Dress-down Friday: John Decker/John Waters

A tale of Johns, moms and mos. That is, a study in contrasting mother-son relations as hellraiser/artist/enabler John Decker and director/artist/author John Waters take the term ‘pencil moustache’ literally, decades apart:

Decker was a man of average height, with a muscular frame and strong facial features. His Barrymore-ish face was offset by a poorly set nose that was broken several times. He had dark auburn hair, and he liked to sport a thin mustache. The mustache was of a reddish hue, which reminded the artist of the two things he hated with fervor – sunsets and his mother, whose hair was of a reddish color. To rid his thoughts of these despised images, he would regularly apply a brown crayon or his wife’s mascara to his mustache to darken the repugnant tone of the facial hair and to make it more noticeable.

– Stephen C. Jordan, Bohemian Rogue: The Life of Hollywood Artist John Decker

Once I was in the hospital after being mugged and I guess because of my concussion I had forgotten to bring my Maybelline. I was so panicked that I would limp over to the mirror and try to gouge it on with a regular number two lead pencil used for writing. It didn’t work. Since I knew the only visitors I had scheduled that day were my parents, I decided to involve them. I didn’t have much of a choice. We had certainly never discussed how I did my moustache…I bit the bullet, called my mother, and said, “Don’t ask any questions, just go to the drugstore, get me a Maybelline eyebrow pencil in Velvet Black, and bring it to me in the hospital.” Silence on her end. “Okay,” she finally muttered with mortified annoyance. When Mom and Dad came in the hospital room, she snuck the prized package behind her back and gave it to me without my father seeing. We never discussed it again.

– John Waters, Role Models



  1. Pingback: Places: 1466 N Kings Road « Strange Flowers

  2. Jimmy

    Best guest appearance on The Simpsons … ever!

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