As we approach the holiday season, many of us look back on the year past. We reflect on our accomplishments, the travels we’ve undertaken, the people we are thankful to have in our lives and the uh… the… mustaches everywhere you look. You see, these are no ordinary mustaches. These are the mustaches of heroes around the world. Donating their faces (and in some cases the ability to look women and children in the eyes without shame) to a greater cause, these men raise awareness and funds for men’s health and, more specifically, prostate and testicular cancer.
In 2004, the original men of Movember gathered in Melbourne and decided to take the tradition of growing a November mustache to the next level. It was no longer about looking really, really ridiculously good; it was also about doing good. From these humble beginnings, Movember has grown from 30 guys in Australia to nearly one million worldwide, raising $126.3 million globally in 2011 in partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the LIVESTRONG Foundation.
But why is this important? Yes, there are the facts: In 2012, more than 242,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 28,000 men will die from prostate cancer. But facts don’t always drive action. Making action easy does. Movember has combined a favorite male pastime (growing and making fun of mustaches, come on) with competition (always friendly), social tools (your very own MoSpace and app) and most importantly, a conversation starter (that would again be your mo). While many men shy away from discussing health issues, they will talk about the little piece of luxury above their lip. And that leads to why they’re growing it. And how often you should get a check-up. And, oh, I guess I should have a primary physician… Who’s yours?
This is my fourth year mastering the magic of moustachery and it’s exciting to see how quickly Movember has taken off. It’s become the secret club everyone knows about. And while I’m happy that people finally seem to know about Movember and aren’t creeped out by all the ‘staches, what is really important are the conversations we are starting to have about our health and the actions we are taking to do something about it.
P.S. Edelman has been taking action this year too. You can see a few of our activities on Pinterest.