Fading hairy tales from India

When Arjun Rampal recently gamely decided to let co-star and colleague Neha Dhupia help him with his morning shave, we wondered if bidding goodbye to the moustache had become the ‘in’ thing.

WORLD RECORD Neha Dhupia (L) shaving Arjun Rampal at a recent event by Gillette India.A quick check that Metrolife conducted with youngsters and just married execs found that the current scenario reflected Arjun’s mood of the moment. Once ‘a symbol of pride and masculinity’, the trend of moustache is falling out among the urban youth. Very few boys could be seen sporting moustaches when Metrolife took a walk around the North Campus. A clean-shaven business look is more popular these days, whether at work or among women folk.

Moustaches are no more ‘in’. It has slowly gone out of fashion with the younger urban males in India, especially in North India. Gen Next opts finds it more fashionable. Statistics show that 70 per cent of the girls prefer to marry clean shaven men.

“It gives a dirty look. Girls do not prefer the hairy look anymore and nowadays guys shave even their chests. Times are changing and so are trends,” says Parul Suneja, a student of hotel management. Megha Goel, a recently married girl says, “It gives a very mature look and that is the reason why I don’t like men in a moustache.”

The present generation feels that non-moustache look is hip and a break from the more conservative previous generation. Busy lifestyle is also being touted as one of the factors why moustache is not finding favour with young men these days. Vasudha Dalwani, who works in Shemaroo Entertainment, says “Maintaining a moustache is cumbersome.”

Facial hair on men has at different times been a symbol of virility, maturity, social standing, and just plain personal pride. The topic of moustaches and whether or not men look good with facial hair is one that often gets a different answer each time. Tuffel Ahmed, who works as an account manager in a technology company says, “Men look neat and clean. Moreover, girls also don’t like it so boys don’t keep it. I think masculinity is out and metrosexuality is in these days.”

Linked to masculinity, the moustache has been a status symbol. Then why adopt a style sans moustache? Is it to attract women? “Men with moustache look like uncles which I really don’t like. It also adds more years to their actual age. I prefer a clean-shaven look,” says Chhaya Kaul, a social activist.

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