Handlebar Moustache Survey by Italian John of SF
Answers From Italian John
1. How long have you had a handlebar moustache, and what is your history with moustaches?
My current handlebar is about 3 months old. I grew a full beard for a production of “Fiddler on the Roof”, and then grew the handlebars out for a role in a local production of the musical “Ragtime”. This is by no means my first handlebar. As a singer and actor I’ve worn facial hair of all kinds, both real and artificial, since the age of 18. I’m 44 now, generally wear a full beard or just a mustache, and I grow a handlebar every so often. I’ll keep it anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. Then something will happen and I’ll have to shave for a role, but then I almost always start re-growing at least a mustache. I’m a big fan of the mustache-only look, especially if the stache is well groomed and sizeable..
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2. What moved you to grow a handlebar moustache?
I love the look of a fine handlebar. It is a throwback to another time, and makes a man look both masculine and fancy. I’ll come right out and say it: handlebars are sexy. It also has to do with the fact that I’m a longtime pipe and cigar enthusiast, and there is just something about the combination of a pipe/cigar with a handlebar that looks amazing to me. Very classic.
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?
My ex (note the ex-ness) used to call me Mr. Curly Mustache, or just “Curly”, which he knew I hated. Pretty much everyone else in the world is either neutral or complimentary. Especially the ladies, which is hilarious because I am gay. But, I do enjoy a good flirt, so what’s the harm? My partner (with whom I plan to spend the rest of my life) is a big fan of the handlebar, and thinks it’s handsome and sexy. He’s a keeper!
4. What are some of the funny or strange comments others have made about your handlebar moustache over time?
I used to work at a school, and one little Kindergarten boy ran up to me as I walked to my office, and blurted out: “You have a mustache! You scare me!” But, he was laughing and acting goofy and then continued running around, so I don’t think I actually scared him.
I’ve also had people tell me I look like a Barkeep from a Western, or start speaking to me in a Super Mario Brothers accent, which is kind of funny to me.
5. Has having a handlebar moustache had any effects on your personality/behavior, attitude, self-expression, sense of self?
That’s a chicken-egg sort of question. I think that it takes some self-confidence to carry off a handlebar. And, then the handlebar also enhances that same confidence. So, I don’t think the mustache changes my personality. Rather, it reflects it.
6. What is it in your personality that drew you to growing a handlebar moustache?
I think it’s my love of old-fashioned trappings of masculinity combined with the fact that having a handlebar is a really fun way of expressing my creativity and love of life. I don’t like fading into the background. I don’t always have to be center-stage, but I do want to be in the scene.
7. Have you been in any moustache contests or attended any such gatherings?
No, but it would be fun to go sometime.
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?
I’ve never really had that experience (aside from Mister Ex), but I would probably ask the person why they think that, and why they felt the need to tell me.
9. What waxes, styling aids or glues to you prefer and why?
I love Oregon Wild Hair Moustache Wax, though I am considering trying Firehouse, since there is so much praise for it across the Stacheverse.
10. What do you think a handlebar moustache does for a man?
A handlebar mustache (yes, I prefer that spelling) gives a man a dignified, masculine look. It says to the world “this is me, creative, powerful and confident”.
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?
I truly love having a handlebar and would wear one all the time, but I do typically have to shave sometimes. Other times I just get bored of having facial hair, and go clean-shaven for a while. I’d never agree not to grow it back.
12. Have you accumulated any moustached merchandise, shirts, mugs or other stuff? Include web site addresses if you have them so others can take a look.
A friend sent me some cute Moustache paper clips, but they were a gift, so I don’t know where he got them.
13. Can you recommend some moustache web sites if you know any worth mentioning?
This one, and the Beard Community Bulletin Board. There is also the Hidden Lips Moustache Club on Facebook.
14. Have you participated in online events like Moustache May, Movember or others, and what was that like?
My company did this once and I shaved and grew a stache for the event, but I didn’t get to attend the final contest. It was a fun event, though, and a lot of guys grew mustaches for it.
15. What would you like to see on handlebarmoustachelife.com?
I’d like to see more user pictures, and perhaps some affinity groups around music, theater, books, movies, cigars/pipes, that sort of thing.
16. Can you list here some links to online photos of your moustache I can use for this survey if published, or if you don’t have pics online, may I email you so you can send me what you would like to share?
Here is my very outdated Blogger Blog:
I’m also on Tumblr as Pipebearjr
17. How has having a handlebar moustache affected your love life, and does it interfere with the act of kissing?
It enhances both my love life and the act of kissing! My partner loves kissing me. He has a full beard, but no handlebar. I think it’s fun for social kissing too. It tickles when you kiss someone on the cheek with a handlebar.
18. Does your handlebar moustache give you any superpowers?
19. Would you share your location?
San Francisco, CA
20. Please suggest a question you would like to see in this survey, and add your answer to it as well
Since it seems a high percentage of handlebar or big-mustache wearers are interested in pipe or cigar smoking, I’d love to see a question that asks if a user is either a current or past pipe/cigar enthusiast.
Bonus Question by Josh: “Have you ever styled your mustache in a comical manner or specifically for a Halloween costume?”
I have! It wasn’t a comical style, but I waxed up the curls last Halloween, donned a top hat and a Mourning Coat, grabbed a walking stick, fired up a big, fat cigar and went as a member of The 1%. It was a big hit!
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