Movember and the Meaning of a Mustache

    Colorado College hockey player Andrew Farny joins a historic facial-hair fraternity and trains to reclaim Movember glory - all for a good cause.

    andrew farny movember mustache
    Andrew Farny, NCHC 'Stache Champ. Photo courtesy Colorado College Hockey.

    mustache noun: An icon representing the epitome of virility and sophistication. Resting on the throne of the upper lip, it is a beacon of achievement to all who are graced by its presence.

    Cowboy, Dali, Pencil, Walrus, and Fu Manchu are all monikers for various styles.

    Both mustache and moustache are correct spellings. Mustache is common in the U.S. Moustache is used in other English-speaking countries. Mo is the Australian-English diminutive.

    In the modern era, the mustache was prominent in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the mouth-mane also had a renaissance in the 1970s and ’80s. There are many heroic legends of this facial fashion, including Friedrich Nietzsche, Wyatt Earp, Freddie Mercury, Burt Reynolds, Mike Ditka, Sam Elliott and Wilford Brimley.

    The most legendary lipholstery in popular culture is, of course, Tom Selleck’s. Known for the original Magnum P.I.—arguably the greatest television series of all-time—Selleck championed the Chevron mustache.

    A hundred years prior, a dentist-turned-outlaw wore a mustache that has become a part of facial hair folklore: Doc Holliday wore a variation of the Van Dyke, aka the Musketeer. Holliday and his mustache lived their final years in Colorado, and were laid to rest in a Glenwood Springs cemetery. The exact location is unknown, to ensure his mustache was left undisturbed by baby-faced grave robbers.

    Donning a mustache still remains a formidable statement, one that receives nods of appreciation from other members of the follicle fraternity. These gestures are quiet cues with no words spoken, just silent, knowing nods exchanged as subtle recognition of respect for upper lip luxury.

    Sometimes the stache-ebration is much more public, particularly during the mustachioed month of Movember. This new month replaced the inferior, and rather forgettable, November. Recognition began in Australia in 2003 with two mates recruiting 30 Mo Bros to organically adorn their upper lips. The growdown quickly evolved into a formal fundraiser to combat prostate cancer, and the movement has subsequently raised millions of dollars worldwide for men’s health issues, including depression and suicide.

    Andrew Farny. Photo Courtesy of Colorado College Hockey

    The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) has gotten on board and is entering its sixth year hosting a fan vote for the Best NCHC Player Movember Mustache. Colorado College senior defenseman Andrew Farny is a two-time NCHC winner for best mustache—making him eligible for canonization into stachehood. Springs caught up with Farny on the eve of 2018’s Movember to talk champion lip sweaters and his strategy to reclaim his place as hair-apparent.

    Springs: You’re a two-time champion of NCHC’s Movember competition, but no three-peat. What happened?
    Andrew Farny: Unfortunately, my reign came to an end last season; I lost by only a few votes. It was a disappointing loss [because] my mustache was better. I’ve had time off-season though—grooming, pampering, styling, researching and visualizing.

    Tell us about your mustache pilgrimage.
    My high school didn’t allow facial hair. My first year participating in Movember, I kept it simple with the Horseshoe and Handlebar. The next year, I stepped up my game. It’s entertaining to go in public with unusual designs and watch people do double takes or try to sneak a picture. I now incorporate as many styles into the month as I can. I start with one that [requires] more hair.… I will have it for a week and then move on, ending with a Chevron.

    Farny. Photo Courtesy of Colorado College.

    What do you think a mustache signifies?
    Each [carries] its own significance … and means something different to everyone. I relate a Horseshoe to a guy who isn’t afraid to work 16-hours … and if something breaks, you can count on him to fix it. The Handlebar is worn by someone who knows a little about everything—and possibly cares too much about appearance. But they’re proud of that and own it: “Yes, this takes effort to maintain, but it looks damn good.” The Chevron is a clean mustache that represents an outdoor lifestyle—simple … rugged.

    Why do you participate in Movember?
    It raises awareness of prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health in a fun and unordinary way. It’s a good cause and simple to participate in…it would be crazy not to.

    Elaborate on fun and unordinary.
    All year people are worried about their appearance and whether their image appeals to commonly accepted norms. Movember is when I can look ridiculous. I’ll run into strangers who think I’ve dedicated my life to this bizarre style of facial hair … growing it and [manicuring] it for years, and they’ll compliment me for my commitment.


    Get in the Know and Grow

    Photo Courtesy of the Movember Foundation

    Watch for voting for the Best NCHC Player Movember Mustache of 2018 to take place during the last week of November at nchchockey.com.

    Support the NCHC Officials in their Movember fundraising here.

    Find out how to grow your own mo’ for a good cause at the Movember Foundation: us.movember.com

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