Of all the retro trends to rear their ugly heads in recent years -- pinafores, coke bottle glasses, flannel shirts -- the '70s porn star mustache might be the most perplexing. Tom Selleck pulled it off, but most of his disciples look either lecherous, or unkempt, or uncomfortably coiffed -- perhaps fearing the year 1975 might call at any moment to demand its facial hair back.
But in San Francisco, many 'staches serve a greater cause.
Years before the car-hire service Lyft built a branding empire out of pepto-pink mustache insignia, men's health charities had already seized the hairy symbol and rendered it a pink ribbon, of sorts. In 2004, a confederation of nonprofits got together to launch "Movember," a month-long campaign to raise awareness of prostate cancer, depression, and testicular disease.
The portmanteau means exactly what it implies. Throughout the month of November, participating charities ask supporters to grow mustaches of their own. Local entities such as the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology will help by offering charity waxing and trimming, as well as a 'Stache Styling Primer on October 30 to kick off the campaign.
Although some mustaches shown in Movember promotional materials bear the tell-tale pink hue, we're told Lyft isn't involved in this fund-raiser. Nor does it own the trademark on pink mustaches that aren't specifically related to transportation. That means a whole fleet of mustachioed car bumpers will unwittingly shill for the cause, as will a population of hipster parasites who just think the trend looks cool.