Is Chicago the Nation’s Most Mustache-Friendly City?

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Tim Boyle / Newsmakers

Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka

A good mustache can be hard to find these days. But just because you can grow one (and make every other man jealous) doesn’t mean you should be discriminated against.

In fact, it’s just the opposite in Chicago, a city supposedly in love with lip hair. According to the American Mustache Institute (yes, it really exists), the Windy City is the most accommodating to men with lip sweaters.

The AMI, who describes themselves as the “world’s leading facial hair think tank and advocacy organization”, ranked the nation’s metro areas on their mustache-friendly tendencies. It’s the least-serious real-life study we’ve ever seen, but their lengthy white paper does raise some important they raise awareness of the perils of the modern mustache. While hairy upper lips are quickly fading due to issues like baldness and decreasing fashionability, the AMI deemed Chicago the most welcoming to mustachioed men, followed by Houston and Pittsburgh.

(PHOTOS: The 7 Wackiest Mustache Styles)

Their criteria was based upon five traits that you’re likely to find in any city’s guidebook, (only serving to further highlight the importance of mustaches): employment, transportation, entertainment, culinary listings, and education. The way they graded it, the top cities had to have a high presence of “mustache-positive employers” such as first responder teams and construction companies, along with a solid number of sports teams, monster trucks, Applebee’s restaurants, and community college graduates.  Because, naturally, these are the qualifications of a mustache-wearer.

But without further ado, the top ten:

Courtesy American Mustache Institute

Though pardon us, AMI: it seems as though you’re parodying yourself. After all, it’s more than just monster truck drivers, firemen, and MLB pitchers that have mustaches. A crumb catcher can help to define the wearer.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Let’s look at the first-place city. Chicago indeed has some famed mustache-wearers: Mike Ditka is a legend in the Chicago sports world, and David Axelrod brought his well-groomed lip tickler all the way to the White House.

This just proves we shouldn’t swear off the mustache just yet. It’s not as dire as the AMI would have us believe. Don’t turn up your nose at a hairy upper lip. Perhaps the future will see a resurgence of the mustache – a well-coiffed one, that is.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

READ: Movember: When Men Stop Shaving for a Cause

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