Embracing facial hair: The significance of No-Shave November
The origin of the movement — Movember — can be traced back to 2003 in Melbourne Australia, a point in time when keeping a moustache was no longer considered an in-thing. Two moustache-loving friends, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery wanted to bring the trend back and decided to grow it out for a month. They combined the "moustache" and "November" together to symbolise their pact and Movember was born.
In 2004, they had 28 of their friends join their cause and then a few more and slowly the entire world. What began as a space for men with facial hair to share their mutual passion for moustaches, it started raising awareness for men's health and then became a global phenomenon. Today, this movement funds over 1300 men's health projects around the world raising over $800 million across the years.
Men's health and well-being in general often get overlooked be it by society or by men themselves. Years of conditioning led us to not take our health (both mental and physical) seriously. We often neglect numerous signs and symptoms of various underlying conditions and choose to power through things. While Movember seeks to shed light on various men's health problems, there are three issues in particular that it stands for.
This is the most prevalent kind of cancer in men. Movember aims to break any and all stigma associated with it in a bid to empower men to speak up and discuss the matter and also encourage them to get regular check-ups so nothing gets undetected.
Testicular cancer is most common among men between the ages of 15 and 35. Movember promotes self-examinations and early detection.
Movember has shaken up the entire landscape of men's mental health issues and is responsible for opening the field for more conversations about the subject. It also seeks to encourage men to reach out to others for support.
Movember has transformed our moustaches to become beacons that urge men to prioritise their health and break barriers when it comes to discussing men's physical and mental struggles. It has helped millions of men shatter stereotypes and be more vocal, more expressive, and be their authentic selves in general.
So yes, Movember is about growing your facial hair but it is way more than just that. It promotes conversations, expression, and acceptance. It also creates a sense of camaraderie among participants that include men from all walks of life as they unite to create a difference in the lives of those who fall prey to men's health issues.