With last month’s plethora of pink (ahem), even the color blind couldn’t help but notice it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But fewer people know that for the last eight years men around the world have grown out their moustaches during November in support of the fight to cure prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death among men.
The initiative is called Movember (November + moustache = Movember) and, since its 2003 launch in Melbourne, Australia, it has raised millions of dollars for men’s health worldwide, including $7.5 million in the United States in 2010 alone. By literally “changing the face of men’s health”, Movember is attempting to make men more comfortable discussing prostate cancer, which, despite its high incidence rate, remains a touchy topic among the masculine masses.
Considering Movember’s fundraising prowess, it should come as no surprise that Florida Governor Rick Scott has taken notice. In a Nov. 1 letter, he applauded Movember for “encouraging men to remove the stigma and speak out against prostate cancer.”
Scott’s support may be ironic — the man is as glabrous as Mr. Bigglesworth’s biggles — but it nonetheless shows that Movember is growing stronger.
“Governor Scott was the first state governor to officially recognize Movember since its inception and this is an indication of the movement’s growing influence and efficacy,” says Diego Echeverri, who secured the letter from Scott and is the captain of his Movember team, Los Bigotudos.
Endorsements by politicians aside, Echeverri says Movember’s true strength lies right under men’s noses.
“Movember is so effective because the moustache initiates a grassroots dialogue regarding men’s health issues,” he says.
To learn more about the hirsute pursuit and how you can get involved, visit the Movember website. The movement welcomes men (Mo Bros) and women (Mo Sistas) alike, so don’t let gender keep you on the sidelines during moustache season.
As the month wears on and the moustaches grow in, expect Movember-related events to start curling onto the Miami calendar. Already on our radar: The Emerge Miami Mustache Ride on Saturday, Nov. 12. If you know of any others, feel free to add them to our events page.