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What’s the Big Hairy Deal with Movember?

First, you notice a coworker, then your favorite barista, and then it seems like they’re everywhere. It’s the mustache. And it’s making a comeback—for a month, at least. It’s Movember. You’ve heard of it. You love saying it, but what exactly is it?

Each November, men take on the challenge of growing an epic mustache, like the handlebar, the horseshoe or even the pencil, perhaps. The mustache is meant to spark conversations—not about funny facial hair—but about men’s health.

Movember, explained

Movember is a charity organization, which started as a movement. The Movember Foundation officially launched in the United States in 2007 in partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation. It supports studies, projects and research in key areas that affect men’s health:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Mental health
  • Suicide prevention

The movement that started everything began in 2003 in Australia. Two friends joked about the long-abandoned mustache, a statement piece made popular in the ‘80s. That sparked the idea to get a group onboard to wear and maintain mustaches for a whole month—November. The reason? Fun. The cause? Support men’s health and prostate cancer. They rallied 30 of their male friends and family to take part in the challenge with a contribution of $10 each.

That grew, and today, the Movember Foundation is a worldwide organization with locations in the U.S., Australia, France, Singapore, South Africa and more.

How to get involved

While there are events throughout the year led by the Movember Foundation, November is when men take part in the challenge all on their own.

While you can simply grow a mustache during the month to raise awareness, you can also inspire donations any way you see fit:

  • Taking part in a challenge with other Movember participants
  • Using social media to encourage donations
  • Hosting an event or party with a contribution jar

Where does the money go?

In participation with some of its men’s health partners like Livestrong and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Movember Foundation has funded several men’s health projects throughout 20 countries. Some of the projects include:

  • Tools to support veteran going through psychological trauma
  • Testing and treatments for prostate cancer
  • Research for prostate cancer
  • Resources supporting those with testicular cancer

So have fun, participate and learn the symptoms, and always remember to talk to your doctor about any health concerns you might have.

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