What Is Movember?


Alex Hu, Staff Writer

Movember is an annual event with men growing mustaches during November to raise awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. 

Participants can grow either a mustache or a beard during November, or donate some money to the Movember Foundation, which runs a charity event to spread awareness for men’s health. The Movember Foundation uses this money to provide facts about men’s health and to support organizations such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation, LIVESTRONG Foundation, and the Prevention Institute to educate men of all ages about living a healthier and happier life.

In addition to raising money, the Movember Foundation runs two events to further provide awareness. The charity launched The Moscars in 2010, a contest where Movember participants submit videos displaying their involvement in Movember to potentially win prizes in a number of categories. The foundation also chooses the International Man of Movember to be the face of Movember for the entire year. Each country has one contestant that is voted in at the end of November by both fans and judges.

By 2030, the Movember Foundation aims to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%. The foundation funds over 1250 projects across 20 countries to educate men around the world about their own health and wellbeing.

The term “Movember” originated in 1999 in Adelaide, South Australia. A local news station aired a story around a group of young men growing out their mustaches during November, which eventually turned into a worldwide phenomenon.

In 2004, a group of thirty men organized a similar event growing their mustaches for thirty days, and the group eventually became the Movember Foundation charity, which since raised $174 million worldwide. Just last year, the Movember Foundation raised $74.2 million, with $18.4 million coming from donations during Movember

Art Department Chair Paul Radek participated in Movember from 2011 to 2015 and believed in the importance of what Movember is doing for men’s health.

“I was drawn to the campaign because of the commitment to men’s health awareness,” Radek said. “Spreading awareness is one step, but Movember’s commitment to research, treatment, and post-treatment causes really sold me on their mission. “When I participated, if men joked or asked me about the mustache, I took the responsibility seriously to have conversations about men’s health. Also, in 2011, ironic mustaches weren’t yet in style, and having an excuse to see myself progress to a fully realized December “Mo” was an opportunity I could not pass up.”

Junior Harish Karthikeyan believes that Movember is a great initiative to help spread awareness for men’s health.

“I didn’t really know Movember was a thing, but I think it’s a good thing that they’re talking about men’s health, “ Karthikeyan said. “It’s a topic that not many people know about, but it’s actually a serious issue that happens to a lot of people, and it’s good they’re trying to spread awareness about it.”