Where mustaches grown during Movember have the power to be both inspiring and humorous, it is important to remember there is nothing comical about men’s health issues.
There were three ways I knew November had started.
- The Internet was filled with people posting pictures of their Halloween costumes from the night before.
- Shopping malls had set up their Christmas villages and stores were working on window displays.
- Across social media, men and women were either gladly embracing or wailing about the onset of Movember. With some showcasing their shaven face, others bemoaning their inability to grow facial hair, and some complaining how upset they were about their S.O.s soon to be prickly companion, November had begun.
Personally, the most important of these three markers was the beginning of the beautiful time that is Movember. There is nothing more important about November 1st than the start of the glorious period where our world celebrates facial hair, people gladly embrace the tradition of mustaches, and whiskers are grown for a kick ass cause. With the beauty of fall emerging in its leafy splendor and the holiday season in tow, it is not the promise of countless celebrations that cause me to rejoice but instead the gorgeous mustache growing month I exalt.
Foremost, I want to be clear that I love Movember. I enjoy this month as a hilarious time where men are willing to poke fun at themselves through the growing of facial hair that while often scraggly or malformed, is still proudly celebrated. I love the willingness of people to use a traditional symbol of masculinity to support a worthwhile cause. I am always fascinated to see what some men are blessed with as they create fantastic designs with the hair follicles that bespeckle their upper lips. Every year, I eagerly await Movember as a glorious time where men can say “You know what traditional hair formations of masculinity, let us have a little fun.”
More important than the beautiful mustache growing of millions, the thing I love most about Movember is the seriousness of the month. It is hilarious to witness my fair-haired friends grow peach fuzz on their upper lips and fantastic to see the beautiful facial topiary people create. While these aspects are wonderful, the piece I adore the about this month is the cause it supports. As a man, I care about Movember because Movember cares about me.
I love the fact that since 2003, the Movember non-profit has raised $559 million and funded 770 public health projects. I gladly support this causing knowing that this organization is open with their figures and spends close to 84% of donations directly addressing men’s health while keeping only a small 3.7% of donations for administrative cost. I love that as an organization, Movember uses this month to recognize a variety of men’s issues focusing on programs for everything from prostate cancer to testicular cancer to mental health. I love Movember because it cultivates a conversation worth having.
Movember is worth checking out because as men, it is worth checking on our own bodies to ensure we are the healthiest we can possibly be. Where your willingness and abilities to grow a mustache may vary, there are still a number of ways you can be a part of this movement. No matter what stake you have in Movember, it is worth looking into this organization and educating yourself on the cause.
Perhaps you are one of the individuals self-conscious about your lack of ability to grow facial hair. With all the spare time you have by abstaining from grooming your mustache, take a few minutes to educate yourself on the health issues men face. Use this mustache free time to teach yourself and share important information on men’s health with the guys in your life. Where an unflattering mustache gracing your upper lip can be embarrassing, there is nothing embarrassing about being healthy or helping others become healthier.
Potentially you can grow facial hair that would put ZZ Top, Abraham Lincoln, or Tom Selleck to shame. There is even a chance that you are unwilling to shave your current majestic beard because your hairy face is an art form and being honest, some people make mustaches look silly. Where it is okay to think mustaches are silly, still consider supporting Movember and men’s health. At times, mustaches can enter into the realm of the comical but there is no humor in the fact that currently 1 in 7 men will be afflicted with prostate cancer and 1 in 36 men will die from this form of cancer.
Maybe your significant other or work prohibit you from growing a mustache. There is chance that societal constraints you face will prevent the world from being graced with the presence of wiry whiskers that crave to be set free. Just because society is keeping you down doesn’t mean you have to let other life circumstances do the same. With 1 in 4 adults experiencing a mental health problem, more than four times as many men dying from suicide than woman, and 1 in 5 adults each year experiencing anxiety disorder, use this time as the catalyst to learn about mental health. Even if you cannot grow a mustache, don’t let this stop you from finding ways to support mental health awareness for all individuals in your local community.
I get it. I understand the beauty of facial hair, the hilarity that comes from witnessing people awkwardly grow mustaches, and the fun of Movember. As a man with a comical yet beautiful ginger beard, I am fully aware of the sanctity in this time of fall where all men and women can gather equally, gracing their upper lips with some semblance of mustaches regardless of what these whiskers become. In the rush to celebrate Movember, in egging on our peers, and in the glamour of promoting this time, let us not forget the importance behind this cause.
Movember is a beautiful time because it is a period where we let our facial hair fly freely from atop the summit of our upper lips. It is an even more beautiful time because of the conversations it should be prompting, the issues it addresses, and the significant impact this cause has regarding men’s health.
Remember, where many times mustaches are viewed as a laughing matter, there are few things more serious than men’s health. Whether your grow a mustache, leave your face barren or vary somewhere between, Movember is a great time to join the international conversation on keeping men healthy.
From all of us hairy ones, we want your whiskers but what we need is your voice. Happy Movembering everyone.
More information about Movember can be found on their website and please, feel free to share with us the beautiful mustaches you create or the ways you are promoting men’s health in your communities.
Photo:Movember United States