November 12th, 2011
|03:47 pm - Movember|
The semiotics of the moustache: to signal 'natural' masculine identity plus social constraint on identity. So, a Victorian model of maleness which pre-exists culture but finds its form via culture. Authoritarian, structured, conflicted. I know I have read that expressed better.
I used to hate moustaches but I kind of like them nowadays. Inner struggle more poignant than oppressive. Moustached men at least wear their struggles under their own noses. It's yer smooth-cheeks you wanna watch out for.
Anyway now it's Movember, when guys grow moustaches for charity. Here is a list of my top ten moustaches for Movember:
Random steampunk guy
Wild Bill Hickok
Now, nearly everyone of those you think 'You poor guy'. Coincidence? Or inner conflict expressed via facial hair?
Speaking as a sartorial beard-wearer, I'm not sure my moustache "counts" - a bit like Marx, I think it may be a look that says "can't be bothered shaving", but moustaches on the other hand require at least some cultivation.. So I think Nietzsche should make the list ahead of me and Karl.
LJ has suddenly taken against my open-ID. So this is to say this is Steve if I come out anonymously.
Yes, the semiotics of the beard is different, and less conflicted I think. The Marx I linked to there is actually Groucho. But you are right Nietzche would be well placed in the gallery of tormented moustaches.
I had to block anonymous comments because I was getting so many spam comments featuring explicit yet strangely tedious porn, and I was fed up with deleting them.
Hmmm. I didn't check out the link but didn't think of Groucho because of the amount of paint involved. But I guess that's a type of cultivation again. Kind of primitive Grecian 2000.
My dad had a mustache and as a kid I strictly forbid him to shave it off, ever (Unfortunately he did when I was like 25)!
Love my men scruffy, so I say: go for it, Movember!
There were loads of moustaches when I was growing up, and I think they might be coming back into fashion.
I was thinking about how many there used to be, too. Lots of politicians... even Harold Wilson had one in his younger day. Made him look like a spiv, though.
The magnificent handlebars of Jimmy Edwards, too. And Gerald Nabarro. I think that there was something "Officer class" about wearing one, with its implications of public school and all the baggage that brought with it. Maybe beards had a more democratic thing about them, being worn by both officers and men in the Navy.
Back in the 70s when hair started growing out of my face, I was kind of into the mainliness of being able to grow one at all, as so many of my contemporaries remained smooth. I tried some beard topiary a little later, but a kind of Lemmy lookalike was the best I could do.
May I offer my great-grandfather, James Fildes Pearson, in about 1875?
Lovely, and he doesn't look that tortured by the conflict between nature and culture.
Managed to pick up a rich wife, and I'm sure looking like that helped!