Have you noticed men’s faces looking a slight bit hairier in the month of November? This is not just your imagination. This is a result of an annual month-long initiative known as „Movember”. The general idea behind the Movember campaign is that men of all ages agree to not shave for the entire month of November in order to grow the fullest and most impressive moustache possible. The word Movember itself is a blend, combination or Portmonteau of the words ‚moustache’ and ‚November’.
Why do men do this you ask? Well it is to raise awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancers as well as depression and suicide among men.
From its humble beginnings in 1999 (a discussion in a pub in Adelaide, Australia) to the global phenomenon it is today, Movember campaigns have raised countless millions for research into men-specific cancers. What’s more, these campaigns have generated discussion around the, often taboo, topic of male depression and suicide. Around the world men are anywhere from 2 to 4 times more likely to commit suicide, depending on region and age demographic.
It is perhaps the main goal of the events to encourage men to have themselves checked out if certain types of cancer have been prevalent in their families history. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment have the potential to save millions of lives.
Offices, sports clubs, and universities all hold events to raise money and awareness and it always creates a great sense of comradery amongst the ‚MoBros’ – the brethren who agree to take part for the entirety of the month. Typically there are the before and after pics and sometimes even celebratory shaving parties held on Dec. 1st. There has been a spawning off of various award/reward programmes such as the online Moscar Awards carried out at different Movember campaign official websites and an International Man of Movember has been chosen since 2010.
The rules of the event are simple and include;
- The participant must begin from a clean shaven start. Obviously you are not seen as a participant in Movember if you simply always have a moustache.
- Grow a moustache for the entire month keeping it regulated or at the very least, tidy and clean.
- Beards and goatees do not count and are in no way connected to Movember.
- The participant should use their newly grown facial hair as a tool to facilitate discussion of men’s issues.
- The UK Mobro website encourages all participants to behave as gentlemen at all times to reflect the good will and nature of the cause.
It is recognised as a charity effort and some may see the rules as light-hearted and a bit tongue-in-cheek but good Mobros will take them to heart and approach them in earnest.
So what do you think? Are you a man who would be willing to commit to such an undertaking in the name of a worthy cause? Let us know if you have any questions or were thinking about how to start your own Movember events. This year may be too late but it is getting bigger and more successful every year!
Portmonteaus = in linguistic – a blend of two words i.e./brunch (breakfast and lunch), Eurasia (Europe and Asia)
prevalent = occurring often, widespread
spawning off = to give birth to, to give rise to
do sth in earnest = to approach something respecting the seriousness of that thing
tongue-in-cheek – not entirely serious