With November looming upon us, men from all over the world are ditching their razors in favour of growing out their facial hair for a valid excuse.
‘Movember’ or ‘No-Shave November’ has become a modern-day tradition amongst men to show off their creativity in the form of their beards and moustaches.
The tradition however may have begun to lose its roots with newer generations of men taking on the practice more as a ‘bandwagon’ exercise than the cause it was intended to serve.
Here are some things you should know about Movember and No-Shave November.
They’re not the same thing
While I was researching for the topic, I was surprised as were my colleagues to learn that Movember and No-Shave November were not one in the same.
The two often get used interchangeably to describe the same tradition, but their origins, mechanism and causes differ by quite a bit.
While both events support the need to raise awareness of men’s health issues, they actually focus on different diseases and function slightly differently as well.
Movember began in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 by a pair of mates who wondered whether they could bring the moustache trend back into fashion. A year later, they took the stunt a step further to raise awareness about Prostate Cancer and to raise funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA).
In 2004 alone, they raised approximately AUD$54,000, the largest single donation received by the PCFA at the time.
Contrary to popular belief, Movember is solely focused on moustaches, and works by getting others to donate based on the efforts of their ‘Mo Bros’ during the month.
Participants can sign up on their website and dedicate an entire month to growing and shaping the most creative moustache, garnering attention and donations in the mean time.
The Movember Foundation is now in over 20 countries and has expanded their causes to Testicular Cancer and Mental Health Issues, having raised over US$650 million and funded over 1,200 projects to save and improve the lives of men globally.
No-Shave November, on the other hand, is a separate organisation that motivates people to forego shaving for the month and donate what they would have otherwise spent on razors, shaving cream or the barber.
Participants are not limited to just moustaches and can go wild with beards and side-burns. Women can also participate by choosing not to shave their legs.
The organisation began as a Facebook initiative in 2009 and focuses on benefitting cancer research, not just limited to prostate and testicular.
In 2013, the organisation entered a partnership with the American Cancer Society. Since then, the organisation has generated over US$1,400,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Either one works
On a whole, despite their differences, participating in either will go a long way in contributing towards men’s health issues.
According to Medical Daily, men around the world die six years earlier than women on average. Prostate and testicular cancer is amongst the most common killers amongst men, with the former’s diagnoses expected to reach 1.7 million by 2030.
Mental health and depression is also a growing problem with approximately 510,000 men dying each year due to suicide.
So with November on its way, let’s do our part and grow ’em Mo’s!