A salute to Movember: Iconic mustaches

Categories: Movember
Sam Elliot cowboy mustache.jpg
Actor Sam Elliot has always had an epic mustache
As children seek candy door-to-door on Halloween, men all over the world shave their faces baby-soft. On November 1, the mustache growing begins. Movember participants, a.k.a. Mo Bros, allow the hair above their lip to thicken, with hopes that the result will be more 19th century bare-knuckle boxer than '70s porn star or '90s pedophile.

The Movember magic began in Adelaide, Australia, in 1999, when some buddies grew mustaches for charity. They termed their pledge "Movember," a portmanteau of "mo," the Aussie slang for a 'stache, and November. The event grew in popularity throughout the following years, and participants have since raised millions. That cashola goes toward the Movember Foundation, which aims to raise awareness for men's health issues like depression and testicular cancer, the manliest of medical mishaps.

Now, as we near the halfway point of Movember, your mo should be looking less like a thin film of milk and more like a rich, dark caterpillar. As Movember inspiration, we've assembled a list of mustachioed forefathers (and one foremother). Consult this list in the weeks to come if your whiskered resolve weakens.

Related articles:
'Show Us Yer 'Stache' and win big this Movember

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Tom Selleck as Magnum, P.I.
Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck was just about the coolest guy around in the '80s. From Magnum, P.I. to Three Men and a Little Baby, he conquered Hollywood with his thick brown mo leading the way. As of 2012, Selleck has retained his flavor saver, and whether he's playing a cop or cowboy, his 'stache makes him look dignified as hell.

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Salvidor Dali, Wikimedia Commons
Salvador Dalí

Hipsters: Look here for inspiration. This surrealist artist, whose paintings featured bizarre dream symbolism, curled and waxed his 'stache to the nines. Dalí felt that mustaches contained "sacred power," and his mo was recently voted the most famous in history by a Daily Telegraph survey.

Sam Elliot.jpg
Sam Elliot in Tombstone
Sam Elliot

Known to many as the narrator of The Big Lebowski, Sam Elliot has a gray shag beauty that embodies the Zen stoicism of the American cowboy. A mustache like this belongs on the range. Mo expert Jon Chattman described Elliot's achievement as "Wilford Brimley's mustache on steroids," and ranked it as the most badass mustache of all time in his book, Sweet 'Stache.

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Adolf Hitler, Wikimedia Commons

RED ALERT! RED ALERT! This is the mustache to avoid. Don't even think about imitating it, not even ironically. Damn you, Hitler.

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Frida Kahlo, Wikimedia Commons
Frida Kahlo

"Never has a woman with a mustache been so revered -- or so marketed -- as Frida Kahlo," wrote Stephanie Mencimer in a 2006 article for Washington Monthly. Kahlo's wispy whiskers were a political statement, a rejection of beauty norms that still oppress women today. Kahlo even used special grooming tools to make her mustache -- and unibrow -- darker. Kahlo, recently portrayed by Salma Hayek, has even become a fashion icon in the decades since her death.
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Friedrich Nietzsche, photo by F. Hartmann on Wikimedia Commons

Friedrich Nietzsche

This 19th century philosopher, renowned today for his nihilism, had an insane walrus-handlebar mustache that mirrored the brilliant madness of his mind. "God is dead," Nietzsche wrote, but we'd argue his heavenly mustache disproved that.

In conclusion, Movember reveals one thing: Mustaches are AWESOME. A man's manhood is multiplied by a 'stache. How else but with a mustache can a guy confer character upon their faces? Women get eye shadow and lipstick and earrings and eyebrow sculptors, while men walk around boringly flesh-faced and dull.

Solution: Grow a mustache. Look like a blue-collar boss who is worldly and wise, a man with stories to tell. A fellow who has adventured on every continent, while bedding a multitude of women and/or men.

Despite the occasional jeer, Mo Bros inevitably endure. Onward we trek into Movember.

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