Five ‘o Clock Shadow Violates Dress and Grooming Standards


    By: Nicole Miller

    The five o’clock shadow has the reputation of keeping male students at BYU out of the testing center an intramural game.

    “Scruffiness,” males not shaving, was identified in a straw poll of students on campus, as the number one violation of the Honor Code dress and grooming standards. Steve Baker, director of the Honor Code Office, said “scruffiness” is the most recent problem brought to his attention. He said the problem seems more prevalent this year than last year.

    “It’s a minor violation but still a violation,” said Bryce Stevenson, 23, a junior from Gresham, Ore., majoring in business management.

    Many male students on campus don’t shave everyday.

    “Sometimes I go two days,” said Jonathan Brooks, 23, a junior from Pampa, Texas, majoring in urban planning. “It’s annoying to shave everyday,” he said.

    The policy on facial hair in the dress and grooming standards of the Honor Code states; “If worn, moustaches should be neatly trimmed and may not extend beyond or below the corners of the mouth. Men are expected to be clean shaven; beards are not acceptable.”

    Some students wonder why mustaches are allowed when other facial hair is not.

    “I think it’s for bureaucratic reasons,” said Brian Bahr, a senior from Salem Oregon, majoring in accounting. “I think what it is, is people get rule happy. They find an exception to a rule so they keep making more rules rather than generalizing the rule.”

    He said perhaps the dress and grooming standards were implemented to avoid the hippie image of the ’60s and early ’70s. “Beards were a symbol of rebellion,” he said. “Mustaches were more acceptable.”

    Others wonder why anyone would choose to have a mustache.

    “I think they do it in rebellion to the no beard rule,” Stevenson said. “But it is the most hideous thing that anyone can have at this age.”

    Bahr has outlined six main reasons why he grows a “stache.” His first reason attributes his mustache to men of the past.

    “All the great men in history all had facial hair – Karl Marx, Hemmingway, Alexander the Great, Abraham Lincoln,” he said. “Take your pick, all those cats had great facial hair. Here at BYU the only way to pay homage to them is through a mustache. Also I want to include myself in this group.” Bahr’s second reason

    His second reason comes from a saying he once read quoted by Salvador Dali who said, “Kissing a man without a mustache is like eating soup without salt.”

    Other students argue mustaches repel women.

    “I had a friend that had a mustache and finally when he got rid of the mustache he hooked it up with a girl,” said Jim Bullock, 22, a junior from Denver, Colo., majoring in business finance services.

    Bahr conceded that not all women are drawn to a man with a mustache, but he includes that in his third reasons for growing one.

    “Too many girls were chasing me so you have to scare them off a little bit and the mustache does that pretty effectively,” he said.

    Bahr said his fourth reason is that a mustache gets a person noticed. When people say the tall, return missionary with the mustache everyone says “oh yeah that guy,” Bahr said. “It’s a way of setting yourself apart.”

    A mustache is also a potential disguise, Bahr said as his fifth reason.

    “A mustache can be shaved off and it’s kind of like the Clark Kent, superman effect,” he said. He said a mustache can get a guy out of trouble.

    Bahr said a mustache can also have a calming effect, his sixth reason.

    “It’s kind of a little pet because BYU housing doesn’t allow pets so if you get nervous it’s [a mustache] something to pet,” he said.

    Some students grow a mustache simply because they think it looks good. Tom Culwell points to Tom Selek and Bert Reynolds for his inspiration because they looked good in mustaches. Culwell said mostly he grew a mustache because of aesthetic purposes.

    He said men do not grow mustaches because they’re too lazy to shave.

    “That’s preposterous,” he said. Culwell said growing a mustache is difficult.

    “If you are careless you will ruin your mustache,” he said. “Perhaps the reason most the male student don’t have a mustache is because they keep messing it up.”

    Bahr said men who don’t have a mustache probably don’t have the shaving skills.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email