Mustache Mystique


Frida Kahlo

She was a magnificent artist, an intellectually stimulating conversationalist, brilliant in her thinking ability, a progressive woman, a fighter filled with strength, conviction, and determination; I would have loved to have known her.


What’s in a Mustache Anyway?



Within this school year I witnessed a sad situation.  There is a little boy, who is as wonderful as any child could ever be: kind, loving, smart, considerate, basic perfection.  Another little boy was boisterously drawing attention to the mustache of this kind child.  That’s tough for a 7 year old.  I intervened immediately and my expression stopped the rhetoric quickly, but the words were already resting on the air, in front of a hallway line of classmates.  It is so difficult to find the best words to help a child who’s been hurt by words, especially true ones.

Yet, there will always be power in words, good ones to balance the others.  I asked the mustachioed youth to follow me and immediately found my purse, grabbed my wallet and showed him a photo of my son: a beautiful, whiskered, young man.  I asked what he thought, and he said he liked the photo.  So, I told him I would share a personal story and it went like this: “Years ago when this son of mine was in elementary school, he was busy running his legs off in P.E. class when another boy laughingly declared from the top of his lungs that my son had a mustache.  My son was mortified and quite upset.  En route home that day, my son told me what had happened.  I talked to him about genes, my brother’s, grandfather’s and father’s mustaches, and how when a boy grows to a man, this is not a detriment at all, but rather a natural part of a man that offers choices in appearance.  That boy, my son, grew up to become a very handsome man, and his mustache became a great option for his appearance that he now appreciates.”

We bought our son a shaving kit, and that fixed the problem.

Our little ones should never have to suffer because of their natural appearance.

When this week a 3rd grade boy called out to me in the hallway, and asked me if he had a mustache, I was nonplussed.  I looked at him for a second and then down the row of kids lined up in the hall, and immediately sized-up the situation.  Yep, another victim of nature and a little bullying.  This child’s mustache was nothing so grand, and truly barely there, but I leaned near his ear and said this, “I don’t see a mustache, but if you get one, be happy – it’s a sign of intelligence.”

He backed his head away a bit, looked up at me and smiled a great big smile which made me smile a great big smile too.  I thought to myself, “Gosh!  That was easy!  I’m a teacher and I have the power to say that!”  And, guess what, I can prove it.  From now on, a few posters I plan to hang somewhere on the wall in my classroom may be Tesla, Einstein, and Roosevelt!

If I’ve learned anything, it is that nothing is worse than being insulted for appearance and then having attention drawn to yourself while someone else is trying to fix the insult or reprimand the insulter.  This intelligent-mustache-connection nullifies the perpetrator and exemplifies the victim – win/win!

I’m sharing this for mom, dads, and teachers alike.  Our children should never have to feel bad for how they appear, how they were born.  By the way, girls sometimes have mustaches too, we all know that.  It is a tough thing in life, but knowing it is a sign of intelligence may make it just a tad easier to bear!