial hair growth during quarantine has many employers embracing the trend.
A well-groomed mustache is considered professional in most environments. If looking for a job, researching a company’s culture and looking at website or social media photos can let you know if mustaches are acceptable in the workplace.
A 2009 study found that men with mustaches earned 8.2% more income than those with beards and 4.3% more than their clean-shaven counterparts. A 2021 Lending Tree survey found that 48% of Americans thought men with facial hair were better with money.
How to make a mustache look less creepy
Most women on discussion boards agree that a mustache that is groomed and styled is the most attractive. If the hair is falling into the mouth over dinner, it’s a turnoff and a signal to grab the clippers.
A mustache can look less creepy when it is full, maintained, and regularly groomed. Scraggly, thin, patchy mustaches are often considered creepy and sleazy. To make a favorable mustache impression:
- Pick a style
- Keep it clean
- Keep it trimmed
- Remove stray hairs
Pick a style
Once your mustache starts to grow, it’s helpful to pick a style you want it to achieve.
Consider your face shape to determine which style would be the most flattering.
Look at men’s grooming magazines or to friends and celebrities for inspiration.
Keep it clean
No one likes to see day-old food and drink clinging to your facial hair.
Wash your mustache well when you wash your face. If the hair is long enough, brush or comb through it to smooth out any snarls or tangles.
Keep it trimmed
Invest in a good beard trimmer or scissors to even out scraggly hairs.
Your hairs can grow at different paces so it’s common for one side to grow out longer than the other. A quick trim will keep your mustache balanced.
Remove stray hairs
A mustache looks its best when it has well-defined edges. Stray hairs in weird places draw attention to things other than your cool stache.
Keeping renegade hairs at bay will show the world you pay attention to the details and take pride in your appearance.