In a sacred tradition as old as 2004, “Movember”–also known as “No-Shave November”–welcomes beards and mustaches of all creeds into the world for one month. These valiant efforts began as support for men’s health awareness, sacrificing their faces to much itchiness and risking potential for patchiness.
Known side effects of facial hair include higher pay, more assertiveness, powerful karmatic influence, and a perceived authority over lesser-follicled colleagues. Studies show that mustache-blessed workers make up to 8.2% more than their mustache-less counterparts.
And an informal poll of my Gchat contacts confirms that the conclusions reached in “The Influence of Facial Hair on Impression Formation” withstand the test of time: Though the study is nearly 15 years old, facial hair continues to be associated with “social/physical attractiveness, personality, competency, and composure.”
In this hallmark study, 228 hiring managers were shown sketches of men with facial hair styles ranging from Steve Rogers to Tony Stark. They tended to hire the sketches with the most hair, and were undoubtedly disappointed when they learned that these men were not currently seeking employment, and had to hire back whichever baby-faced waste of printer ink they’d already fired to open a position.
Here, we present an arbitrary collection of bearded men who’ve reached greatness not in spite of, but perhaps because of, their face fur.
Nothing compliments a $1,500 piece of wearable technology like a beard that says, “I don’t care what anyone thinks.” Even smartphones aren’t masculine enough to withstand his wiry swath of coder-growth. Risking blasphemy, I’ll go as far as saying this beard is reminiscent of a younger Steve Jobs. “Don’t be evil,” especially if evil shaves.
The world’s richest man doesn’t need an overpowering mustache. The “Warren Buffett of Mexico,” Slim’s ‘stache is a simple, classic look fit for someone worth $81.2 billion. What comes first, the wealth or the mustache? That’s for you to find out.
Here is a mustache that bears the weight of cable television’s slow, clawing demise on its strong and well-waxed curls. Often paired with a grin and eye-twinkle, this is a handlebar that says, “I can’t find the remote but the Weather Channel is fine.”
He’s not the first mustachioed man to break our home planet’s gravitational grip (that title goes to astronaut Owen Garriott in 1973), but according to this writer, he is perhaps the most charming. His achievements in space exploration and song are only accentuated by the stellar handlebar he sports behind the helmet. In space, no one can hear you shave. He’s Canadian, but that mustache belongs to us all.
Does mustache imitate art, or art imitate a great mustache? Offerman’s pushbroom is our generation’s Selleck: serious, yet soft. Fast Company’s Joe Berkowitz had the distinct honor of meeting its bearer for interview. Of his role as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, Berkowitz writes, “He is the epitome of masculinity, without being a caricature. He has pronounced political views, without being preachy. He has a mighty, walrus-like mustache.” Hiring managers, if this mustache walked into your office today, turning it away would invoke seven years’ bad luck.
This lip sweater arrives with a more upbeat presence. In 2012, Khan bought the Jacksonville Jaguars with a optimistic confidence only that handlebar could imbue, and became the first ethnic-minority owner in the NFL. Forbes called him the “face of the American dream” in that year’s issue. Brian Solomon writes, “With flowing black hair and the thick handlebar mustache of a man used to leaving a lasting impression, the 62-year-old Khan, driving a shiny white Grand Cherokee, is a swashbuckling contrast to the desolation around him.” A beautiful tribute, coming from a man without any hair on his face.
I first saw architect, designer, and fashion god Peter Marino from across the room at Fast Company’s Most Creative People event in January, and was stunned–first by his leather codpiece, and then by his beard which transcends us all.
Comedian, actor, and Most Creative People alum Aziz Ansari proves that facial hair doesn’t have to be serious business. Unlike fellow funnymen Zach Galifianakis and Shia LaBeouf, whose beards seem to be outward projections of an inner insanity, Ansari’s is a reserved, restrained version that reminds us that he’s having fun, but staying in control. We can only hope Jon Hamm takes note.
Another one of our Most Creative People Leonard’s style is a subtle scruff that says, “I haven’t overthought my shaving habits, because I’m too busy rescuing screenplays from the pits of Hollywood nothingness to become your favorite films ever.” Thank you, Frank Leonard, for helping bring Daniel Day-Lewis’s There Will Be Blood mustache into this world. As Madeleine Albright almost said, “There’s a special place in hell for beardy men who don’t help other beardy men.”
There is no more noble cause than to grow one’s mustache for science. As an 11-year veteran of putting up with Adam Savage’s unruly beard, Hyneman knows the quiet joy of exploding cement trucks or strapping rockets to stunt cars–but his face will never betray the giddiness inside. He’s gone on record as willing to travel to Mars, so that we may look forward to an era where mustaches settle worlds beyond our own.
To leave this finely detailed upper lip off any list of influential mustaches is grievous oversight at best. Since the early 1970s, Waters has grown his pencil-thin mustache–not an actual drawing, as an untrained eye might assume. “When I was 19 I wanted to be Little Richard, and so I grew it in homage to him really,” Waters told the Guardian. For your dedication to the craft, in true mustachioed spirit, we salute you.
The views expressed in this article do not represent Fast Company’s official stance on the merits of facial hair.