Last week, in line to see a film, half of my mind was in conversation with my friend while the other half sized up a cute, effeminate, young man: dark hair flopping around his deep, brown eyes; thick, post-pubescent fluff on his upper lip; olive skin accented by his black jacket, skirt and tights.
Yep, I’ve noticed this lately: women with facial hair. Mostly moustaches. And I like it.
Sideburns and goatees: no. Ms.tache: yes. (Double standards based purely on subjective preference: yes.)
I am a fan of the androgynous look. A full-lipped, fine-featured man will usually catch my eye, especially when those features are framed with floppy hair. And I feel more than a tingle of appreciation for Drag Kings, with their paradox of butch persona and soft skin.
But, why would I be attracted to something so anomalous to the norm as female lip-fuzz?
I could cry social activism and claim the appeal lies in its feminist stance - as is purely the case with armpit, and leg hair, I promise you. But the fe-mo: I actually find it sexy.
Right?It’s widely accepted that ‘excess’ hair is the domain of the male, symbolizing physical strength, power, and protection. The myth of Sampson and Delilah is testament to that assumption spanning centuries and cultures. Less than a hundred years ago, bearded ladies were freak show draw-cards. Hair on women’s pretty, little faces is just not right!
Well, hold on to your handlebars, because cultural convention has been challenged.
Early last century, Frida Kahlo proudly sported her au-naturale Ms.tache. More recently, in Summer ’05, Kate Moss donned a full faux beard for the cover of New York “style bible”, V. Sure, maybe that one was just a fashion stunt... Except, the female facial-hair friendly movement has since gathered real momentum.
There’s support in campaigns like Hairy Awarey and We Can Face It, articles in respected publications, celebrity backing, documentaries on mainstream TV, plus social media and, perhaps most visibly, public pride and acceptance.
So, is the appeal of the female moustache an extension of my physical attraction to androgyny?
Or my psychological attraction to a good, ol’ genderfucking and culture jam?
In a way, I’m glad I don’t have an answer because a little mystery keeps things interesting. I’m also glad that, like my proud, hairy sisters, I’m OK to give social convention a two-fingered salute.
Then use those two fingers to smooth out their sexy ‘taches.