Hip ‘staches and men’s health issues. Christian Toto reminds us of the world-wide movement that is Movember.
Mustaches drove out of style along with Burt Reynolds’s Pontiac Trans Am in the “Smokey and the Bandit” franchise.
Or did they?
For one month each year mustaches are hip again thanks to a global movement bringing awareness to men’s health issues. The Movember project asks men to grow mustaches in November to raise awareness of men’s health issues that can be treated–and potentially cured–with early detection.
Celebrities like Daniel Craig of James Bond fame have taken part in the pledge, one that began a decade ago in Melbourne, Australia and now runs worldwide. This year, supermodel stunner Kate Upton is captain for #TeamGillette, the shaving giant’s contribution to Movember madness.
Need we say more?
The process is simple. Start sporting a mustache beginning on Nov. 1 and let it grow — and grow until the calendar reaches Nov. 30. Men cannot sport a goatee, beard or even a soul patch accompaniment. That’s cheating. So, too, is joining your new facial hair to your sideburns or other hirsute tricks. Many participating groups often hand out prizes for the most creative mustaches—-or even the fullest cookie duster in town.
Tell friends, family and strangers alike about your lip toupee and gently ask for donations along the way. It’s not just about funding future treatments. Awareness is crucial here. Let’s face it. Men aren’t always so eager to discuss their health status or even drive near their local doctor’s office. Anything that nudges them to action is a noble act.
The mustache part of the equation is ingenious. Mustaches draw both attention and conversation thanks, in part, to their outdated nature. Run a mental list of the most popular actors in Hollywood. Find more than a handful sporting a loud and proud soup strainer? Singers? Reality show stars? Commercial pitch men?
It’s no accident that Will Ferrell’s signature ‘stache in “Anchorman” commands our respect—and giggles. It instantly labels him as hailing from another era, perfect fodder for fish out of water comedy.
There’s nothing funny about the causes Movember fights. The project raises money to battle both prostate and testicular cancer. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and the most common cancer in young men between the ages of 15 and 35 is testicular cancer. Men stand a strong chance of beating both cancers if treated in its earliest stages, particularly testicular cancer (roughly 95 percent cure rate when caught early). The project also sheds light on mental health issues like depression.
The modern Movember movement still packs a sense of humor, a dash of adventure and the sense that embracing one’s inner Tom Selleck can never be a bad thing.
Christian Toto is an award-winning journalist, film critic and father of two remarkable boys. His work has appeared in People magazine, The Denver Post and a host of other publications (both web and print-based). He blogs about the struggle to balance marriage, family and leisure time at Daddylibrium.com.