Some men may participate in “No-Shave November,” but some make the choice to grow facial hair for a cause. They are the men of Movember.
During the month of November, a popular tradition mandates all men must ditch the razors and shaving cream for 30 days and stand tall in their bristly, unshaven glory. This custom has become relatively well-known amongst the general population, but many people are unaware of the history and significance behind it.
It all started in 2003, when two men in Melbourne, Australia, decided it was time for the mustache to make a comeback. They compiled a group of 30 individuals who committed to growing out their mustaches throughout the month of November, and thus, Movember was born.
The following year, the group not only continued this tradition, but took it to the next level by using their mustaches to raise funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. Four hundred-fifty individuals participated and together, they raised $54,000 in Australian currency.
Fast forward eight years and Movember has branched off into both the successful charity and No-Shave November, a broader effort to grow beards not connected to the charity. For Movember, becoming an international movement with hundreds of thousands of participants worldwide. In 2011, 854,000 participants (referred to as Mo Bros) raised $126.3 million in U.S. currency to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Additionally, according to the official Movember website, each moustache grown in 2011 sparked 2,413 conversations about men’s health.
Evan Brooks, a junior majoring in management, said he has been growing out his facial hair every November since he was 17.
“All of the men in my family grow beards during the winter,” Brooks said. “It’s kind of a tradition.”
Like many other unofficial participants, Brooks wasn’t aware of the opportunity to raise money using his facial hair.
In order to become an official Mo Bro and start using the power of the ‘stache to raise money for men’s health organizations, participants must register at us.movember.com, where they can find information on sponsorship, as well as fundraising tips, merchandise, event information, and a variety of other ways to get involved.
“Now that I am aware of the sponsorships I will probably register next year,” Brooks said.
While Brooks is a No-Shave November pro, many others are going razorless for the first time this month.
“I’d never gone more than a week without shaving,” said Alex Morris, a sophomore majoring inmusic performance and pre-med. “I usually have to shave every other day, so I really just wanted to see how long it would get during the month.”
This year is Morris’ third, and most successful, attempt at participating in No-Shave November, and although he doesn’t plan on becoming an official Mo Bro in the future, he still supports the organization’s cause.
“I was not previously aware of the significance of Movember, but because of it, I will be more likely to participate in the coming years,” Morris said.
For more information on Movember and how to get involved, visit us.movember.com.