November has finally arrived, but not everyone fully understands the meaning of ‘Movember’, which is when people grow a mustache for the month of November. While most people are familiar with the concept of letting their facial hair grow during the winter months, some don’t fully understand where this trend initially began.
Movember isn’t just a good way to keep your face warmer with extra facial hair as the temperature drops. It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness (and sometimes raise funds) for an important cause. Similar to concepts such as Sober October, or No Shave November, Movember is a movement focused on uniting people around the globe with a shared focus, specifically about prostate cancer awareness.
Understanding the meaning behind Movember, what it stands for, and how you can get involved is a great way to do something valuable for your community this fall, while rocking a fun new look.
Movember Meaning: What Exactly is Movember?
Movember is a social movement which takes place all over the world. The concept was first introduced in 2003, when a group of Australians came up with the idea to grow their facial hair (specifically their mustache) for 30 days during the month of November.
The Movember foundation has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects across the globe since 2003, focusing on everything from suicide prevention to testicular and prostate cancer. Initially, the group looked specifically at prostate and testicular cancer, but it has since evolved to tackle various health and wellness issues related to men.
Currently, Movember has more than 5 million supporters around the world, and Movember has raised more than $1 billion in donations for suicide prevention and other causes. The rules of the movement are simple. Men start the beginning of November with a freshly shaven face, then don’t touch their razor until the 30th, which is when they remove excess facial hair and showcase their new mustache.
Crucially, the initiative focuses only on the mustache. This differentiates it from No-Shave November, a separate group created for cancer awareness, which encourages people to gather the cash they’d usually spend on maintaining their beards and hair to the American Cancer Society.
What Causes Does Movember Support?
As mentioned above, Movember is focused primarily on raising awareness for prostate and testicular cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men, with around 52,000 diagnoses made each year.
However, the leaders behind the group also encourage participants to raise awareness for all wellness and health issues influencing men. The idea is that men change their appearances drastically by growing a mustache during the course of a month. This change inspires people to comment on the new mustache, at which point the participant can share information about Movember.
According to Movember, the campaign is all about inspiring conversations, and getting more people to talk about issues affecting male physical and mental health. Currently, many men still have a difficult time talking about health issues. By linking complex topics to a fun annual activity, Movember raises awareness, and makes health less of a “taboo” topic.
How to Participate in Movember
Now that the Movember meaning has become more clear, there’s a chance you might want to get involved this month. The good news is that it’s relatively simple for anyone to take part. You start with a fresh face at the beginning of Movember, usually shaving the day before the event begins.
You then “donate your face” as a billboard for the Movember campaign by making sure you don’t shave until the 30th of November. While you can simply take part in the not-shaving part of the campaign, there are also various ways to get involved by raising funds.
Some participants ask for donations from their friends and families to contribute to the Prostate Cancer UK community. You could also follow similar guidelines to No-Shave November and donate the money you’d usually spend on having your beard and mustache trimmed to a relevant charity.
The official guidelines of Movember are:
- Register as a member on Movember.com, and start the month with a fresh face
- For the whole of Movember, grow and groom your mustache
- Avoid any beards, goatees, and fake mustaches
- Use your mustache to create conversations and raise funds for men’s health
- Conduct yourself like a true gentleman throughout the month
Growing Your Movember Mustache
Depending on genetic hair thickness and hair type, some people will have an easier time than others growing a mustache this November. Some people might find that their facial hair is not only thin, but also light in color. You could always dye your mustache to make it stand out more, if you’re looking to have some fun with it.
Whether you grow a ‘Handlebar Mustache’ or a ‘Gable Pencil’ mustache, have fun with it and remember - it’s for a great cause.
Even if a mustache isn’t really your style, it’s only temporary, and you can always shave it off at any time. The point is to try to get involved in something that supports a good cause, because cancer impacts families across the globe.
If you’ve never grown a mustache before, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials available about growing it, shaping it, styling it and maintaining it. You’ll master the art of rocking a mustache in no time.
Enjoy Celebrating Movember
While Movember meanings might be a little confusing at first, a little research is all it takes to unveil just what this important monthly cause is all about.
Before you get started, make sure you have a clear plan for how you want to shape and style your mustache throughout the month, based on your hair growth capabilities. It’s also worth having some exfoliator on hand to get rid of dry skin as you grow your hair, as fall can promote flakier, more dehydrated skin.
Above all else, Movember is all about having fun while drawing attention to an important cause. Whatever the kind of mustache you choose to grow, enjoy the experience!
Understanding Your Genetic Risk of Cancer
If you’re a man who is concerned about your genetic risk of prostate cancer, or you’re a woman with a son, brother, husband or father who you’re concerned for, consider a CircleDNA test. This at-home DNA testing kit reveals his genetic risk factors, as it can identify cancer-causing genetic mutations that could increase his risk of certain cancers. Having a genetic mutation in one’s DNA does not necessarily mean that person will get cancer. It simply means more preventative measures should be taken to help reduce their risk of cancer.
- Movember: Foundation. https://uk.movember.com/about/foundation
- Movember: Annual Report
https://cdn.movember.com/uploads/files/Annual Reports/2020_Annual Report_ROW.pdf
- Prostate Cancer UK: About Prostate Cancer. https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/about-prostate-cancer#:~:text=Prostate cancer is the most,prostate cancer in their lifetime.