Friday, November 16, 2007

Hairstyles Throughout History: The Hitler Stache

The Hitler Stache (sometimes shortened to the Hitler) refers to a style of moustache that does not extend horizontally beyond the corners of the mouth, typically halting near the edges of the nose. The moustache is thick and covers the entire lip vertically. The shape of the moustache is usually between a rectangle and a steep trapezoid. The Hitler Stache was once quite popular, but today is typically only seen by men as an intermediate stage to shaving off their full moustache.

The Hitler Stache was first popularized in the silent movie era when such actors as Charlie Chaplin and Oliver Hardy sported the look. The silent movie era coincided with the tail end of the Golden Age of Moustaches, when men were highly experimental in facial hair styles and many wore handlebar moustaches with no trace of irony. Then known as a toothbrush mustache, the style was also known as "Funny Guy in a Bowler" even though Charlie Chaplin was not, in fact, funny.

When Adolf Hitler took power in Germany in 1933, it appeared as though the toothbrush would rise to new popularity in Europe, perhaps maintaining dominance in fashion for a thousand years. Some Americans, Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh most vocal among them, welcomed the style. After it was revealed that Adolf Hitler was the pure embodiment of evil, Ford and Lindbergh were quick to make public statements that although they remained staunch anti-Semites, they disapproved of Hitler and the "Hitler Stache." The defeat of fascism in World War II caused the downfall of the toothbrush moustache along with the first name Adolf and delusions of world domination.
Although the name Adolf continues to mire in the discard box of history, the Hitler Stache has made small but significant strides towards regaining popular acceptance. The Dunkin Donuts Corporation launched an ad campaign in 1983 featuring Michael Vale as the "Time to Make the Donuts" Guy. Vale was seen in the commercials as a harried baker forced to make donuts at all hours of the day. The ad campaign lasted 15 years which is all the more amazing since the actor sported a Hitler Stache. Michael Vale recently passed on, but he leaves behind a legacy that might someday be remembered as the first step towards the return of the toothbrush moustache as a widely accepted style of facial hair.


miss kendra said...

i love the time to make the donuts guy.

B.E. Earl said...

I love a good Hitler mustache.

On a woman.

You know...down there.