You sit down at a table in a crowded bar waiting for your friends to arrive. To pass the time, you start checking out everyone in the room the Dali wannabe outside whose pencil-thin cigarette echoes the streak on his upper lip, the bushy handlebar that reeks of bad boy wannabe but you know deep down inside, if you kissed him afterwards and it still smelled like you, it would turn you on, the shaggy -haired hippie that you needed a double take to make sure it wasn’t just dirt smeared across his face. In fact, it’s quite hairy in here, even by Mile End standardsâ€¦ these can’t possibly all be ironic hipster staches.
Then, you catch a glimpse of a calendar that’s mounted behind the bar. The N of November seems to have expanded in size. Movember is it, a month where men channel their inner Burt Reynolds and sport a stach to raise money for prostate cancer. It seems the mustache has become the male equivalent of the pink ribbon.
Considering it started off as a lark amongst friends, Movember has become an immensely successful and prosperous endeavor in the fight against prostate and testicular cancers. In 2003, a group of dudes in Melbourne, Australia decided over beers to grow their mustaches in the month of November to generate conversations about men’s health. The following year, they added a fundraising campaign that raked in over $55,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, the largest single donation the organization ever received.
Fast forward six years, and Movember is bigger than ever. According to Movember.com, global participation in last year’s campaign topped 250,000, with over $47 million raised. This year, politicians like Justin Trudeau and members of the Montreal Canadiens are getting into the spirit of Movember, helping raise its profile here. Canada had the second largest Movember campaign after Australia.
Women even have a chance to help out with the Movember cause. The online men’s lifestyle site Asylum.com created a mock public service announcement for a new holiday on November 18th called â€˜Have Sex with a Guy with a Mustache Day’. Because, as one of the girls in the video cheerfully laments, â€˜you’re not a whore if it’s for charity’.
Some argue that this type of activity trivializes the disease. A similar backlash exists against the pink ribbon campaign for breast cancer awareness, especially when big names get in on the action. For example, Energizer Canada, which sells Schick products, has used the cause the give away razors on the street of major Canadian cities.
Seriously, I would like to do my part this Movember. If there are any mustachioed gentlemen out there who are up for a belated celebration, it certainly has been awhile since my last mustache ride. In fact, I think I’m overdue for a breast exam as wellâ€¦