Every Fourth of July since 1972, the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest has taken place on Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.
This year, American Joey Chestnut goes for his seventh consecutive title. He is one of three 6-time winners of the event.
And guess what- none of them had beards.
The only “competitive eater” of note to compete with any facial hair is Takeru Kobayashi with a very scant Fu Manchu. Kobayashi also won six titles, but has been locked in a contract dispute since 2009 due to his refusal to sign an exclusive contract with the event’s organizers.
Last year Chestnut ate 68 hot dogs to retain the title. Kobayashi has continually refused to compete and in 2011 said he conducted his own hot dog eating exhibition, claiming to have consumed 69 hot dogs in an “unsanctioned” event.
Heading into Sunday’s AFC championship which the Ravens would eventually lose, starting QB Joe Flacco had been catching a lot of “flak” about his moustache. Erroneously reported as a “Handlebar Moustache” by numerous NFL TV experts (Rollie Fingers had to be furious), Flacco was actually sporting a “Fu Manchu” during the Ravens playoff run.
As a man, it’s important you know the difference. The “Fu Manchu”, while similar to the “Handlebar” is different because the Fu Manchu is grown only from the upper lip, whilst the sides remain clean shaven.
So it begs the question- if Tom Brady started sporting one, would it suddenly become “cool”?
By Michael Rovner for Style + Tech For Men
Now that the full-beard trend is going the way of the goatee, the mustache is getting more face time with trendsetters. So how can you wear one without looking like a cheese ball?
The truth is, not every guy can. But it can be a powerful accessory and it works well with some of the looks we’ve being seeing on the runways, such as at Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren.
Says Dr. Aaron Perlut, chairman of the American Mustache Institute (an advocacy group, think tank and community center — who knew!) and America’s foremost expert on mustaches: “There really is no best style. It’s more about the image you’d like to portray.”
So, broadly speaking, you have choices. If you’re going for an elegant look, opt for the handlebar, as worn so well by mustachioed luminaries like baseball great Rollie Fingers and art-world legend Salvador Dali. This look is high-maintenance with regular waxing required, but if you have the time, it’s worth it. A more macho look can be achieved with the Fu Manchu, as seen on Hulk Hogan or baseball legend Goose Gossage.
More common these days is the Chevron, which stays above the corners of the mouth. “You see this on 97 percent of cops, as well as Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds,” says Perlut. “It’s very popular in blue-collar circles.”
Whatever look you choose, just make sure you have the cajones to pull it off. As Perlut says, “If you’re going to wear a mustache, don’t expect support from those around. It’s about self-confidence. You’ve got to be able to walk down the street and karate-chop someone for no reason and then go eat a panda steak.”
Michael Rovner Michael Rovner has written for Vogue, Esquire, and Details. He has been on staff at WWD, Star Magazine and Life & Style. He has also covered fashion and style for the New York Post and The New York Times magazine.