December 3, 2012, - 9:01 am
Few men look good in a mustache (other than the Marlboro Man and Tom Selleck, who long ago shaved off his). And contrary to popular Islamic belief, most of them aren’t Muslims nor do they hail from that region. Despite that, the Muslim world never got out of the Burt Reynolds ’70s trend, and Muslim men from all over are now plowing their money into mustache implants. Don’t you worry, though. The nose job is still the most popular cosmetic surgery in the Arab Muslim world. Saddam Hussein may be dead, but his “look” lives on. Ah, the great advances of technology.
Hot . . .
Not . . .
Thick, handsome mustaches have long been prized by men throughout the Middle East as symbols of masculine virility, wisdom and maturity.
But not all mustaches are created equal, and in recent years, increasing numbers of Middle Eastern men have been going under the knife to attain the perfect specimen.
Turkish plastic surgeon Selahattin Tulunay says the number of mustache implants he performs has boomed in the last few years. He now performs 50-60 of the procedures a month, on patients who hail mostly from the Middle East and travel to Turkey as medical tourists.
He said his patients generally want thick mustaches as they felt they would make them look mature and dignified.
“For some men who look young and junior, they think (a mustache) is a must to look senior … more professional and wise,” he said. “They think it is prestigious.”
Pierre Bouhanna is a Paris-based surgeon who, for the past five years, has been performing increasing numbers of mustache implants. He says the majority of his patients come from the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Lebanon and Turkey, with men traveling to France to have the surgery performed. . . .
Both surgeons use a technique — follicular unit extraction — in which groups of hairs are taken from areas of dense hair growth to be implanted in the mustache area.
Bouhanna said the patients were generally aged between 30 and 50, and were able to fly home the day after they had the procedure, which costs about $7,000 (€5,500) and is performed under local anesthetic.
By the way, forcibly shaving off a man’s mustache is considered a way to dishonor him. And the mustache has political significance:
The American diplomat Joel Barlow, who in 1795 was posted as U.S. consul to Algiers, wrote to his wife that he had grown a thick black mustache, which gave him “the air of a tiger,” and had proved useful in his work in the region.
More than 200 years later, a unit of American Marines in Iraq’s Sunni stronghold of Fallujah attempted to follow his example in 2004, growing mustaches in an attempt to help them win local sympathies.
In Turkey, different styles of mustache carry their own political nuances. According to one research paper, mustaches with drooping sides signify a conservative, nationalist bent, left-wingers favor mustaches like Stalin, while a “political religious” mustache is carefully groomed, with “cleanliness as its guiding principle.
Apparently, Yosemite Sam lived in the wrong era . . . and the wrong region. But I don’t think that Marine gambit in Fallujah went over too well. In case you forgot, the mustachioed savages of Fallujah burned Americans contractors to a crisp and hung them on display to the rest of their cheering pack.
It just goes to show how backward the greater Arabian society is that they place such importance on facial hair.
(Thanks to reader Skunky for the tip.)
Tags: follicular unit extraction, Islam, Joel Barlow, Middle East, Middle Eastern mustaches, Muslim plastic surgery, Muslims, mustache implants, Mustaches, Pierre Bouhanna, Selahattin Tulunay