November, “Movember.”

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Halloween along with the month of October has now come and gone which brings us towards one of my favourite times of the year. MOVEMBER. No I did not misspell the month of November, I intentionally meant to type “Movember.” Movember has existed for a number of years now and is making footing within mainstream society. However, there is still a large portion of the general public who either do not know what Movember is or who do not know the real reasons behind growing out a moustache during the month of November. Let me answer both of these for you!

Movember is an annual event that takes place over the duration of November. Men who actively participate in Movember shave off all of their facial hair, letting only the moustache grow back in over the month. Some rules let you grow out all of your facial hair. The original meaning behind this was to raise awareness about testicular cancer along with men’s prostate cancer, but Movember has reached out to address men’s health as a general subject now. This small feat encourages men to participate in the event, which raises awareness on the matter, which in turn assists with early cancer detection, diagnosis and prevention. Movember started off as a small trend over 10 years ago and has now grown as an international trend. Men and women alike can raise money for a number of foundations as they grow out their moustaches or can simply take part in the event as a sign of awareness to men’s health. Any attention towards the matter is a positive outcome.

If you can’t tell by now, I’m an avid supporter of Movember. Why else would I shave off my well-groomed beard? At 6’ 4” and 200lbs I look like a giant man-child without one! It simply is better for everyone that I maintain a beard throughout the rest of the year. I, however, will break this code of mine during Movember for several reasons.

First off, Movember is for a good cause. 1, 050 Canadian men were diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2015, striking ages from 15-29 (Remember if you are a university student reading that fact, you are most likely already within that age range!). Prostate cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death from cancer in Canadian men and on average kills 11 Canadian men every day. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with Prostate cancer within their lifetime. With statistics such as this it is important to acknowledge the efforts put in for the cause.

Secondly, when speaking of acknowledgement, men’s health does not always get the best coverage. In recent years, especially on campus, Movember’s presence has become more active and apparent to a wider audience which is good. This is a step in the right direction. However, anything to further the development and understanding of testicular and prostate cancer as well as men’s health is always welcome.

Lastly, Movember is a great way for people to push personal and public boundaries on what is and isn’t acceptable for men. I know in my first year I was very insecure about growing a moustache on campus as a moustache is not a very popular and acceptable style amongst young men. People have used derogatory language to describe moustaches and for those reasons people feel insecure about trying new facial styles. Movember encourages people to dispose of these negative thoughts towards moustaches and cast a positive light upon them.

I hope this blog has raised some awareness for those of you who did not entirely understand what Movember really was. I encourage you to check around on campus for events that support and raise awareness. You can even check foundations off-campus and online! I look forward to seeing all of the moustaches on-campus and encourage you to grow your own “mo” for Movember!