The month of November is dedicated to the process of growing facial hair for many men. The trend started when a few men discussed the fact that although there is a month dedicated to the promotion of women’s health issues, there was not a similar health awareness month for men. After some thinking, they decided to mix fun with health awareness, and Movember was born.
Facial hair for charity
There are two possible origins for the Movember health awareness month, according to news sources. In 1999, Seven Nightly News covered a story about a few men in a pup who came up with the idea of growing facial hair in November for charity. In 2004, a separate group in Australia created a charity foundation called the Movember Foundation raising awareness for prostate cancer and depression. The first month, 30 men participated in the awareness campaign.
Since 2004, the idea of Movember has spread all over the world. Canada, Australia, and the United States currently have the largest number of participants. With all that awareness since 2004, the Movember Foundation has raised over 174 million dollars. Over 1.1 million people signed up to participate in Movember in 2012, making it the largest Movember yet. In 2012, the charity raised over 95 million dollars.
The fast-growing nature of this charity shows how successful this campaign is. Growing facial hair is a strictly male event, which highlights the difference between male and female health. Growing out hair for a month is also fun, and many men turn the event into a challenge to discover who can grow the best facial hair during November.
The basic premise of the event works like this: On October 31st, every participating man shaves all facial hair. Throughout November, the participants are not allowed to shave their faces in any way. After the month is over, the man with the best facial hair in a group may win a prize or some other award. The men can then shave off their facial hair completely, or reach for the shaving oil and razor to add shape and definition to their new styles. Many groups take before and after photos of the hair just for fun. Throughout the month, both the participants and anyone around can donate to the Movember Foundation. Some groups may take bets on who will grow the best hair, which increases the amount of donations for charity.
Movember is a fun health awareness event that has rapidly expanded and taken over the world. In just a few years, Movember may become as iconic and prevalent as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Giving men a fun way to raise awareness about their health might have a dramatic impact on male health, as men tend to ignore health signs more than women. Giving men a time to reflect on their health will only serve to increase the overall health of men around the world, while also giving them a chance to showcase their personalities through the growth of facial hair.
Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and occasional blogger on health and beauty topics.