The moustache: that little strip of hair above a man’s (or the occasional woman’s) top lip. How much power does such a small thing hold? Quite a bit, would be the answer of district chief of police Mayank Jain. He believes the whiskers on your face are directly proportional to the amount of respect you will receive – a quality obviously quite important to the police force of Jhabua, a district in Madhya Pradesh, India.
The police chief visibly noticed an increase in deference and pleasantry towards a number of constables sporting moustaches at a seminar, and after deciding the men in his police force could do with a little more reverence while on the job, has given them an incentive. The men who are following the lead and growing moustaches are receiving an extra 30 rupees a month for their efforts, as well as “acquiring auras of their own (and) creating a positive impression on the local people”. Jain is taking this endeavor rather seriously, and keeping watch on the grooming process to ensure that the cops don’t look too intimidating – “A good one has to take a turn near the angle of the upper lip” after all.
The moustache has, for centuries, been a sign of masculinity in a number of cultures, and has graced the faces of many a brilliant (and beastly) man. Hitler would surely not be Hitler without his toothbrush moustache sitting snugly – an imitation of Chaplin’s perhaps? Would Einstein be even nearly as intelligent without his furry friend? Would Salvador Dali be half as batty without his? Super Mario would, in fact, simply have to resign himself to a lifetime of princess-less plumbing without his bushy buddy, and then there’s Tom Selleck. Good ol’ Magnum P.I created something that has been said to be the dreams of pre-pubescent moustaches. It is a “modern mustache masterpiece” according to a poll of the ‘Manliest Mustaches of All Time.’
What does the moustache mean for those of us who can’t use it to bump ourselves up a pay grade? The men of today have used their facial hair forces for good in the form of Movember. Started in 1999 in Adelaide, Australia, the art of growing a moustache changed from an outdated look from the 80s to a worldwide charity, supporting men with prostrate cancer in particular. It is a month-long attempt at raising as much money as possible, while also looking ridiculous. But hey, it’s all for a good cause, right? The international proceeds from 2012 amounted to a staggering $95 million and the moustache has firmly cemented itself in the history books as something to be respected.
What are your thoughts on funny facial hair? Who has had the best moustache in history? Share your opinions below and don’t forget to catch some more wacky facts from India in our Hindi True or False game!