Handlebar Moustache Survey by Gary Joseph Cohen of Manhattan - Handlebar Moustache Life Handlebar Moustache Survey by Gary Joseph Cohen of Manhattan - Handlebar Moustache Life
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Handlebar Moustache Survey by Gary Joseph Cohen of Manhattan

Please welcome Gary Joseph Cohen!

1. How long have you had a handlebar moustache, and what is your history with moustaches?:

I’ve been cultivating my handlebar moustache for about 3 months. I’ve had moustaches and beards in the past.

2. What moved you to grow a handlebar moustache? Do any relatives or ancestors have handlebar moustaches?:

I recently found a photograph of my Italian great-grandfather sporting a rather prodigious handlebar. While I was recovering from surgery, there was little I could do but grow my whiskers, and voila.

Click to ENLARGE

Click to ENLARGE

3. What are some of the reactions of others as you grew your handlebar moustache? What sort of reactions or comments did you get initially from your significant other?:

Mostly favorable, from strangers, friends and family alike. I don’t have a significant other at the moment, but I’ll let you know when it happens.

I’ve also encountered more and more people stopping me to take my photo. That’s a bit of a reversal for me, as a documentary photographer myself.

4. What are some of the funny or strange comments others have made about your handlebar moustache over time?:

More than once: “Can I touch it?”

5. Has having a handlebar moustache had any effects on your personality/behavior, attitude, self-expression, sense of self?:

The image I see in the mirror these days is much more in synch with my inner architecture and character. I suppose for that alone it’s given me more reason to be confident.

6. What is it in your personality that drew you to growing a handlebar moustache?:

I’m resiliently displaced in time.

7. Have you been in any moustache contests or attended any such gatherings?:


8. It takes courage to wear a handlebar moustache. What would you say to those who think you look odd, silly or stupid with it?:

Those who often criticize don’t have the confidence to do. End of thought on that matter.

9. What waxes, styling aids or glues to you prefer and why?:

Firehouse. Williamsburg Wax.

10. What do you think a handlebar moustache does for a man?:

It’s a marker, for certain. It’s meant to be seen, meant to be stared at, meant to elicit intrigue or disdain. The man that’s comfortable sporting that is no stranger to being an outcast, a wrong-cast, and/or a castaway. And it shows he’s willing to embrace those experiences as qualities rather than flaws.

11. How attached are you to your handlebar moustache and what would it take for you to cut it off or remove the curls and not grow it back?:

Very attached. I don’t want to consider removing it at this point. But never say never.

12. Have you accumulated any moustached merchandise, shirts, mugs or other stuff?:

Only waxes.

13. Can you recommend some other moustache web sites?:

Not at the moment.

14. All about color: How closely does your moustache match the color of the hair on your head? How many colors are in your moustache? Do you like its color? Have you ever dyed it?:

Not at all. My moustache is ginger, and my hair, what’s left of it, is chestnut brown.  I do like the color. Never dyed.

15. What would you like to see on handlebarmoustachelife.com?:

Perhaps a gallery of historical items related to the grooming, maintenance, and culture of the moustache. A “mouseum”?

16. How has having a handlebar moustache affected your love life, dating, and does it interfere with kissing?:

Hasn’t stopped being kissed. That’s a good sign.

17. What do you do for a living and what impact do you think your handlebar moustache has with customers, coworkers and superiors?:

I teach, and I’m also a photographer and writer. I suppose the stache burns a long-lasting image in the minds of the people I’ve had the good fortune to work and learn alongside.

18. Does your handlebar moustache give you any superpowers?:

It picks up shortwave frequencies.

19. Eating – neatly – can be a challenge with a larger moustache. Do you have any eating tips, or stories to share? Have you been tempted to remove the HB due to eating issues?:

Feeding tube.

20. Have you ever styled your mustache in a comical manner or specifically for a Halloween costume?:


21. Please suggest a question you would like to see in this survey, and add your answer to it as well:

“How would you prefer to memorialize your moustache once you’re gone?”

I’d like to see mine cast in bronze and distributed randomly around New York City.

22. Would you share your location and / or your age?:

Manhattan. 42

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