Moustaches Are Cancer Ribbons You Can Wear

By Melissa Rodriguez

Many people don’t realize growing moustaches during November is like wearing a cancer support ribbon on their faces. Every November facial hair capable men of all ages make a solemn vow to ignore their razors (and complaints from their lady friends) and participate in the phenomenon known as No Shave November.

No Shave November has a purpose, and it’s not to just be hairy
No Shave November, more formally known as Movember, is an annual campaign that raises awareness and funds for men’s health initiatives, such as prostate cancer research.  Essentially, the moustache becomes a symbol, much as a pink ribbon is the symbol for breast cancer.

“I started doing No Shave November because I like growing out a beard,” Raul Soto, a University of Central Florida sophomore, said. “I have a friendly competition going on with my friends. The ladies love it.”

Movember started in 2003 in Australia and spread to several countries worldwide including the United States, South Africa, Finland and Ireland. CEO and Co-Founder of Movember Adam Garone and his friends wanted to bring back iconic moustaches, and realized their upper lip accoutrements launched many conversations. They quickly realized this could be a way of starting conversations about bigger issues like men’s health and started Movember, a combination of the words “moustache” and “November.”

How to be a Mo Bro/ Sista
Men who choose to participate in Movember are recognized as Mo Bro’s. After registering online, Mo Bro’s get others to sponsor their facial hair growing endeavors. Typically, Mo Bro’s also donate the money they would spend on razors, shaving creams and other grooming items. To be an official Mo Bro, men must adhere to a set of five rules as agreed upon by the Movember founders.

“I definitely feel more manly with a beard,” Phil Stricker, junior, said. “I just feel cooler when I have a moustache. My fiancée prefers me with facial hair. She’s all about the beard and ‘stache combo.”

Movember isn’t simply limited to men. Women can also participate and be known as a Mo Sista. Women can encourage their moustache bearing friends by helping raise money, spreading the word about prostate cancer and men’s health, and if they are so inclined, can participate in No Make-Up November.

Where does the money go?
Throughout the past five years, Movember’s 1.1 million participants worldwide have raised more than $174 million. In the United States, funding is given to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG. The money Mo Bro’s and Sista’s have raised has helped the foundations sponsor research which has identified more than 25 different types of prostate cancer, and programs which assist cancer survivors through treatment and recovery.

Moustaches are revered as a sign of wisdom in Asia. In fact, Confucius once said, “A man without a moustache is a man without a soul.” Every 2.2 minutes a male is diagnosed with prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is comparable to breast cancer in women by the number of occurrences each year. Men who participate in Movember are spreading a message about important health issues in a fun and engaging way and are sending donations that actually make a difference in cancer research.

Colleges across the United States can take part in The Big Moustache On Campus competition. The BMOC competition encourages college students to participate in Movember. The highest fundraising student wins a prize provided by tourism company, Contiki.

“I think it would be really great if an organization at FSC would sponsor a [No Shave November] competition benefitting a charity/awareness group,” Stricker said. “Whether it be in Novembeard, Decembeard, Januhairy, or Februhairy.”

Other Interesting Links
Register for Movember- Be a Mo Bro!
Don’t know how to style your new facial accessory? Try this style guide for tips.
What every Mo Bro should know about men’s health.
What sort of man grows a mo?

Movember – A Coat of Arms For Your Face



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