Men and their moustaches

Mo bros – New Zealand men and their moustaches

A Pancho Villa or a Fu Manchu, a walrus or a handlebar, debonair or downright dubious – any type of moustache will do in ‘Movember’ (November) when New Zealand men throw away their razors and let their moustaches grow.

‘Movember’ started in Australia in 1999, but it has taken off since 2004 when it became a way to raise awareness about prostate cancer. Men are sponsored to go for a month without shaving their upper lip area. Some ‘mo bros’ sprout fine moustaches; others manage only feeble stubble, and there are always a few who get the unsavoury porn-star effect. Some women have got in on the act as well; in 2006, Cromwell women refused to shave their left armpits.

Today most New Zealand men are clean-shaven. That wasn’t always the case. Moustaches have come and gone as men have shown themselves to be dedicated followers of fashion. Whoever said that the Kiwi bloke didn’t care about his appearance?

How to cite this page: 'Men and their moustaches', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/men-and-their-moustaches, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 2-Dec-2013