How the Humble Mustache Can Save Millions of Lives
Why Growing Your ‘Mo’ is More Impactful Than You Realize
November is upon us and that means one thing. Ok, a couple things: Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, (and Green Monday!) and host of other ‘days’ we probably haven’t heard of yet. But there is one very positive November activity that is honestly worth all the hype. AND it involves the mustache:
For any of you who haven’t heard about Movember, the premise is pretty simple: Grow a ‘mo’ (or mustache) for men’s health! Movember is an annual, month-long event hosted by the Movember Foundation, an organization committed to improving the face of men’s health. To that end, the organization has created a campaign to spread awareness and raise money for some of the biggest health issues that affect men today: prostate cancer, heart disease and mental health.
Prostate cancer is actually the most common form of cancer in men aged 18-35, and the second most common after 35. The good news? Doctors can now treat many cases successfully, if they are caught early enough. In fact, more than 2 million American men count themselves as prostate cancer survivors. The Movember Foundation seeks to raise money for research into early diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer, as well as raise awareness so that people go to their yearly exams to check for it, and live an active, healthy lifestyle.
This mustache movement started way back in 2003 as a humorous attempt to bring back the mustache. Mustaches, if you hadn’t noticed, have generally fallen out of fashion in many countries. After coining ‘Movember’ and recruiting some friends, founders Travis Garone and Luke Slatterly realized that they could turn this trend into a force for good. Last year there were nearly 6 million people who participated by growing a ‘stache, hosting a run or event, or donating. So far participants have raised nearly $710 million dollars for men’s health causes, and this year looks poised to be even bigger than last.
Want to join the mustache movement?
It’s pretty simple to get involved, and the best part is that you can do it at work or among your friends! It’s a great team-building activity, and how often do you get to see the VP sporting handlebars for a whole month? First of all, you need to sign up with the Movember Foundation. Their site will walk you through the instructions on how to register your team. Don’t worry, it’s easy to do. Each participant will then make a pledge to donate a sum of money if they grow their mustache for the entire month.
As far as getting sponsors, it’s easy! Just ask your family, friends and co-workers. You’ll be surprised at how many people will chip in. Most participants’ total pledges are around $50, but even a $5 pledge is worth it, as every little bit helps. The Prostate Cancer Foundation & the Livestrong Foundation are both recipients of Movember donations, and the money you raise goes to programs and research that make a real difference.
Here are the official rules:
- Once registered, each participant begins the 1st of November with a clean shaven face.
- Grow and groom a mustache for 30 days.
- Spread the word! Raise awareness and fund’s for men’s health.
There is also a similar campaign that started much more recently, piggy-backing on the success of Movember. While it’s confusingly called No-Shave November, the campaign is also on another admirable mission. It’s goal is to raise funds for cancer research, calling on everyone to put their razors down for a month and let your hair (which many cancer patients lose during treatment) grow free. So if you’re feeling like a mustache is a little too much, this may be an acceptable way to go.
Either way, have fun this November. Grow some hair. Raise some awareness and funds for a great cause!
We definitely will!
Even though there’s only a couple of us taking photos, we actually have a few more people participating at the office. Note to anyone scared to ‘mo’ their typical facial-hair style: If you don’t want to grow, that’s ok! You can always donate to those who are. Here we started with a clean shave (the night before), and we’re ready to grow out these ‘staches!
OK, well we haven’t quite grown to a length where the mustache shows well, and we both got caught for a the photo the day before we shaved off all but the ‘stache. But here’s how this facial hair thing works: It just grows. Slowly. At week 2, we are looking a handsomely rugged (we’d like to think) and ready to go full ‘stache soon. Come on week 3!
Here we go Week 3! Mustaches are finally making an appearance. It’s noticeable enough that people have been commenting: “Ahh, a mustache…. Movember I take it?” We don’t really know if this means that we’re pulling off a believable mustache but hmm…. Let’s just say it’s excellent that word is getting out but we might both be going for a well-deserved shave on December 1st. On the other hand, however, it’s kind of growing on us too! Ba-dum-tsch! (Sorry. we couldn’t help it.)
Heading into week four, and our ‘staches are really coming along! We’re excited for the holidays and the chance to show our families what we’ve been doing with ourselves for the last few weeks. Shall we be keeping them come December 1st? It’s anyone’s guess. For now, we bravely trudge on to a more mustached world. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And to all of you participating in Movember with us, let’s keep up the good work!