The Mustache Whisperer

march171892 moustachesCharacter in Mustaches.

There is a great deal of character in the mustache. As the form of the upper lip and regions about it has largely to do with the feelings, pride, self-reliance, manliness, vanity and other qualities that give self-control, the mustache is connected with the expression of those qualities or the reverse. When the mustache is ragged and, as it were, flying hither and thither, there is a lack of proper self-control. When it is straight and orderly the reverse is the case, other things, of course, taken into account. If there is a tendency to curl at the outer ends of the mustache there is a tendency to ambition, vanity and display. When the curl turns upward there is a geniality combined with a love of approbation; when the inclination is downward there is a more sedate turn of mind, not accompanied with gloom. It is worthy of remark that good-natured men will, in playing with the mustache, invariably give it an upward inclination, whereas cross-grained or morose men will pull it obliquely downward. – [National Barber.]”

This article, reprinted from National Barber in the March 17, 1892 edition of The Chatham Record, identifies character traits as they present in late nineteenth-century facial hair.

With very little tweaking, the copy sounds like an episode from BBC’s Planet Earth. Imagine David Attenborough squinting through a pair of binoculars: “If you are very still and very lucky, you can observe them at dusk flying hither and thither. Others linger at the commons curling at their ends in a display of vanity and ambition. Take care not to pull them obliquely downward – many of them have teeth.”

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