How Hadley Freeman Saved Me From Movember

   After last night's ghoulish climax of horror and fear, today sees the start of an even more dreadful and terrifying period known as Movember . The more sentient of individuals to indulge in this trend know that it's a shorthand way of telling folk you're "a lad", something far more petrifying than anything from the darkest recesses of horror folklore - its also a great way of letting the world know, before you even open your mouth, that you're one of those men who refer to a collective group of adult males as "boys" and will finish your sentence with a raised tone whether or not the words that preceded it formulated a question. Movember i s also the interminable yearly trend which I use to help work out who I should avoid sitting near on public transport.

   Yet, despite their lack of aesthetic virtue, untrimmed upper lips are omnipresent these days. Moustaches, as Wet Wet Wet never sang, are all around us - they are as omnipresent, and as unwelcome, as Horne & Corden in 2009. 
Alas, despite my clear distate for this seasonal facial hair trend , I do have to come clean and state that, for a few weeks in the mid 2000s, I too was one of those men who kept his top lip adorned with more than it's fair share of follicle growth. Like the worst type of cartoon hipster, I am a man who is decrying a style I thought was more than fine for me to flirt with a few years back.

   As I have blonde hair, wearing a moustache is an even more tricky disposition. Yet, for a small while I was convinced that sporting one would make me appear like a young Robert Redford despite the fact that not only would my peers disagree, family members would cross the street if they saw me coming. I assumed I was a Maverick, like Mel Gibson in the film Mad Max, and that one day the rest of the world would catch up with my fashion forwardness. I just needed someone to back me up s o, just a little over 6 years ago I reached out to my style icon, Hadley Freeman of the Guardian, for vindication. 

   Under the pen name "Ian McCulloch" (as in-joke based on the first ever fake ID I got) I decided to ask the Guardian columnist her thoughts on all matters moustache and, somewhat to my surprise, I found our correspondence published the following Monday . Surely when everyone could see what such an authority on fashion would say, I would be lauded as a David Icke-style visionary rather than a laughing stock. According to Hadley, however, I was wrong. In what circumstances would it be appropriate for me to sport a moustache? Only if I wanted to be "the butt of many Swedish porn-star jokes" (of which I still know none) or, according to Hadley, if I were auditioning for an ABBA tribute act. I had to admit, primarily to myself, she had a point and, in an instance, I became a changed man.

Me - Clean shaven
   I hold my hands up and say, rather than looking like a young Robert Redford as I had hoped for, I did indeed look like I was aspiring to ape the style of a European adult performer or, even worse, like the type of "lad" who raised his tone at the end of the sentence regardless of whether the words that had previously been uttered formulated a question or not. In short, I was in danger, through my choice of appearance, of looking like the worst type of human being there is. So, after a quick unsolicited email to the ABBA tribute act Bjorn Again asking if they needed any new members (I received no reply), I took out my razor, decided that enough was enough and vowed never to go back to moustache-dom. The road has been long and hard, and there have certainly been relapses, but never, ever will I allow myself to be anything other than clean shaven throughout November again.

   For saving me from the Movember trend that has developed, Hadley is somewhat akin to a style Guardian Angel (as well as being an Angel who works at the Guardian) who has saved me from becoming "one of them". It's not the first time Hadley has saved me from fashion mishaps and, surely it won't be that last. Thank you Ms Freeman for showing me the way. Thank you.

   For further reading on moustaches please don't hesitate to read this College Cork Express article that was sent my way or this post on Hipster Moustache Trend Accessories


  1. movembers not so bad. least theres the activity of growing a mustache to go along with it. Breast cancer awareness just has ribbons. lol I think i'd prefer the mustache to a full beard for hockey season. eugh those just look so itchy haha


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  2. My BF tries and fails the whole movember thing, but it's fab for raising awareness for men's cancer!

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