Moustaches matter in Movember

By Emily Ask

In October men wore pink tights and bras to raise money for breast cancer. This month, men are taking up their own cause by growing moustaches to raise money for Prostate Cancer Canada.

This celebration of the moustache is called Movember and its mission is to “change the face of men’s health.”

The story of Movember starts in Melbourne, Australia, with a few guys drinking and bonding over their love of facial hair in 2003. At some point during the night they decided to bring the “mo” slang for moustache back in fashion.

They figured the best way to do this would be to grow a mo and use it to raise awareness for prostate cancer and other men’s health issues — subjects that don’t come up as easily over pints.

Rob Sanderson, a University of Calgary third-year English major, said he’s glad Movember is giving moustaches a more positive image. He recalls the following conversation that took place a few years ago with a female coworker:

“Is that a moustache?”

“Hell yeah.”

“Ew. Why?”

Since hearing about Movember, he says that reaction has changed.

“Now the ladies love it,” he said. Â

Third-year student Mike Tod found out about Movember when his friend participated last year. He admitted at first it was a source of entertainment.

“[My friend] couldn’t grow a moustache . . . I always teased him and said you had to be under the right lighting conditions just to see it,” Tod said.

But now Tod is working to spread the word about Movember overseas during his exchange program in Scotland. He says Movember hasn’t quite caught on there. Â

“I’m getting a pretty sick ‘stache, [it’s] getting real dirty.” Â

While work remains to be done in Scotland, Movember is clearly going global. The official Movember website has separate sites for Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

Canada is second to Australia in fundraising this year with 28,694 registered participants bringing in almost $2 million, according to

Those wishing to participate can register individually or as teams for the ‘stache war. These “Mo Bros” then keep track of donations online, as well as post pictures of moustache progress.

Women are not excluded from the fun and are encouraged to register as “Mo Sistas” to help support the opposite sex and raise awareness for men’s health.

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