Movember is a global men’s health charity focused mainly on prevention of testicular and prostate cancers and prevention of male suicide. November is the 30 days during which Movember takes place and the “Mo” bit refers to the growing of a moustache for that period. “The moustache is our ribbon” says their website, and with 5 millions participants worldwide how could anyone disagree? The purpose is, ultimately, to raise money for the causes promoted by the movement. But, if all you do is grow your mo, you can be sure you are contributing in your own small way.
Where Movember come from?
Melbourne, 2003. Two friends, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, meet at a over a beer and the conversation turns to fashion trends of days gone by. Pondering the lack of enthusiasm for the moustache they joke about bringing it back into style. Managing to persuade 30 others to join them, they decided that they could use the exploit to raise money for prostate cancer, inspired by witnessing women raise money for breast cancer. Since then the project has snowballed. Worldwide 4,746,905 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas carrying the cause, £402 million raised and 832 men’s health projects funded since 2003 and with ever increasing numbers of people asking “what is Movember?”.
6 Moustache Facts:
1. Before 1916 to volunteer for the British Army moustaches were a compulsory requirement.
2. The official longest moustache is Guinness World Record holder, Ram Singh Chauhan with a mustache that spans 14 feet long.
3. The average moustache has 600 hairs.
4. On average a man with a moustache touches it 760 times a day.
5. Founded in 1947, the UK-based Handlebar Club is the world’s oldest moustache club.
6. Police in the northern Madhya Pradesh state of India get paid an allowance for growing a moustache. Its an authority thing.
Making a Change With Movember
On average worldwide, men die 6 years earlier than women. This represents a hidden crisis in men’s health overall according to the Movember Foundation. Some of the worldwide statistics are startling:
1. Half a million men die from suicide per year, over 75% of all suicides.
2. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer with diagnoses expected to rise to 1.7 million cases by 2020
3. Testicular cancer is highly curable when detected early, and 95% of patients with testicular cancer are alive after a five-year period. However, about half of men with testicular cancer do not seek treatment until the cancer has spread beyond the testicles to other locations in the body. If caught at a late stage the survival rate drops to 74%.
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What is Movember doing to tackle these issues?
Raising awareness and funding their Global Action Plan intended to tackle the causes of the gender inequality in mortality. Some of these causes are behavioral. Men are more reluctant to seek help if they feel unwell and are less likely to openly discuss their feelings with regard to health or any significant life events. Add to this the increased tendency to engage in activities that are harmful to health, and you have the basis of the problem. The strategy is three pronged attack:
1. Men taking action on their health leading to improved quality of life
2. Improved quality of treatment and care leading to a reduced risk of men dying prematurely
3. Breakthroughs in knowledge leading to an expanded definition of masculinity
What does Movember Do?
The Movember Foundation was ranked 72nd out of the top 500 NGOs in 2014, demonstrating the seriousness of the commitment made to their causes. Given that it is a movement so focused on fun events to raise money, it is a remarkable achievement. Fundraising events for the UK alone in 2016 include:
1. The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride: On the 25th September tweed clad moustache twirling cads, cards and chaps straddle their classic and vintage styled motorcycles and ride their way to increased awareness and funds for the cause. Why not host your own ride?
2. The Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest in Cardiff (25th Sept), Nottingham (8th Oct), Edinburgh (23rd Oct) and Manchester (29th Oct) is a 10km obstacle race to get the heart pumping and the ‘tashes tingling.
3. MoRunning 5km or 10km running races are visiting 17 towns and cities across the UK throughout November, so get your entries in now to ensure you are rewarded with the famous Movember headband. Check out the Mr. Motivator encourages UK to get involved in a MoRun video below!
How to Participate
Movember is one of the most successful movements of recent times with famous participants including Daniel Craig, Brad Pitt and Lady Gaga (yes, Lady Gaga). There is an app game to download if you are keen to get started early. There is one thorny issue: that of the beard bearer. Would a full beard be acceptable to Movember’s grandees? Simply put: No. Its Mo or no. Think Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I., Dick Dastardly from Whacky Races or Friedrich Nietzsche.
Whatever you choose to do, the most important part of the movement is the sense of community it has fostered. Supportive and fun, it helps draw people in and harness their passion to help save lives. The first step to take is to register on their website and get your fundraising page. Then share your page to get people to sponsor your moustache growth, along with whatever else you choose to do to raise money, by yourself or choose to join a team, or start your own team. So join your Mo Bros and Mo Sistas in November for a determined fun time and show the world you care about men’s issues with the Movember challenge.
Grizzly Adam UK will be donating £1 to Movember for each and every order placed on our website between November 1st 2016 and 30th November 2016, If you would like to donate to the Movember foundation click here