If you notice an unusual amount of men with moustaches walking around town this month, don’t worry, the 1970s upper-lip hairstyle isn’t suddenly fashionable again.
The moustaches are actually part of the annual fundraising event ‘Movember’. If you’re new to Movember, here’s everything you need to know to get caught up on this macho money-raising phenomenon.
What is it?
Movember is an annual fundraiser held during the month of November in which men grow moustaches to raise money for various men’s health charities and increase awareness for men’s health issues, such as those prostate and testicular cancer. Women can also participate in the fundraiser by raising money, encouraging others to get involved and publicly sharing their support for the cause.
When and how did it start?
Movember was the brainchild of two friends—Travis Garone and Luke Slattery—from Melbourne, Australia. In 2003, they decided to convince their friends to grow a moustache during the month of November as a way to raise awareness for men’s health. They were inspired by a friend’s mother who was raising money for a breast cancer charity, and wanted to create a way for men to campaign for health issues that impacted them.
How exactly does it help?
Movember isn’t just an excuse for men to grow questionable facial hair for attention and/or their own amusement (although those are certainly added perks). It’s a legitimate fundraiser that raised £20.4 million for men’s health programmes in 2013 alone, not to mention encouraging millions of men across the globe to play an active role in their own health.
How can you get involved?
Become a ‘Mo Bro’
The most obvious way to participate in Movember is to grow a moustache yourself, also known as becoming a ‘Mo Bro’. You can sign up on the fundraiser’s official website, which features tools and tips for raising money.
Become a ‘Mo Sista’
You don’t have to be male to support Movember. Men’s health is something we can all advocate for, and women can participate by donating to the cause, encouraging their male friends to grow a moustache, organising fundraising events and spreading the word. ‘Mo Sistas’ can also register on the fundraiser’s website to officially take part in the fundraiser.
Donate to a ‘Mo Bro’ or ‘Mo Sista’
If, for whatever reason, you aren’t up for growing a ‘mo’ yourself, you can still support Movember by donating to someone who is. You can also donate to Movember any time via the organisation’s website.
Ask work to match your donation
To support their staff and demonstrate corporate responsibility, many companies will match their employees’ charity donations with a donation of the same amount. Ask your employer (the HR department, in larger organisations) if the company will match the funds you raise for Movember to automatically double your contribution to the cause.
To see photos from past years, read the official rules, find out more about the causes Movember supports or discover other ways to get involved, visit uk.Movember.com.
Have you ever taken part in Movember before?