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Editorials and Opinions

Give me my mustache or give me death!

By Denebola
Published: October 2007
By Skyler FultonHave you ever just wanted the world to see you as you see yourself, with your spectacular, well-crafted mustache? If the answer is no, that’s fine, just bear with me.
It happened like this. I woke up in a cold sweat and realized that it was picture day, and I was as unprepared as ever. Picture day, one of the most stressful days of the year, causes students to think, “How can I display myself so that people will stop to look at my tiny picture in the yearbook?” and, “How do I want to be remembered?”
I have always known; I want to be that kid with the fantastic mustache.
Unfortunately, obstacles have prevented me from reaching my destiny. Really, there’s just one obstacle: I can’t grow a mustache. That’s fine though, people understand that everybody is different, so I once thought.
Newton is a community that supposedly accepts people for how they accept and express themselves. This pseudo-tolerance, however, does not extend to facial hair.
Upon leaving for school, I found my father’s fake mustache from the days when he was a curious, aspiring boy, not much different from myself. His sister bought it for him when he was my age, but he never needed it because the good Lord blessed him with puberty at a reasonable age.
This mustache was breathtaking. When I taped it on for my picture, my friends were awed. The mustache was egregious and bulky, but it was nonetheless mesmerizing. As I walked down the hall toward the auditorium, people were giving me second glances left and right. Their eyes told me that it looked as right as it felt. For that moment, I was finally “that kid with the fantastic mustache.”
While waiting in line, people were astonished at my upper lip but refrained from calling out or laughing to avoid raising a ruckus that could bring negative attention from faculty. I gradually gained peoples’ support since the mustache screamed, “I know who I am, and I know what I want.”
Things went downhill. When I finally sat down on the stool to have my picture taken, the heartless photographer (who happened to have a mustache of his own) merely said, “You’re not funny, you’re immature, take it off, etc.”
After pleading with him, he referred me to another photographer, a woman who was even more hostile. People waiting in line booed and hissed in favor of the skinny, white, teenage boy who dared to dream. They told me I could wear the mustache so long as I had the principal’s approval (assuming that I would not go as far as to ask him).
Unfortunately, time was a factor since I needed to study for a massive history test the next period. The photographers pulled a fast one; while I was peacefully negotiating with them, they took the picture. I was unprepared, mid-sentence, and worst of all, bare lipped.
Why was it such a crime? If I had grown a protruding mustache that I intended to shave immediately after, would that be okay? If it was because I construed my image so that I no longer looked like myself, then why didn’t they badger and demean girls who wore make-up?
The fact of the matter is, they felt like they could prance into our school with their fancy equipment, and openly discriminate against the mid-pubescent. Well, it’s not over. Picture re-takes are coming up and, mark my words, when the yearbook comes out, I will be that kid with the fantastic mustache.

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