This time every year, we begin to notice men growing all sorts of weird and wonderful moustaches.
Bikers become legends, the handlebar “mo” becomes the ultimate achievement, while hipsters create all forms of weird and wonderfully groomed moustaches – it is Movember.
During Movember, we see men from all walks of life attempt to grow the ultimate mo. Moustaches ranging from embarrassingly faint glimmers barely hinting at hair, right through to the most epic, heavy-set, handlebar-style mo’s, of which the wearer becomes a hero.
Hail the moustache!
As you are most probably aware, people don’t just grow their mo’ for the thrill, they do it for a good cause, in a bid to raise awareness around men’s health – a topic men often choose to ignore. Did you know every hour in Australia, more than four men die from potentially preventable conditions?
On top of this, one-in-every eight Australian men (1.3 million) experience depression at any give time; while one-in-two Aussie blokes will be diagnosed with cancer by age 85 – that’s if they even live that long, given the average life expectancy for an Australian man is 79.5 years, compared to 84 for Australian women.
In the US, the average life expectancy for men is almost 5 years less than women.
Around 15 million adults (6.7 per cent) of the population will be diagnosed with depression each year; one-in-two American men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, while 12.1 per cent of men in the USA, aged 18 and over are in fair or poor health.
According to the Movember website, the reasons for the poor state of male health in both Australia and the US are both complex and plentiful, including:
Lack of awareness and understanding of the health issues facing men
Men not openly discussing their health or how they are feeling with anyone
Reluctance to take action when they don’t feel physically or mentally well
Men engaging in risky activities that threaten their health
Stigma plaguing mental health
Men are less likely than women to seek help for health concerns, and are also less likely to use health care services.
The Movember Foundation aims to change this way of thinking by putting a fun twist on this serious issue. Using the moustache as a catalyst, the idea is to drive change and offer men the opportunity and confidence to learn and talk about their health and take action when required.
As a global men’s health movement, the Movember Foundation has the ambition to contribute to improving the lives of men all around the world. This will be achieved through programs funded in the areas of Awareness and Education, Living with Cancer, Research as well as Mental Health. We see success as moving the dial on progress towards:
Reduced mortality from prostate, testicular cancer and men’s suicide
Men living with prostate or testicular cancer being physically and mentally well
Men and boys understanding how to be mentally healthy and taking action when experiencing mental health problems
Men and boys with mental health problems not facing discrimination
So gentlemen, it’s time we take our health seriously. Grow a mo this month to help raise awareness for people just like you! Let the men in your life know that it’s okay to feel unwell, to express emotions and to ensure they take the best care of themselves possible.
Ladies, you’re most welcome to lend your voice to this month of Movember. So get talking and support your boyfriend, husband, brother/s, dad, uncle/s and friends in their bid to grow a mo. And no matter, let them know growing a mo is a beautiful thing!
Movember (The month formally known as November) is a global moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men’s health.
In 2014, countries participating in Movember include:
United States of America
To join the Movember bandwagon and raise awareness of men’s health worldwide, head to www.movember.com.