Hair. When it comes to cancer, most people think of losing it. Since 2003, the non-profit Movember Foundation has subverted this negative association by encouraging men to grow out their moustaches in November to “change the face of men’s health.” An acknowledged half-joke, Movember (a portmanteau of “moustache” and “November”) has had a serious impact: In 2009 alone, it raised $42 million for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, LIVESTRONG, and other organizations fighting the good fight against cancer around the world.
To learn more about how something as questionably debonair as a moustache can help cure cancer, I talked to Brian Williams, head of Movember’s Miami chapter.
Why the moustache?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: The idea is that the moustache will become to prostate and testicular cancers what the pink ribbon is to breast cancer. The whole idea of “changing the face of men’s health” — you’re doing that by growing the moustache. Prostate cancer affects one in three men in the United States, and testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer for men 15 to 35, I believe. So it’s something that I think has been overlooked, and what better way to draw attention to men’s health than by sporting sweet moustaches?