Ellingson: For No-Shave November, ‘stache it up


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Opinion: Ellingson 11/5

Caitlin Ellingson

It is that time of year where the leaves change color and the weather gets a bit chillier. The semester is nearing an end and soon enough students will be preparing for the holidays. But, there is more to this magical month than many realize. November marks the time of year when men everywhere can go wild with their facial hair.

Ah, yes. The month where men can prove their masculinity and self-worth by revolting against the oppressive five-bladed razor regime, typically led by a girlfriend with specific tastes, and let their facial hair grow to epic proportions. But there can be more to it than that and,

even better, it’s for a great cause. Welcome to Movember.

The Movember Foundation is the only official moustache-growing charity that raises awareness and money for men’s health, specifically for testicular and prostate cancer initiatives. The money raised will support three different categories: awareness and education, survivorship, and research. Their goal is to “change the face of men’s health” by increasing early cancer detection and effective treatments, and therefore reducing the number of death relating to prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is actually more common than you might think. One in every six men will develop the cancer in their lifetimes, so it’s important to know the signs and check with a doctor regularly.

Movember started in Melbourne, Australia, in 2003 when a small group of friends were talking about why the moustache trend had not yet come back into style. The first ever Movember started that year, when 30 men decided to bring it back.

The following year, four of those men decided to make the moustache-growing an annual event and turn it into a charitable cause to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. Over 450 people participated, raising $43,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

In 2007, Movember came to the United States and the 2,127 participants helped raise over $740,000 for the cause. In 2011, 855,203 people (145,000 of which were Americans) participated globally and raised $126.3 million. This made Movember the largest non-government funder of prostate cancer research in the world. As of 2012, there will be official Movember campaigns in 21 countries.

So how do you participate? It’s easy. Both men and women can register at www.movember.com, and become part of the movement. This event begins November first and goes on until the end of the month. That is 30 blissfully shave-free days.

Men, who are known as Mo Bros, start off clean-shaven and grow their moustache, which makes them instantly become a living poster for the cause. Women, who are called Mo Sistas, can participate by becoming team captains. During this time, they can recruit others to join, offer support to the Mo Bros, and raise awareness about Movember and men’s health. Family and friends of Mo Bros and Sistas are encouraged to donate and show their support.

So, ladies, when your significant other decides to participate in Movember, consider him a hero, not just lazy. Superman with a beard. Batman with a pencil mustache. Spiderman with a Fu Manchu. Captain America with mutton chops. Thor with a soul patch. The Doctor with stubble, for those who do not have the best genetics for facial hair growth.

In any case, hold your head up high and display the untrimmed hair on your face with pride. You are saving lives and making a difference in the world.