Serious Thoughts on the One Exception to the No Facial Hair Rule

The moustache.

It’s creepy. Really. I mean, who do you know with moustaches these days? Only pervy, creepy guys.

I know the no facial hair rule was born out of a different time than I was. The honor code and rules for bishops, stake presidents, and low-end general authorities say no facial hair, except moustaches. You can have a moustache. This was determined long before I was born and solidified during the days of  Magnum P.I. Moustaches were deemed attractive, appropriate, clean cut and not subversive.

But the world has changed. It’s darker and cruder than it used to be. The moustache no longer represents the goodness of yesteryear. We are Mormons living in the now. We need to accept what the world has become.

As far as I know, a general authority moving up the ranks has to make the commitment to absolutely no facial hair. I believe this is the law of the gospel and that all of us should step up to the plate, show our faith and eliminate moustaches from Mormonism. It is the higher law.  Let’s live it.

—————————————————————————————-

You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. Moustaches give me the creeps. I should probably make a Facebook Group. Please join it.

Comments

  1. It’s time to outlaw the subversive mustache, and bring back facial hair! Perhaps the CHI could require AA 70’s to have goatees, and that’s how we’d recognize them ;)

  2. Amri, I will join that facebook group. Because I firmly believe there has never been a mustache that wasn’t a mistake (although I am okay with them as part of a larger facial hair package). A free-standing mustache is all it takes for a perfectly ordinary person to turn into a complete sketchball.

  3. Thomas Parkin says:

    My bishop has a moustache. I don’t think much of it, and I don’t think anyone else does either. I grok you about they can be creepy – witness Jason Giambi – but, oddly, sometimes they work. *shrug*

    ~

  4. Because I firmly believe there has never been a mustache that wasn’t a mistake

    Even Tom Selleck’s?

  5. Does this mean they need to excommunicate my RS persident?

  6. Amri – I think there is a general preference for no facial hair for bishops and counselors but I know of no rule – in fact a personal friend of mine has a full beard and served as a counselor in his bishopric – with the full beard.

    On the other hand, serving in the temple as an ordinace worker requires a clean face – no facial hair. This would seem to be the source of policy for a general authority.

    I think I see your point about mustaches although my great grandfather had one of those ship captian’s mustaches that hang down below the bottom lip and I’m always jealous when I see his picture.

  7. Steve Evans says:

    Tim’s got a point. I would also think that Teddy Roosevelt also pulled it off.

  8. I’ll go along, only so far as the rule is applied across the board. We had a sister missionary in my mission who had thicker sideburns and a thicker mustache than most of us males could muster.

  9. Don’t you think AA70’s would look cute with a soul patch?

  10. Katherine F says:

    I had some friends at BYU who designed a number of t-shirts ridiculing the facial hair rules. One of them read: “Look like a pedophile, not a hippie.”

  11. I agree that if they are a part of the whole facial hair package, they’re okay. But if we’re committed to facial hair rules, then the moustache has got to go (for both genders Mark) I’m not talking excommunication, but talk to your bishops and stake presidents. Tell them it’s a matter that is important to you and the face of the Church. This should also be a PR venture. Where’s Wm Morris? He could help on this.

    I know that most bishops are clean shaven but to me that shouldn’t even have the choice. This is the look of perviness on the line people!

  12. Tim and Steve–there are very FEW exceptions. We shouldn’t be making rules for the very few exceptions. Also TR is a hundred years ago, he doesn’t count as BY was also around then and not following current facial hair rules either.

  13. RE: comments 5 and 7

    I like Tom Selleck better without the mustache – although I will concede that perhaps his was not an epic fail. I stand by my statement, however.

    And I’d have to respectfully disagree about Teddy Roosevelt.

  14. Thomas Parkin says:

    Tom Selleck’s mustache is not only not a mistake …

    it’s a Miracle.

    *cue heavenly choir*

    ~

  15. Steve Evans says:

    waitwaitwait… what about the moustache as part of the full beard package, amri?

  16. My sister calls them “molestaches”

    Yeah, they’re creepy. My dad used to wear one, but now we look back at his pics and he looks like the unibomber.

    I do think they’ll come back into trendiness, in a decade or so. That may be good for me, because my husband has tremendous mustache potential. I’m still waiting for the hairstyle created by hot rollers to come back in.
    I guess I’ll just have to keep waiting.

  17. AFAIK, there’s never been a temple recommend interview question regarding facial hair. And, from what I understand, the temple worker restriction is simply because temple presidents get sick and tired of patrons complaining that “so-and-so has a beard”. In my mind, this is right up there with bans on cola, the relief society president who chewed out my mom for not baking whole-wheat bread daily, and refusing to let a daughter date a boy who isn’t an Eagle Scout.

    I’ll take a decent guy with a ‘stache over a creep with a clean shave any day.

  18. my husband has tremendous mustache potential

    Awesome.

  19. Amri, I want to see you with a mustache – just once. After I take that picture, your rule can be implemented.

  20. I’m not sure what tremendouse mustache potential means? Potential to look perved out and creepy? Surely that can’t be true.

    Also, do y’all prefer the spelling mustache? I looked it up even and I found both spellings, I prefer the extra ‘o’. There’s more to hate. But if sans o is more correct, I’d like to have my fight fought in the right direction!

  21. Michael 17–that’s the problem! you can’t tell a nice guy with a ‘stache is a nice guy! No point for a sheep to dress up in wolves’ clothing.

    This isn’t a general rule. But at BYU I had friends who would grow moustaches because that’s all they were allowed to grow. I know they thought they were ironic white people but no, no it turns out they were just pervy-looking.

    Also, isn’t not true that recommendations on facial hair are made for bishops? Or are they like lay-people? they can do whatever they want while knowing the prophet would never grow a beard?

  22. And Ray if I ever have a moustache I should be put down. Immediately.

  23. Why all the anti-pervert bigotry?

  24. Totally agree on the moustache=molester look. [prefer the o spelling because moustaches sometimes look like a mouse perched on the afflicted lip.]

    I wish wives would enforce this.

    Curiously, I have known not one but two real live Mormon men within a decade of my age who had (get ready) handlebar moustaches!

    Maybe BIV is onto something–assigned facial hair styles according to levels of responsibility. Just as long as no one goes crazy and gives ME the Priesthood, that could be interesting.

  25. It depends on the moustache. Walrus and handlebar are A-OK. John Waters and Hitler are not.

    queuno, who trimmed his goatee yesterday.

  26. I didn’t realize mustaches were kosher. My father had to shave his mustache when he was called to the bishopric back in the ’70s. At the time, I was 6 and had never seen him without a mustache and could hardly bear to look at him for the next 48 hours, but now in retrospect I see that the anti-facial hair rule was the best thing that ever happened to my dad’s face. In fact, as an adult I have a very strong bias against facial hair. If my husband ever grows a mustache I will not divorce him, but I will probably die of the creeps.

    In those rare instances where men actually look better with facial hair, mustaches are okay with beards, but alone they tend to look cheesy at best and perved-out, to borrow a phrase, at worst. The exceptions are Tom Selleck and this cat in my ward with a handlebar mustache that is pure awesomeness.

  27. I’m sorry – I didn’t realize that you were only suggesting this as BYU policy, not church-wide policy. My mistake. BYU may do as BYU pleases.

    And I seriously doubt that there are any General Authorities “moving up through the ranks”. That’s not the sort of job that one applies for. I know plenty of people who think it’s a valid career path choice, but those are the ones least likely to get it – you can reference “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and Dumbledore’s thoughts on seeking the position of Minister of Magic for a fuller treatment of this topic. The people who aspire to be bishop, stake president, GA, deserve what they get.

  28. Michael–I wasn’t trying to be offensive. I’m saying someone who was a stake president or area authority may be able to wear moustaches if they choose, but if by calling they move up (I’m not talking campaigning here) they would have to shave said moustache. It’s committing to the higher law. But sometimes, us low people need to live the higher law too.

    Pertains to: moustaches
    Doesn’t pertain to: caffeine

  29. As one of the co-founders of the Moustache Club at BYU (has it been 8 years already? I think so), I must say, moustaches are better than nothing, so sometimes you take the bone you’re thrown.

    Unfortunately, for the time being, my wife is anti-moustache. Fortunately, she has no problem with a full beard, and the full beard is the celestial facial hair. (That, and Magnum PI’s moustache, and any good handlebar moustache, and any of those great 19th century moustache/sideburns that are seriously like a foot long.)

    Which is to say, amri, I’m afraid you’re wrong. Some moustaches may (unfortunately) say “prevy, creepy guy,” but the really good ones say “19th century Civil War general.” Or 1970s bass player.

  30. I am SO tired of hearing how facial hair rules are needed to protect women from being afraid of men! Men and their moustaches cannot be held responsible for the emotional state of women! Somehow it means men don’t own their own faces, that their upper lip become the property of the women of the church, always subject to the female gaze! It is a limitation on the statement of our masculinity! If women think its perverty, then maybe they need to look into their own hearts for the pervertiness!

    As my good friends the Mael brothers tell us, ‘100 hairs make the man.’

  31. I will join your Facebook group. Moustaches need to be left to the domain of villains and cable guys.

  32. I certainly agree that most moustaches (I like the “o” as well) these days carry an air of “pervness”. As a matter of Church policy, in most cases I detest the notion that even facial hair can and should be regulated. Yes, BYU is a private institution, but I still find the policies quite intrusive and in most cases irrelevant to the gospel cause, regardless of how strictly they are enforced. The one exception I can tolerate is that of GA’s or Church employees. Strict rules of appearance (outside the usual discourse of sexual modesty) are enforced throughout most of corporate America to those who represent the various corporations. Church employees and GA’s are the coporate face of the Church, whereas local leadership is not. I am not in favor of Church efforts to regulate the general appearance of the lay membership/leadership.

  33. …Not that this is really a vote.

  34. Norbert, men ARE responsible for the emotional state of women (if not then who? us? puh-lease)

    and also, your upper lip is our property.that’s the exchange. Men take care of women’s emotional state and women take control of men’s upper lips.

    And Sam B., while there are notable exceptions, we shouldn’t be making rules for the exception. We can’t allow moustaches just because a few aren’t so creepy. So, I’m afraid you’re wrong.

    Sister Blah 2 just started one, meems. Surprisingly, she and I are the only two members.

  35. #4 (Tim J) I think Tom Selleck’s mustache created a character as much as shaving it off gave him character.
    I can’t imagine exaltation hinging on a mustache. -

  36. btw, the Yankees (boo!) are another example of facial hair rules gone wrong. They have to be clean cut which means that they allow moustaches but nothing else! Ridiculous. They already have bloated egos and salaries, why also make them look like child molesters too? Bad choice NY Yankees, bad choice.

  37. The guys I know that are firefighters all have mustaches, so I don’t find them creepy. I keep meaning to ask what the deal is with mustaches and firemen though, because one of them told me 3/4 of the guys in his firehouse have them..

  38. amri,
    Actually, I’m saying (at least historically, but, based on those mustachioed gentlemen I know in New York City, currently too), pervy-looking moustaches are the exception, not the rule. Truly awesome moustaches are also exceptional, I readily confess (although truly awesome anything tends to be exceptional), and the vast majority of moustaches are neither pervy nor awesome but, like most people, just are.

    Plus, where would the English language be without the word “moustachioed?”

  39. All you need to know about people with moustaches, condensed into one word: ThomasEDewey!

  40. And what would your rule, Amri, do to all the ________ (fill in butt-of-joke nationality) young men who want to grow up to look like their mother?

  41. #3 TP–I missed your comment earlier but Giambi is one I was thinking of. CREEP.Y. It’s because they have that rule! Either don’t have the rule and deal with the Mannies out there or say clean cut means you can’t look like a perv, so completely clean shaven.

  42. Kevin Barney says:

    When I was at BYU, I wore a mustache and my afro on the “grow as much as I can, rage against the machine” theory. (I got away with the ‘fro because it grew out and up, not down over my ears or down my back. I was only narcked on once and got a trim. I had very long hair by BYU standards.) In retrospect the ‘stache was probably a mistake.

    I well remember the publication of a “study” on the front page of the universe. There were drawings of a man clean shaven, with a mustache and with a full beard–the same man in each case. The researchers asked kids which was scarier, and the full beard easily took first place, followed by the ‘stache, followed by the clean-shaven face, thus proving that facial hair is inherently pervy.

    Academic rigor at work.

  43. Sam B. you have a point. Still. Of the ones I see in my day-to-day life are not exceptional. They’re creepy. Or belong to a look-alike FARQ leader. Why are they so popular in Latin America? JNS? was this a part of your studies? Many local government leaders love to be mustachioed. (Sam B. one point–great word)

    Mark B. I used to have a boss that was a woman that had a moustache. I couldn’t look at anything else. She would talk to me and I would stare and get nervous. There’s something about them that make me nervous. But who’s responsibility is to tell her to wax? Someone needs to tell her. Shouldn’t a husband care about these things? She was married.

  44. We marginalize cigarettes by calling them cancer sticks or coffin nails. I propose the following names for mustaches, in an effort to make them socially unacceptable:

    1. Porn ‘stache (h.t. to Jim Rome)
    2. Booger broom

  45. Former General Authority Joseph Anderson really bridged the generational divide on facial hair. He was secretary to the First Presidency from 1922 – 1970, and later served as a Seventy (he died in 1992 at the age of 102). He always wore a mustache, beginning back in the day when most of the Apostles and Prophets wore respectable facial hair. But Leonard Arrington’s memoir tells of how Anderson was finally asked to shave his trademark mustache sometime in the 1970s. I don’t have the book at hand, but if you were to research the history of his mustache, it might give you a pretty good idea of when the GAs’ current facial policy evolved.

  46. My grandfather, who had a moustache, called it his “mustn’t touch.”

    As a small child, that just confused me–I didn’t want to touch it anyway.

  47. Heh. I am afraid I failed to find your Facebook group, Sister Blah and Amri. Although, typing in keyword “moustaches” is quite an education in itself (shiver).

  48. meems: ha! try mustaches (different spelling)

  49. #44 – MarkIV, anyone who can reference Jim Rome and porn ‘stache so fluently in the Bloggernacle . . . I’m impressed.

  50. Ray, you’re in the jungle, baby!

  51. Oh, Mark … do you think ‘porn’ makes something socially marginal? Your age is showing…

  52. Wow, I can’t believe this post was even allowed. It is so inflammatory.

  53. #52: “Inflammatory”

    Quick! get a fireman! no wait, if its a man he’ll probably have a mustache and be offended by the subject matter and watch as the BCC burns to the ground. Cheers.

  54. Mark’s suggestion 2 might work. Suggestion 1 would probably be counterproductive.

    The best mustache I remember, hands down, was worn by a sister on my mission. She also had better sideburns than most of the elders. She was from Wyoming.

  55. Mrs. Peacock says:

    My last boss said he would never hire anyone with a moustache!

  56. A quick google check turns up this site:

    http://mustachesofthenineteenthcentury.blogspot.com/

  57. I’m in.

  58. For the record, my current Bishop has a full beard. Keeps it tightly trimmed. It must not be a requirement in my stake, and we don’t let women say sacrament meeting opening prayers (that’s my current barometer for stake-leadership orthodoxy).

  59. What about Super Mario’s mustache? He just wouldn’t be the same without it.

    Luigi does look pervy though.

  60. Rhett Butler. Tom Selleck. All good.

    Wilford Brimley. That’s one hot mustache.

  61. Well, when I was a bishop, I had a mustache, as did four other bishops in our stake. I think it was a generational thing, as were are all about the same age.

    However, we all shaved ours, mostly five or so years ago, for the same reason we grew them in the first place: They made us look older!

    The only facial hair restrictions I know of are BYU honor code, temple workers, FT missionaries, and probably FT seminary teachers. Bishops and stake presidents are not required, and I suspect that for GAs it is more likely one of the Unwritten Order of Things.

    My wife never thought I looked like a perv, but with my graying hair and no cowboy hat, I am pretty sure I look better now. However, there are still pictures of me with my mustache floating around out there in the tubes, somewhere.

  62. Bruce in Montana says:

    Unbelievable.
    Let’s see…Jesus said “…judge not regarding the appearances…”
    Joseph Smith said something very similar.
    What in the world?
    Does anyone have a REASONABLE explanation for why the church would be so disregarding of the Savior’s admonition as to make rules regarding hairstyles?
    Any temple patron that would comment on a brother or sister’s hairstyle should have their recommend jerked. The Lord made it very clear that we were NOT supposed to judge others by apprearances.
    What’s up with you people?

  63. This reminds me of my favorite Real Men of Genius ad:

    http://mustache.ytmnd.com/

    I am not an avocate of drinking Bud Light, but I am an advocate of funny radio commercials.

  64. The real firestorm issue here is:

    Should it be pronounced MUS-tash or mu-STASH?

    I think the second pronounciation is the bigger abomination . . .

  65. I am generally a fan of facial hair, and I’m not picky really. I’ll attribute it to my rural roots (and my general heretical way), but I often find a mustache attractive. I prefer the whole package, the more grizzly adams the better, but a good set of chops or a goatee is also good.

    I’m looking forward to the day when we get back to our BY hairy necked roots. That’s when we’ll know we’re living the true religion again.

  66. re: 16
    My husband’s tremendous mustache potential.

    He just has a lot of facial hair on his upper lip. His beard isn’t that great, tho.
    Although he’s never grown a ‘stache, he could do it very easily. He may look a little creepy, and it would probably make his nose look bigger. Also, it would be yucky to kiss a guy with a mustache.
    I can’t even imagine.

    I do feel sorry for those women with manstaches. I hope that if I get one, someone will tell me.

  67. me too, Jessawhy. My worst fear is to end up with on and not realize it and have no one tell me.

    fMhLisa, I can’t believe you like moustaches (accent on the first syllable). I love Freddy Mercury but look at him. Doesn’t that ‘stache creep you out?

    I do love beards. But you don’t say oh he has a beard and a moustache. You just say beard. I like beards, my husband usually wears one, which is why he’ll never be a GA. Well, that and the fact that he’s not a Mormon but still, I think the beard is the main stumbling block.

  68. Former General Authority Joseph Anderson really bridged the generational divide on facial hair…. Leonard Arrington’s memoir tells of how Anderson was finally asked to shave his trademark mustache sometime in the 1970s. I don’t have the book at hand, but if you were to research the history of his mustache, it might give you a pretty good idea of when the GAs’ current facial policy evolved.

    Good call. Looks like the end of mustache days was 1974. Still, holding out for four years is impressive.

  69. bollocks to moustaches, if mormons really followed the prophets, there would only be one style for the millennium: the neckbeard.

  70. I find that I’m biased towards people with beards.
    A younger guy in our ward with a beard stood up to give a talk in Sacrament meeting. He was wearing a blue shirt with his sleeves rolled up and his hands in his pockets, and he’s in his early twenties.
    So, I was excited that his talk might be interesting, or a little edgy, perhaps.
    Nope. He took out a talk from the Ensign and read the entire thing, word for word, and sat down.
    Such a disappointment.

  71. Ghandi had a moustache.

  72. I just found out that during the civil war (or when?) the moustache was a mark of a soldier. I live in Mennonite country, and lots of men here still wear just a beard with no moustache to show they are pacifists. I’m sitting here trying to mix that with all the comments I’ve read so far.

  73. I was tempted to agree with you Amri, until I started thinking. Which is the pervy/creepy guy in this picture? In a related question, which is the coolest looking guy in this picture? Moustaches rule. QED.

  74. My husband’s favorite t-shirt:

    “Guns don’t kill people. People with Mustaches Kill People”

  75. As an avowed anti-MUStache (note emphasis) person, even I have to concede that Jacob J has a point.

  76. I have never been able to understand all of the administrative angst, ecclesiastical energy, and spiritual judging surrounding the issue of facial hair on men. I had a good Davis County aunt who wouldn’t talk to me when I had a beard, but when I shaved it, suddenly declared, “now I can give you a hug”, as if she were rewarding my conformity with her previously withheld lovings.

    I was at BYU during the infamous facial hair coverup–so to speak. The Student Directory had commissioned a painting of Maeser for its cover. Well, the artist painted him as he appeared as president of BYU–with a distinguished Heber J. Grantish beard. The school made the artist paint over the beard and make him cleanshaven. No one would have even noticed or cared except that the BYU spokeperson was so incompetent as to think that this was actually a good way to show how BYU cares about its image and the messages that young impressionable twenty-somethings might receive and openly revealed it in a Daily Universe article promoting the directory.

    Needless to say, it blew up in their faces like a van dyke in a convertible (I tried), because it was representative of the kind of overdone nannying that the administration seems obligated to provide for its youngsters.

    For decades beginning in the 1920’s or earlier, BYU had an official beard-growing contest for Homecoming festivities that was only stopped late in the 1960’s because of Wilkinson’s obsession with hair. Another funny story: in the 1920’s a General Authority speaking to students assembled at BYU, complained about the trend of young men to go cleanshaven. Outrageous!

    Why do we find the need to associate clearly culturally-constructed norms with gospel dogma and general celestialness? And then good people spend their energy trying to justify or apologize for these “policies” or positions, or suggestions, or whatever, sometimes long after the cultrual threat as moved on.

    It just lays more stress on people as they try to find and live God’s Will, adds to the burden that Christ promises will be lifted, and undermines our theology on God’s unconditional forgiving love. I have enough things to worry about as I “step up to the plate”.

  77. This otherwise decent site has hit a NEW LOW. Do you realize that mustaches are not what is so disturbing in the Church, but people who celebrate all that is petty by being petty for days and days.
    What are we teaching our kids here, or eachother for that matter…to snicker at every muchashed man on the planet from now on?

    GROW UP PEOPLE!!!! Most of you are over 30. Get a grip while you can.

  78. Steve Evans says:

    What are we teaching our kids here, or eachother for that matter…to snicker at every muchashed man on the planet from now on?

    I snicker at every muchashed man I see. I may grow a muchash to get more snickers.

  79. I love facial hair. On men. Keep it combed.

  80. Oh, and I had thought Steve might have posted my note to him earlier.

    The ultimate indicator of how strongly some at church headquarters feel about this serious, serious, serious issue is this: I couldn’t open this post until I got home. The phrase “facial hair” triggered the FORBIDDEN SITE internet filter at the church history library.

    What more support could amri possibly hope to have?

  81. So, where’s the Facebook group?

  82. My dad wears a mustache. I wouldn’t recognize him without it. He’s gone clean shaven maybe twice in my life (that I remember), and he’s been in a bishopric, a branch presidency, on the high council and, yes, even a temple worker.

    With the ‘stache.

    Mustaches don’t bother me, but I’ve been told my dad is rather intimidating. Maybe that’s a nice way of saying “creepy,” but I’d rather not think of that.

  83. I snicker at every muchashed man I see. I may grow a muchash to get more snickers.

    Sure, but how much ash do you have to have on your face, before you are much ashed? I mean, does a bit of campfire ember drift do it? Or are you only talking about the classic, “put a blasting cap on the driveway and hit it with a hammer” much ashed look, with no eyebrows?

  84. homer, could you point me to any place that has documented some of those byu beard-growing shenanigans?

  85. #77

    This otherwise decent site has hit a NEW LOW…
    What are we teaching our kids here, or eachother for that matter…to snicker at every muchashed man on the planet from now on?

    GROW UP PEOPLE!!!! Most of you are over 30. Get a grip while you can.

    You may be right, how dare we condemn the mustache when there are much greater offences out there! Like the rattail.

  86. I am not advocating some crazy hippieish beard-growin’ love-in at the ward house. I know some people are treating this comment thread rather lightly. But when you have roving bands of beard enforcers in Afghanistan whipping people who dare to shave and when you view the recent fashion coming out party of the FLDS “look”, it’s a little unnerving to see how easy it is to go from matters of faith to social coercion of the first degree.

    Any faith or religion has tremendous potential to shape, change, or even proscribe how we live, indeed, that’s one its selling points. But it also has tremendous potential for abuse with both social pressures and authoritarian tendencies leading to control of people’s lives even beyond the personal choices people make in living their own lives. Choosing how to live my life by my own moral agency and free will as I choose to align my will with god’s compared with living my life according to gentrified policy and culturally-generated institutional control draws a sharp contrast in my mind.

    Once the mechanisms for grand social control are in place, even if it’s a simple whipping, moving on from beards to more “serious” aspects of living my life seem both inevitable and possible. It’s still about freedom to choose and personal liberty, even as we snicker at the current cheesy perception of mustaches.

  87. “I know some people are treating this comment thread rather lightly.”

    Crap! I have to check my humor-meter. I thought all the comments were serious. Now I have to erase everything I took from this thread and re-read the entire thing looking for humor.

  88. Save yourself the trouble of scanning MY comments for humor, Ray. I was deadly, deadly, deadly serious. And condemnatory. Absolutely. Yeah.

  89. Right on #86. And those who choose to not see it do so to their own detriment. And those of you who claim to have done this all in fun, had that fun with a distinctive aire of seriousness. And at the risk of being perceived as a troll, may I also mention the complete disregard for human respect to assume a man as a molester for the choice of his facial hair. Just to remind you, entire races have nearly been wiped of the map for idiosyncrasies such as an “unseemly” aspect/s of their personal attire.

    (I know, I know, we are just talking about mustaches. How dare I put a mirror to it. I get it. I’m being ridiculous. But do YOU get it?)

  90. Steve Evans says:

    JZ: I get it. I’m being ridiculous. But do YOU get it?

    Yes. Yes I do.

  91. Whatever Steve. You are better than this.

  92. “Mattingly! I told you to shave those sideburns! You’re off the team!” – Mr. Burns

    “Look, Mr. Burns. I don’t know what you think sideburns are, but…” -Mattingly

  93. Am I the only wife here who finds her husband’s mustache to be highly, ah, useful and perhaps, dare I say it, nifty during certain, ah, intimacies?

    (Of course, it could be the rest of the goatee that goes with it.)

    Just a thought, ladies…

  94. Based on photographic evidence, my DH’s mustache is totally a perve ‘stache. It changes the look completely (he looks cool) when he adds a goatee.

  95. Remember that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry tries to break up with his girlfriend by suggesting an orgy? And she’s “into it”?

    GEORGE: You’re not going to do it?! What do you mean, you’re not going to do it?!

    JERRY: I can’t! I’m not an orgy guy!

    GEORGE: Are you crazy? This is like discovering Plutonium . . . by accident!!

    JERRY: Don’t you know what it means to become an orgy guy? It changes everything! I’d have to dress different. I’d have to act different. I’d have to grow a mustache and get all kinds of robes and lotions and I’d need a new bedspread and new curtains! I’d have to get thick carpeting and weirdo lighting! I’d have to get new friends! I’d have to get orgy friends. Naw, I’m not ready for it!

  96. I haven’t read the comments, but I will say that I semi-agree. Except for old people with gray or whit hair. At that point, mustaches seem seem to lose their creepy look and become distinguished.

  97. Steve Evans says:

    Amri, Rusty has demolished your little pet theory here. Sorry to rain on your parade.

  98. But does Rusty have a facebook group to back up his assertion?? I fail to see how a viewpoint can be valid if it doesn’t have an associated facebook group.

  99. Ninety-nine comments by people concerned with the mustache, now that is creepy and maybe even insane. There has to be more important topics to discuss than facial hair. If this a satirical blog that is over my head?

  100. If this a satirical blog that is over my head?

    Or under your nose…

  101. Okay, this is one of those things I just never got about our church, with how obsessed it’s members are about appearance. Yes, I know this is all in jest, but totally founded on the fact that many are actually crazy enough to freak out over something trivial like facial hair. While I don’t usually like to grow facial hair (it just itches too much and is annoying to manage). Although all I have to do is just not shave for a week to get a full beard, so I can just choose to have the 2 week one just for fun, and get rid of it.

    On a similar note, I remember growing up having a bishop who obsessed about not letting anyone in the ward wear cartoon ties. He was a really nice guy, but for some reason became someone entirely different if he saw a cartoon tie on someone. He would even bring extra ties and go hand them out to members who brought them. Who knew it was a sin to wear a bugs bunny tie? :)

  102. But, gregeth, Mickey leads to Bugs leads to Daffy . . . and soon you are wearing a Tasmanian DEVIL!

  103. Cartoon ties are stupid. That bishop was an inspired man of God.

  104. No way I’m joining that Facebook group. One might expect that I’d have something to say on this one, but I am speechless.

    re: 100
    Not really creepy, Ogan, but a little crazy for sure. Or maybe just peculiar?

    Clearly the moustache is incompatible with following The Lord. Isn’t that self-evident?

  105. To #84 jp beahm,

    In regards to sources of BYU beard-growing shenanigans: Consult this website containing the text of “Brigham Young University: A House of Faith” by Gary James Bergera and Ronald Priddis

    Salt Lake City, Utah
    © 1985 by Signature Books.

    website: http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/byu/chapter3.htm#honor

    This is a very interesting book that helps put my own interesting and sometimes odd experiences at BYU into a larger context. They use primary sources from BYU Archives among other sources such as oral histories and professor communications. Reading it again, I was amazed to think they wrote this in the 1980’s, but twenty some years later, BYU still deals with some of the same unique issues and its one-of-a-kind school culture. Refer to section 3 – Standards & the Honor Code

    This is the bibliographic notation from the book for the information about the beard-growing contests and cultural attitudes about clean-shaven men in the 1920′ and 1930’s:

    33. Pardoe, Sons of Brigham, p. 196; “Taylored Topics,” YN, 4 Nov. 1930; “Senior Men Developing Plans,” YN, 13 May 1925; “Whisker Contest is Magnificent,” YN, 19 March 1929; “Juniors Chisel on Reserved Tradition,” YN, 15 Feb. 1935. For other references to beard growing contest, see YN, 16 May 1930, 17 March 1933, 2 March 1934, 26 Feb. 1937, 4 March 1938, 24 Feb. 1939, 9 Feb. 1940, 7 March 1941, 13 March 1942, 11 March 1943, 10 May 1945, 2 May 1946, 12 March 1947; and DU, 31 March 1949, 2 Feb. 1951, 13 May 1952, 24 March 1953, 7 May 1956, 12 April 1957, 1 May 1958, 25 April 1962, and 3 May 1964.

    YN refers to the Y News, an early student newspaper.

    I’m sorry I couldn’t recall where I heard or read the bit about the GA complaining about those rebellious clean-shaven men. It’s been a long time since I picked that up.

  106. BTW, my wife hated my moustache before we got married, but loved me enough to just let it go. I shaved it off a few months after we got married. She still shakes her head at our wedding photos, but I still appreciate the fact that she didn’t crush the manhood of a young rookie at relationships and try to recreate me or control me. She didn’t make something so insignificant as a moustache become the deal-breaker of our lives together. Looking back, I wasn’t evil or pervy or a molester, I was just a punk kid figuring out how to grow up and find myself–and she still loved me, for me. Life’s a journey.

  107. This thread has galvanized me. Next testimony meeting I’m calling all mustachioed men and women to repentance. For it is not that which goeth into the mouth defileth him; but that which groweth over the mouth, this defileth a man!

    For the 20 years my wife and I have been married I always had either a beard or, as lately, a closely-trimmed goatee. Last year I had to shave it off to get my veil worker recommend, afterwhich the Mrs. said, “Grow it back! Grow it back!” And you know, I’ve never been turned away by a temple worker because of it. I wonder if having just a moustache would prompt a more punitive response, a casting out.

    When I was at the U. of U. a lot of the guys were taking turns attempting the Sonny Crockett three-day growth look. I feel sorry for those who didn’t experience that rite of passage at BYU.

  108. I love my husband’s stache, but I admit that when I was a member I was very suspicious of differences, and also found mustachioed men creepy. All the perverts and child molesters I know of personally are cleanshaven LDS men. I met or heard of most of them through the church and Social Services over the last 20 years. A roommate’s bishop dad. An old home teacher. I know this post and the ensuing comments were meant to be in good fun, but good grief! Like any other adornment, mustaches can be attractive on the right facial shape or can suit the right personality. Not all men with hairy upper lips are secretly diddling little kids or planning to rape you.

  109. I have had facial hair most of my adult life, as has my brother. I almost always wear a full beard or a goatee. I NEVER just wear a moustache. Ugh.

    I do not like going clean shaven. I believe to this day that I would have gotten a job that I interviewed for if I hadn’t shaven before going. I felt unnatural and looked young. Had I gone with my beard I would have looked more mature and felt more comfortable. I think I would have gotten the job.

    I’ve never gotten an adequate explanation as to why beards and facial hair are discouraged, and I have never felt that there is any reasonable explanation for it.

    My wife, who never like facial hair on men, hates it when I shave. My brother who, unlike me, has a skin sensitivity cannot shave. If he wanted to become a temple worker, then would they ask him to? Or would they allow they exception because of his condition?

    A true story. A brother in a past ward of mine was called as stake patriarch. He had always worn a beard. The person issuing the call asked him if he would shave, and he responded, “I’ll take it up with the Lord, and if He wants me to shave, I will”. He wore the beard for about a year and a half, then felt like he should shave it off (I think I have the time-line right). But he came to the conclusion on his own, and he felt it was inspiration, not church direction. He didn’t say what the reason for shaving might be, but he did say he didn’t really miss it.

  110. It depends on the face. Some people just can’t do ‘staches. The men in my family, however, seem to be able to pull it off quite well.

  111. FWIW, an excerpt from a Church News article on a church leader in Mexico:

    “[Name redacted] was called as regional representative in 1977. In 1980, he traveled to Salt Lake City to general conference and attended a solemn assembly in the Salt Lake Temple.

    “‘At this time, I had a large mustache,’ he recalled. ‘I cut it all off before attending the solemn assembly. When I arrived at the temple, President [Spencer W.] Kimball gave me a hug, like a father to a son. Afterwards he said, ‘That’s for not having a mustache.’ I have never grown one since.'”

    Thomas S. Monson relates an experience of his in Germany in the early 1980s:

    “We appointed as president of the new stake [name redacted….[H]is second counselor is [name redacted].

    Several interesting experiences occurred as these brethren were appointed. [The second counselor] had a mustache, which I felt should be trimmed if he were to retain it. I told [a German church leader] that it would be best if we didn’t make a major issue of it. He said he would take care of it. I even suggested that he wait a week or two before bringing it up. Fifteen minutes later he returned and said, ‘[The second counselor] will have no mustache tomorrow. He wants to be like others of the brethren.'”

  112. Given my own experiences with the German Saints I can just imagine how that brother was “asked” to become clean shaven.

    As for myself I have had a mustache and/or goatee and/or full beard since coming off active duty with the Navy back in ’87. I have served in multiple callings, including teaching early early morning seminary (that is not an error, the early early met at 5:05 a.m.). Not once have I been “asked” or otherwise received the suggestion facial hair should be removed.

    If anything, I agree with the earlier remark (#62) about the issue of facial hair ignoring the example of the Savior in judging others on their outward appearance. In that regard a fellow member of my ward, retired Marine Corps who keeps his hair cropped short, shared with me an experience he had at this Summer’s scout camp.

    As he put it, one of the camp leaders had a long pony tail and mustache. He stood out like a sore thumb compared to the other camp staff members, most of whom were ex-military. My friend proceeded to make comments about him and how could they stand having that “hippie” amongst them.
    After a couple of days they were all sitting at breakfast and sharing tales of their days in the Service, the “hippie” making comments about one of the aircraft cruisers which was stationed in the Gulf during Desert Storm. After he got done, one of the other staff members asked him to give some background since everyone really didn’t know how it came to be that he had such knowledge of my details, i.e., my friend.
    In short, the “hippie” had been career Navy and was the battle group commander for the strike force stationed in the Gulf, that particular aircraft carrier having been his command post during that war. When he retired, his wife said he no longer had to follow orders about the length of his hair and if he wanted to let it grow out, that was his right.
    Needless to say, my friend felt about two iches after that. As he put it, he apologized and asked if there was anything he could do. He wound up getting the guy’s coffee every morning thereafter…

    The reality is that even when we kid about facial hair, we give substance to one’s thinking we can judge someone by their outward appearance. And how truly wrong that is should be clear….

  113. I wonder sometimes if the facial hair issue is overplayed in the bloggernaccle. I am pretty sure that I could grow a goatee and shave my head and still get asked to serve in a variety of capacities here locally. Facial hair abounds here in my stake and ward. Maybe I should do a BBELL facial hair experiment to see if I am right.

  114. Steve Evans says:

    Amri, I bought you a birthday cake. Sorry they got your name wrong.

  115. Jim Donaldson says:

    Facial hair abounds here in my stake and ward. Maybe I should do a BBELL facial hair experiment to see if I am right.

    Actually, I think this is one of the places where the church is not the same all over. If you live in an area which is not dripping with an abundance of priesthood leadership and every warm body is necessary to staff the ward, you can’t afford to let facial hair disqualify any otherwise righteous valuable contributing member from any position. You could easily prove that in our ward. We’ve had very hairy and tattoo’d elders quorum presidents and bishopric counselors. It is also true that in the larger glossier more homogeneous wards at the suburban end of our stake, the result would be far different. The people look just as different as their cars (and scooters, in our case) in the parking lot.

  116. Mark IV #5 & #44 made me laugh so hard I woke up the baby.

    I do support the removal of unwanted facial hair for women (I shave my ‘stache weekly)–is there a facebook for this?

    I have a few points about men and facial hair:

    1. Moustaches = perv
    2. Soul patch = wish I could grown a beard but all I can grow is this pathetic spot
    3. goatees = does this make me look tough, scary, bad@ss? (no, no and no)

    I LOVE the full beard & moustache look on SOME men (well trimmed, not long like Santa’s). My DH went to scout camp for 2 weeks about a year after we were married and came back with a full beard. Made me weak in the knees he looked so secsy. I noticed another youngish man in my ward on Sunday with a nicely trimmed beard/moustache. Looked very handsome. Some men just have the face (and the ability to grow hair) to pull this look off. The rest should just shave.

  117. #115 – Nice, Steve. I’m going to give that cake to my wife on her birthday.

  118. Steve! Wow. way to give a girl nightmares on her birthday. That cake will haunt me for the rest of my life. I have heard however that e-m-m-a is an alternate spelling for amri, so don’t feel bad on that account.

    bbell experiment for sure. in fact, grow the full beard, grow out your hair and then ask if you can be the bishop.

  119. I wonder sometimes if the facial hair issue is overplayed in the bloggernaccle.

    Not where I come from. A few years ago the bishop called every last facial hair-wearing brother into his office and invited them all to shave. They didn’t get called to the bishopric or get a new calling at all, they were just asked to shave. And most did. I have to say, it’s still disconcerting to return home for the holidays and see some of them bare-faced after a lifetime of seeing them covered up. I would add that most of these guys were middle-aged mustache wearers, the ones that did their home teaching every month, not the goatee-sporting chumps just off their missions.

  120. #116,

    I do live in an area that abounds with PH. There is just a lot of facial hair in my ward historically in leadership positions.

  121. Ponty Ficator says:

    I think the aversion to mustaches in the Church has a real, but unfortunate, correlation to the Church’s fear of gay people.

    In the ’70s, Church leaders railed against mustaches when mustaches and earrings were popular in gay men. Today, they rail against earrings. Coincidink? I think not.

    Mustache wearers are not pervy. People who think so are creepy (and are probably pervy, too).

  122. I always find discussions about facial hair humorous at best. But thought this site did the best job on explaining our religious views when it comes to hair on the face

    http://whatmormonslike.blogspot.com/2008/06/mormons-like-facial-hair.html

  123. All of you mockers of the mustache, just don’t be surprized when your kids act just like you and treat thier friends in a mean and un-Christlike way.

    (Oh, pardon me. The adage that “Mean people breed little mean people” is so obvious that we can consider it cliche.)I wonder if you all have heard it.

    But happy scorning, or whatever you call it.
    And if you think I am being just a jerk by dampering your little 7th grade party, it is my pleasure. The “good active people of The Church,” such as yourselves, are just a little too ignorant of your own behaviour for my comfort. I don’t care what lame excuse of “just having a little fun online” you put to it. YOU are missionaries. YOU are the Church. People in an out of the Church read this blog. Get a grip people.

  124. As odd as this sounds, I missed the discussion, and didn’t read many of the comments, but I am a freshman here at BYU and I have noticed how a few people have mustaches. I dislike them. They make me nervous. I actually didn’t know they were not against the honor code. Maybe I was just clueless.

  125. All women over age 40 who color their hair are raging lesbians! It’s true! So, down with Pantine! Down with Loreal! Let’s round ‘em all up, tie ‘em to the flagpole, and light ‘em up like birthday candles! Let’s do it for God and Mormonism! Don’t forget America and the flag! Betsy Ross! Wig companies! The environment! Raah! Raah! Raah! Sis Boom bah!

  126. “All women over age 40 who color their hair are raging lesbians!”

    Really? Well then I have to agree with the rest of your comment.

  127. I knew you would. ;I

  128. Raging lesbians? Does that mean they’re really really mad or that they are good at recruiting or that they have lots and lots of sex?

    What if I color my hair before I’m 40 and then continue dying my hair afterwards, will I turn into said raging lesbian? If so, my husband will be very interested to know that.

    JZ, clearly you and I think different things are funny (though I do think everything you have said on this thread is funny), but maybe you have a moustache and I hurt your feelings, for which I am sorry.

    And I am a missionary, but I only try to convert people that think I’m funny. You can take care of the rest. You should start a blog. Write about how you accept people, moustaches or no.

  129. Mommie Dearest says:

    I don’t have time to read every comment on a lite post such as this. I have enjoyed the banter, although, as a child of the 70’s I think the whole issue has more to do with generational tastes than true marks of character (or lack thereof.) All the youngsters, in general, seem to think that moustaches = pervs and us boomer fogies think of Tom Selleck.

    I got a chuckle out of seeing the self-appointed blog police posting about judgementalism and breeding mean children and whatnot, even in threadjacks on other posts. Personally, I think the most efficient way to make the contrary point is this.

  130. M.D., you color your hair don’t you. ADMIT IT!!!!!!!

  131. Mommie Dearest says:

    Yeah I do, every 4 weeks. Till I’m a bona fide grandma at least. I’m not a raging lesbian though. I’m not a raging anything. I think I need a sense-of-humor transplant however, because I totally didn’t get the point of that raging lesbians on Clairol post.

  132. Tom Selleck of Magnum P.I. is more man than any modern-day pencil-thighed, droopy-eyed, shaved-cat movie star. If more men would aspire to Magnum’s brand of no-shame manhood, the world would be a better place.

  133. Amri, I really really do like a moouustache, really. I really do love facial hair. in fact my great ambition in life is to be married to Santa. And in another decade or so it’s gonna come true! Dh is still in the salt and pepper stage, but Santa is in my future. Maybe I’ll even talk him into Cowboy Santa with just a ‘stache and red hat. And I do me just.

  134. I haven’t read through all the comments here, but I think that what some of you are clearly missing is that MUSTACHE WEARING IS A CHOICE! People are not born with it, and even if they were they could still choose not to wear it. It is the church’s right to discriminate against certain choices which it finds morally offensive. Can you imagine the world where people were forced to be around mustache-wearing people?, or even where we had to perform marriages for those creepsters? Personally, I say love the sinner, but hate the sin.

  135. Mustaches are totally creepy.

    When I was in high school my dad sold cars for a little while. The car dealership told him he had to shave his full beard (that he had worn for as long as I could remember), but that a mustache was A-OK. He looked so slimey all of a sudden. I do not understand why mustaches are the preferred mode of facial hair.

  136. Oh, man, I love this post.

  137. For my money, you can’t beat the George Albert Smith look. if one must have facial hair.

  138. Brigham had a beard.
    John Taylor rocked the neck beard.
    George Albert did the goatee.
    Let’s get back to the good ole days of facial hair diversity!

  139. Ok, you must check out this goodness.

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