Reason 8 – The G.Oatee
“A good mustache makes a man for many reasons.” – J. Oates
Van Dyke, vow-beard, pickedevant or soul patch. Call it what you will. These are just a few words used to describe the goatee. When I think of a goatee, my mind invariably goes straight to the gorgeous G.Ostach-ed one himself, G.O. Some people hate it. Others are on the fence. Me? Well I have added it to my long list of reasons as to why I love Byung Hee.
Way back in the 17th century, there was a Flemish painter name Anthony Van Dyck. Van Dyck himself wore a particular style of facial hair that ultimately became a raging trend among men in Europe. Van Dyck’s work often depicted men sporting similar facial hair and this fashion craze would eventually see Van Dyck’s name attached to it. Yes, the “Van Dyke” is often used to describe facial hair of the goatee persuasion. One of Van Dyck’s subjects was King Charles I of England. He, too, sported this particular style and it was often referred to as a “Charlie.”
The Van Dyke was a bit different from just a basic goatee, however. The goatee often referred to the small tuft of hair that grew from the chin much like that of a goat (hence….’goatee’). But the Van Dyke coupled that tuft of hair with a mustache and so by the 1990’s a goatee often referred to the combination of both.
When G.O has worn a goatee, it was that Van Dyke combo he allowed to adorn his face and was the style he wore throughout his days with Tykeys.
The Tykeys ‘Stache
I don’t think I would actually label G.O’s particular style a classic Van Dyke, however. The Van Dyke had an exaggerated and/or pronounced (often times handle-barred) mustache to accompany the chin hair. G.O always seemed to wear a faint mustache, a hint of one, as it were. Also, he did not have a ‘tuft’ of hair on his chin per se. It was more like a delicate line that softly flared out to a small patch of hair covering the tip of his chin.
And although relatively faint, it was a little deeper than a 5 o’clock shadow. Maybe more of a 5:45 pm shadow! But it suit him superbly. Oh my…sexy.
When G.O debuted with Tykeys in 2007, he was 19 years old. Well, he may have been 20 in Korean age, but in Gregorian calendar speak, he was 19 at the time Ty Project No. 1 was released (February 2007) and he would turn 20 in November of that same year.
The goatee (in my opinion) gave him an uber masculine aura and definitely made him appear to be older than his 19 years.
Articulate and poised, he carried himself as a man mature well beyond those 19 years, expressed himself musically as a veteran of the business, and performed as one as well. As for the goatee during this era, he wasn’t simply an adolescent trying to grow some facial hair to be cool, he was an artist in tune and thoroughly comfortable with his own personal fashion style and sense.
In this early rehearsal video for Tykeys’ AH-MAZING song 연상연하 (Old and Young), it is evident that he was comfortable in a performance situation, and oozed with confidence, poise and swag, complete with goatee.
In looking over various pictures and viewing videos of G.O’s Tykeys days, he consistently wore the goatee. No one would have probably believed he was the maknae of the group because the goatee coupled with his already solid maturity placed him light years ahead of his contemporaries. Goatee aside, his intrinsic well-mannered and gracious persona, life experiences, and wicked sharp intelligence were certainly not indicative of men his age. He was (and is) definitely unique.
He wore the goatee well and most assuredly knew he looked good with it.^^
I am reasonably confident the ladies loved it, too. Especially the noonas (and perhaps an ahjumma or two)!^^
Before Byung Hee officially became G.O, he was actually told to remove the goatee and then, surprisingly instructed to bring it back. It stayed with him throughout MBLAQ’s debut but then was shaved off with the release of their second mini album, Y.
What is interesting to me is that G.O once said that he did not like the mustache. Wait, WHAT? But then also intimated that he was thankful it was well-received and people liked it.
HELLO??!! He states such in the following clip from Making of the Artist. He even says he thought he would never be able to get rid of it!
The early days of MBLAQ when he sported the goatee are a personal fave. Then again, G.O can do pretty much whatever he wants and look however he pleases and I will be totally fine with all of it.^^
There are not too many men (in my opinion) who can wear facial hair and wear it well. It is either going to be totally swarmy and scary, or sensual and sexy. In my opinion, on G.O, it was always sensual and sexy.
The one thing I truly admire about G.O’s facial fuzz is that it was so subtle. So very soft and so very subtle.
I suppose it helps that he has such perfect lips. The goatee was born to frame lips like his in order to call attention to and accentuate them. Furthermore, he has a strong but not overpowering chin and an adorable nose. Again, a few more pieces to that goatee puzzle that make it work so well on G.O.
Even when the goatee was more pronounced, it still looked good.
It also gave him just a hint of bad boy and that is always sexy, right?
I find it rather humorous that culturally, the goatee was often used to designate evil or a character of questionable morality. In ancient Greece and Rome the god Pan was often depicted as having a goatee. Maybe because he had the hindquarters, legs, and horns of goat – I don’t know!! But with the onset of Christianity, such gods were deemed pagan and therefore evil. Furthermore, devils were often depicted as having goatees. Evil characters in books, movies and the like and/or characters whose story arcs saw them transforming from good to bad often times showed up with a goatee.
Interestingly, a study was done by researchers at the University of Warwick as to why this was prevalent and/or meaningful. I take this quote directly from the University of Google: “The study found that the human brain tends to perceive of downwards-facing triangles as inherently threatening; brains tend to perceive of goatees as making the human face resemble a downwards-facing triangle, causing individuals to subconsciously perceive of those with goatees as inherently sinister or threatening.” Jjinjaaaa???!
I ask you….how on earth can this be evil, sinister, morally questionable and/or even remotely threatening:
Hehehehehe…I love finding quirky facts like those. And, I love this darling goatee-ed man!!
So after after Y dropped, the goatee went away. It literally disappeared for a long while. I am sure many wondered, would it ever return and if it did, would he keep it for very long.
Well, it did return. It reappeared on May 30, 2014 when MBLAQ went live on MWave for an online meet and greet with their fans.
I am sure the squee level was deafening and was heard all the way to that studio in Seoul the moment MBLAQ began to stream live and G.O’s G.Oddesses saw him!
Prior to the meet and greet, I saw G.O last on May 18th (just 12 days before the meet and greet) when I watched him perform in 바람의나라 (The Kingdom of the Winds) and he was clean-shaved and oh so baby-faced.
When he showed up at the May 30 online meet and greet, I was floored!!! He was goatee-ed and he had cut off his luscious locks!! It was quite a switch, but it was so nice to see that goatee making its comeback! He looked great!
G.O + goatee always equals a win! With a mini tour of Latin America about to begin, I wondered if he would take the goatee on the trip with him. He did!
The question was, however, how long would it stay and would it remain on the entire Latin American tour? I imagine maintaining a goatee takes some work and the urge to want to shave it off must come and go especially during the warm summer months.
G.O tweeted a picture prior to the show in Mexico (MBLAQ’s first stop on the tour) and the goatee was firmly in place.
Gosh…do you see what I mean about how it frames his lips????
When he took the stage later that evening, the goatee joined him.
Fans who appreciate this G.O-stached man were loving every minute of seeing him return to that look, to be sure. By the time MBLAQ reached their second stop on the tour (Chile), the goatee was once again retired. And, we haven’t seen it since. Oh well…..it was nice of him to bring it back briefly.
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In all honesty, G.O can keep the goatee or leave it. I love him either way. Since he has worn one in the past and surprised us recently with its brief return, and as it has always been an inherent look connected to him, I must definitely count it as one of the reasons I love Byung Hee.