Growing back the 'stach

Movember charity that focuses on men's health

Like our GPAs, the leaves are falling, the light at the end of midterms is in sight, Starbucks holiday cups litter Stauffer desks and across campus, lip hair is beginning to sprout — it’s Movember.

The Movember Foundation began when 30 guys in Australia wanted to see if they could bring the moustache back into fashion. Since its conception in 2003, the movement has featured more than five million people of both genders who have raised over $750 million towards cancer research, prostate and testicular cancer as well as issues of mental health and suicide prevention among men.

For me, it’s great to see a charity that focuses on men’s health issues all year round. I’ve lost many family members to prostate cancer — one of the primary targets the charity has set its sights on — so it very well could be in my future too. 

The Movember campaign, for me, bridges the islands that men often make themselves into. I no longer have to face the reality of my future alone thanks to this movement. 

The moustache is clawing its way back onto the upper lips of many men in November of every year as a way to show solidarity, to know we’re facing these issues together. Being a man, or on my way to becoming one anyways, it’s often hard for us to discuss our feelings and show that we can be hurt by something. During the month of November, growing a moustache, for me, means we’re addressing the fact that we aren’t invincible. 

The organization allows people to actively partake in the change for a cause that affects so many and it does it through Mo spaces. People set up sponsorship funds and attempt — I do mean ‘attempt’ — to grow moustaches. You donate money to people and they grow their ‘stache over the month of November. By circulating their Mo space on Facebook or Instagram, people are able to involve their friends and family in their growing attempts. 

There was once a time when every man adorned his lip with that little patch of hair, signifying he was a man’s man.  

Like most twenty-year-olds, I’m not what you would call gifted with non-scalp related hair follicles. One look at the shaving cream that I’ve had since the summer or the fact that my shaving routine is a weekly one would tell you that. 

I have hope though, as any guy in my situation inevitably does, primarily because my father sported a moustache for the longest while.

But for Movember, that doesn’t matter. This month, young men like me can look at our bodies, or facial hair, without animosity but rather with pride.  

It’s not like they will refuse your donation because your growth is too paltry. Everyone’s attempt is successful, because it’s the coming together as men to help ourselves and to realize we’re all in this together, that matters most.

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