Movember is upon us! For those who don’t quite know what this means, it means that you may be seeing a bit more facial hair than you’re accustomed to seeing on many men. Movember (combining the words mustache and November) is a month-long campaign to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer and other men’s health issues, such as testicular cancer. The idea is that men shave on November 1st and then go the entire month of November without shaving their mustache. [Note: Many places have adapted the rules to grow out the entire beard for the month instead of just the mustache, though that is against the “official rules” below.]
According to the official website, this tradition was started in 2003 and has been growing ever since, raising over $550 million to date. Some groups and offices have different pools and contests to see who is able to grow the best mustache and generate the most donations in the process. You can go the bake sale route, or any other number of typical fundraising activities.
This year I am participating at my office with a group of guys. We are trying to generate funds by having people “bet on us” (or just give money to whoever they like the best/looks the silliest!), and we will be selling different foods and trinkets at work. We took our clean-shaven “before” pictures, and will post weekly update pictures to encourage people to donate and follow our facial hair journey. People can also make donations to wear jeans to work – whatever is acceptable at work and helps to raise money works!
For me personally, Movember almost works in reverse. I have had a beard since I was able to grow it, and I am rarely clean shaven. So I actually look very strange for my initial shave, and then after about two weeks I go back to looking “normal.” In fact, I believe that I have only been clean shaven about 3 times in the past six years. This means that Em, who I have known for over six years, has only seen my naked face a few times. And there’s a reason for that – I look like a young child with my babyface. This was confirmed by Em who said that I “look weird…no, just ‘different'” and by multiple people at work who all saw and laughed at how unbelievably young I look. Check out below:
So I am participating in this “charity gimmick” to hopefully help raise awareness and some funds for men’s health issues. Movember comes right on the heels of October which is breast cancer awareness month – probably a month where you see the color pink more often than any other time. Many will also remember the ALS “ice bucket challenge” gimmick that helped raise an extraordinary amount of money for that foundation. Whether it happens to be merchandise colored pink, 5ks/walks, baked sales, mustache growing, auctions, or dumping icy buckets of water on oneself – various charities and foundations have looked to find ways to get people to care about causes. I am in favor of these different techniques that get people involved, raise awareness, and help to generate necessary funds for research and treatment.
PS. To donate, go to this website! If you want to donate on behalf of my team, search “trokspot” and then make your donation. [Don’t worry, I don’t actually get any of the money, it all goes to the cause!]