Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Kiwi men and their moustaches

29 November 2007

Kiwi men and their moustaches

As the month of ‘Movember’ ends and New Zealand’s ‘mo bros’ line up to compare growth, texture and style, they join the generations of kiwi blokes who have grown – or not grown – facial hair for a reason.

This month moustaches made a comeback to raise money for prostate cancer.

A timeline compiled by shows how beards and moustaches have come and gone over the decades in New Zealand.

The art of moko, for example, declined in Māori society from the middle of the 1800s, with Christian missionaries arguing it was ‘heathen’. Some Māori men covered their tattoos by growing facial hair.

The First World War hastened the hairless look. Men who spent weeks in the mud and grime of the trenches relished the chance to wash and shave in clean water and, after the war, the trend continued.

Chief historian at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Bronwyn Dalley, says that fashions in facial hair — or the lack of it — show some of the changes going on in society.

“Appearances tell us a lot about the times we live in. In the late 1960s the clean-shaven look stood for conservatism and old-fashioned values. Moustaches returned as young men wore their rebellion as fashion and lifestyle.”

In the 1970s and early 1980s moustaches had morphed into a symbol of rugged manliness. Big and bushy, they were everywhere – from the sports field to the public service.

“I don’t think it was just a coincidence that this happened at the same time as the women’s rights movement got underway,” says Dr Dalley.

The mo barely rates in the appearance stakes for kiwi men today. Perhaps that’s why the challenge to grow one in ‘Movember’ has become so popular – it only lasts a month.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>


New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news