The Story behind Movember
What is Movember? An interview with Movember founder Adam Garone.
Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a month-long celebration of the moustache! It’s an annual charity event, held during the month of November, where men of all ages (known as Mo Bros), all over the world, shave on the 1st of November and spend the remaining 30 days growing a ‘stache.
The goal of this global campaign is to encourage the growing of moustaches to raise awareness and funds for carefully selected charitable organizations with a focus on men’s health and specifically prostate cancer.
It’s a great opportunity to grow a Mo where you are only limited by your imagination. Many men secretly want to know what they would look like sporting a moustache, but never considered giving it a chance – until Movember. Growing a moustache is something that most men can rally around. The fun and irreverence of it taps into that masculinity and the desire or excuse to see what you would actually look like wearing a moustache.
The movement’s origins did not start with the medical industry, as many may guess. The idea was conceived by a group of Australian lads who were inspired by what women were achieving with breast cancer fundraising efforts.
In a personal interview with Movember founder Adam Garone, we asked what was the attraction to the moustache as a vehicle for fundraising?
Typically people start with a cause and then form a foundation or event around that. In our case, Movember started in a traditional Australian way: as a joke over beers on a Sunday afternoon, with my brother and another friend. They were talking about various styles from the ‘80s and how everything cycles back into fashion.
That discussion ended with a challenge to bring back the moustache. “Mo” is slang for moustache in Australia, so we renamed the month November to Movember and created a few simple rules, which still stand today. You start the month clean-shaven, and grow a moustache for 30 days.
This was 2003, and that year, for no particular reason other than as a social experiment, 30 of us grew moustaches. We quickly realized that the simple act of growing a moustache sparked dozens of conversations throughout the month with friends, family and colleagues.
At the end of the month, we decided to grow moustaches every Movember, and felt this “hairy ribbon” was the perfect accessory to raise awareness around a cause affecting many men - prostate cancer. One in six of us men are going to get prostate cancer, and you don’t need to look too far to find a dad or an uncle with a direct connection to the disease.
It did not take long before they knew they had something – an idea that could truly make a difference. From the land down under to the great wide open, it was a simple bar conversation about style that changed the way we view men’s health, men’s cancer, and the month of November.
Rally up the troops and grow the most robust Mo that you can. Sign up at www.movember.com
Since its inception as a formal charity in 2004, Movember has raised $174M USD globally.
Author: Chantal Chrétien