Let me preface this by saying, that I don't believe this phenomenon is revolutionary or even very subversive in terms of gender-bending. But it IS a trend I've noticed, and one I can't help but enjoy.

Men have been donning this upper-lip facial hair for a long time, of course. It was a victorian trend, it was a 70's trend and now it looks to be a 2000's trend. But beyond the male moustache resurgance, I've notice a trend by those of us with the double x chromosome make-up. Nowadays fake eyelashes aren't the only false facial hair women are taking advantage of. Plenty are having fun with the contrast of a traditionally femme appearance in contrast with a striking patch of hair on the lip.

The first time I became aware of this trend was at a New Year's Eve
party last year. Someone showed up with a package of fake moustaches
and the ladies in attendance went nuts. They were wearing them all
night (crooked by end) and everyone looked decidedly cute with their added facial hair. (see below)

Then I saw some photos of Coco Rosie with one donning the 'tache.

I mentioned this to Andi, the editorial director here at Bitch, and she informed me that I'd need at least 3 instances for it to truly be a trend (and I'm not talkin' milk moustaches here). I took this on as a personal challenge. An enjoyable one too, because there's something so endearing about them. Well, dear sm[art] readers, many instances have presented themselves since!

A quick search on etsy.com (the handmade online marketplace) brings up a number of things including these items by sellers:ashleyg, kieutiepie and tresijas:

This weekend at the Portland Zine Symposium, I grabbed the pocket zine, What Did You Buy Today? by Kate Bingaman-Burt, with one of her purchased items being a package of fake-o moustaches.

And just today, I saw this photo on the first page of The Advocate—frankly, a fairly mainstream appearance of the moustache on a femme woman.


So what do you all think? Is it likable, annoying or uninteresting? Any major examples that I missed?

by Briar Levit
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9 Comments Have Been Posted

i don't know...

i'll start by saying that i know just about nothing about current fashion trends.

however i see this issue like so: some women have some upper lip hair. i think it is safe to say that most women don't have a noticeable 'stach.

why should i want a manly showing of hair when it is not a natural part of my body? if you are a woman with some facial hair, that's great and i hope you are able to resist the pressure society has put on women where shaving is involved and choose for yourself how you want to sport it... but i don't think trying to be more like a man in any small way is the best way to show our strengths. if i were a man it would tell me that women think men have the better side of things. that women think being man is being powerful, and in my opinion, that is the opposite of what should be happening.

I don't think the 'staches are...

I don't think the 'staches are quite like shoulder-pads, etc. I see it more as a way of challenging gender norms as opposed to making yourself more masculine to get ahead. If I walked into the board room on Monday morning, sporting a Foo Manchu so that everyone would take my PowerPoint more seriously, then I could see your point, griffin. But donning a 'stache for fun or to make a few heads turn sounds like a great Saturday night to me!


I think the pencilled staches on cocorosie singer and the advocate model are sexy!
most men and few women have pronounced facial hair, but I don't feel a woman sporting a fake mustache is necessarily trying to look like a man. it's fun. it's play. it's a reminder that we're the same species. we more or less have the same bodies, more in common than not.

Up with the feaux-stache!

I don't at all think that the interest in fake 'staches has anything to do with anti-feminine societal pressure, or some misguided attempt at being more like the fellows, or even that it must necessarily have a point when it comes to gender commentary. Having partaken in more than a few feaux-'stache parties myself, I can say that they're just in good fun. Everybody knows, sporter of lady lip hair or no, it's always more enjoyable to take something quirky and run with it! The fake 'stache gives the gift of a shiny, dandified new identity (til the cocktails come to an end anyway). Not to mention that the completely unexpected event of seeing a bunch of feminine women with epic upper lip designs is, frankly, really attractive. It's not exactly ambiguity, but it's disarming enough to work similarly for the evening. It's the faintest of hat tips to the gender-bending Parisian set from the turn of the 20th century. But let's face it, there's Romaine Brooks, and then there's the fan of 'stache on a stick. I'll leave the paradigmatic upheaval to the former.

For Sure

I'd say it's a definite trend, and I think it qualifies as minor gender bending too. CocoRosie are huge fans of 'staches. They've been representing them for years.

< ccole.info >

'stache attack

for my birthday last year, the best present by far was a furry moustache with a flexible wire in it. it bent into lots of styles and had a clip that attached right onto the septum. everyone took a turn. or three. a few months later, a bunch of ladies-in-moustaches (myself included) went bowling together.

i like the 'stache. at any rate, it's a lot less annoying than that ' i kissed a girl' song.

Now stache your friends on the iPhone

Looks like everyone can be a part of this hot trend :) www.stachetastic.com cheap simple app for the iphone lets you add staches to all your photos.

Looks like hours of fun

If I had an iPhone, it woulda been downloaded already.

been there; done that

Go back a re-read the comments and CONTROVERSY about long hair on men after the Veatles changed everything. People have forgotten the years of "get a hair cut" comments as people confused their shock with their business (as in "it's none of your..."). Nevertheless, thank you Astrid Kirchherr for starting it all.

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