Either I have a dirty mind or I'm old and out of touch with the latest tween trends (okay, probably both), but when I took my 11-year-old daughter and her friend to the mall and watched them head for a rack of "I (Heart) Boys With (Mustache Graphic)" T-shirts, I couldn't help but feel slightly alarmed. Wait a minute, why do they heart boys with mustaches?! It can't possibly be for the reason I'm thinking, can it? And if it is, why are they selling these shirts to young girls in the first place?!
I had to be missing something, I decided. Maybe mustaches had some new, non-sexual implication. So when my daughter and her friend went to try on "The Future Mrs. Styles" tees, I resisted the temptation to give them a pop culture history lesson comparing and contrasting One Direction/New Kids on the Block ("In my day, we wore 'The Future Mrs. Knight' shirts") and texted a friend for his opinion: If you saw a girl wearing a shirt that said "I Heart Boys With Mustaches," what would you think?
In reply, he sent me a YouTube video of the infamous "Who wants a mustache ride?" scene from Super Troopers.
That's what I thought, I texted back.
I called my boyfriend and asked him the same question.
"Who wants a mustache ride?" was his immediate response. (I swear, I have yet to meet a man who doesn't love that movie.)
Luckily the girls emerged from the dressing room empty-handed, so I was spared any immediate decisions/explanations regarding potentially inappropriate clothing. But as we went from store to store, I started noticing mustaches everywhere: On iPhone cases and socks. Little mustache-shaped earrings. What was going on here? Clearly I was late to some kind of party.
At home, I did a little research (yes, I had to Google "mustache trend," which is pathetic). Turns out the mustache has indeed become some sort of hipster/retro/ironic trendy thing. Who knew? (Everybody except me.) So -- phew! -- my kid and all the other tween girls at the mall weren't Super Troopers fans after all, so to speak.
Still, I don't think I could actually allow my girl to wear one of those shirts in public. Not because of what she's thinking about, but because of what every man will instantly think about when he looks at her: "Who wants a mustache ride?" And what the hell is wrong with the people making inappropriate T-shirts like these for teens knowing damn well what they mean even if the kids wearing them don't have a clue?
Would you let your daughter wear an "I Heart Boys With Mustaches" T-shirt?