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A finger mustache, also called a fingerstache, is an artistic representation of a mustache typically tattooed or drawn onto the skin of the index finger that faces the middle finger. When the index finger is pointed out and held against the upper lip horizontally, this places the small image of the mustache where a mustache would traditionally grow on a person’s face. This type of skin decoration is popular with both men and women, although it is considered by many people to be a fad that will pass quickly and thus unworthy of permanent addition to the skin. Many people enjoy taking pictures of themselves with the mustache held in its appropriate place, and there are several websites and clubs that allow users to post pictures of this type.
This trend is popularly credited to a tattoo artist in Columbus, OH, in the United States named Giovani. The original finger mustache tattoo was created in 2003 and is said to have spread like wildfire from that original tattoo parlor. Internet image sites played a large role in generating popularity for this type of tattoo, but much of the interest in this design came from face-to-face interactions. Even though Giovani is thought to have sparked this trend, there may have been earlier instances of finger tattoos as well as simultaneous designs.
The exact design of the finger mustache is highly variable, but many involve curling tips characteristic of an English or handlebar mustache. Designs may involve clearly patterned hairs or may be entirely solid, tracing the outline of the mustache. In general, the mustache is quite small and is not close to the size of a real mustache. Colored mustaches may also be applied depending on the individual's preferences.
While many people choose to tattoo this design permanently onto the finger, it is also popular to use temporary tattoos or draw the design onto the finger. The social aspects of having a finger mustache are often lost when the design is not permanent, but refraining from applying the tattoo permanently can help prevent later regrets. Finger mustache clubs sometimes have rules about joining, but most are simply casual associations of people with similar tattoos.
In addition to the traditional uses of the finger mustache, many people also use this design to take humorous photographs of cats and other animals or to modify existing photographs. The tattoo itself has also become the subject of many art projects, typically involving the portrayal of the finger as well as the mustache. There are buttons and other paraphernalia attempting to capitalize on the popularity of this tattoo, as this design is not only representative of a mustache but also a lifestyle.