By Tess Fahlgren
Valley Voices 

Manly Mustaches and Close-Mindedness

 


When I am at a community gathering, I like to admire the men around me. I am of the opinion that an adult man should be clean-shaven, wear a cowboy hat and Wranglers, and boast a belt buckle. Most of the men in this area meet these expectations very nicely.

Call me old-fashioned, but nothing offends me more than when a full-grown man has the gall to grow a full mustache and cover up the face that I, as a single young woman, have a right to see and enjoy!

Now, grow out your underarms, let your secret garden grow wild, but leave that sun-beaten face alone!

I know it’s your choice. But it’s my choice to – oh, wait. Never mind. I actually couldn’t care less what you look like.

It’s just that in last week’s paper I read a column by Virgil Vaupel about how offensive it is when other people choose to modify their appearance.

Sometimes, adult men like to look at me and are angry when they can’t enjoy what they see. Do you know how unsurprising it is to hear that my nose ring is ugly, and therefore wrong?

Listen: I don’t care if you think I’m pretty.

In the four years since I’ve gotten this piercing, I have lived in two countries, been published, graduated college, and become a teacher in your community.

It seems as though my worth has transcended my appearance. Your opinion of my face will not affect my success in life, unlike the waitstaff who are simply doing their best when you ask for another server.

Also, I grew up here. With the Fort Peck Theatre and a very strong art community, I’ve always been under the impression that Glasgow wants to be taken seriously. But since my return, I’ve witnessed a crippling close-mindedness.

When a theater critic gives a negative review in our paper, thank her for respecting the theater community enough to be honest.

When young people help sustain the community by either staying here or returning, accept that they might have fashion you don’t like. When we feel alienated and rejected by our community, we’re likely to take our skills and abilities elsewhere.


 

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