So this Movember thing is upon us once again. At first I thought it was completely a lark – the men of America rising up en masse and declaring “No Shaving” for a month… just because we can. How wrong I was!
Each year, the month of November officially joins forces with the “Mo” – Australian slang for moustache – and becomes Movember. To quote the official web site, “Movember challenges men to change their appearance and the face of men’s health by growing a moustache. The rules are simple, start Movember 1st clean-shaven and then grow a moustache for the entire month. The moustache becomes the ribbon for men’s health, the means by which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men,” especially prostate cancer.
“Men who grow moustaches for the month of Movember, called Mo Bros, become walking, talking billboards for the cause, raising awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.” The funds raised through Movember’s US campaign benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Having agreed to participate months ago, I approached Movember with some trepidation. The trend at our office leans more toward full beards than just a moustache. And being light of whisker, both in color and thickness, my only thought was, “This won’t be good.” I envisioned a scruffy, unkempt, sandpapery face – with lots of bare spots – staring back at me in the mirror each day. A hangover morning. A Mo Bros. wannabe! Not good at all. But wait. There’s no room for vanity here. It’s not about my whiskers. This is about the global power of the Mo! Any Mo!
From modest beginnings in Melbourne, Australia in 2003, the Movember movement has grown year after year. Movember moustaches now grow in the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands and Finland. In 2009, global participation reached 255,755, with over one million donors raising $42 Million US equivalent dollars for Movember’s global beneficiary partners. Without question, Movember makes a significant and far reaching contribution to men’s health awareness. You can register at Movember United States – Register to join the cause.
Celebrations like Movember are powerful stuff. They bring people together in good spirit and help us draw attention to the things in life that truly matter. And whenever we participate in something much bigger than ourselves, I think it makes each of us just a little bit better.
As for me, it feels great to join the power of the Mo. I won’t be winning any Papa Hemingway look-alike contests in Key West but the whiskers don’t look too bad after all. And not shaving for a while is nice too…really nice.