October 30, 2015


Movember: Your Guide to the Month-Long Mustache Initiative

Gallo Images
Gallo Images

November is just around the corner and that means you might be seeing some friends sporting a little more facial hair than usual. Why? It's all part of Movember—the annual, month-long initiative and celebration to raise awareness for men's health.

Whether you're a longtime Mo Bro or Mo Sis (read on to find out what that is if you're confused), are looking for a way to get involved (you don't just have to grow a mustache) or are just finally trying to figure out what exactly Movember means (we get the spelling is confusing), check out the complete guide with frequently asked questions about the month-long celebration. 

While we have some of the answers below, you can find loads more info and sign up to participate right now at Movember.com. Happy Movember!

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

So, what is it exactly?

Movember is the annual, month-long event and celebration centered around growing mustaches during the month of November. It's all in the name of raising awareness to a slew of men's health issues including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, physical inactivity and their associated charities. 

As you'll read in the history, the founders realized that growing a mustache was remarkable to most people and sparked conversation. They decided to use that conversation for good and create conversations about some issues too often overlooked by most.

It's all run by the Movember Foundation who work touting the goal to "change the face of men's health." By getting dudes involved they specifically focus on early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, as well being aware of family history of cancer and encouraging healthier lifestyles.

Wait, why Movember? Shouldn't it be "Muvember" if we're growing mustaches?

Good question! Movember and the Movember Foundation were founded in Australia, where it's written "moustache" instead the usual American way of writing it as mustache. Same pronunciation ("mo-vem-ber"), just different spelling.

Movemeber has since become an international celebration, but its origins remain down under.

Who's gotten involved?

Since 2014, Movember sports 4,746,905 men and women (known as Mo Bros and Mo Sistas) participating in raising awarness since 2003. But Movember has also found a famous following with many celebrities joining the cause. Arguably, the most passionate celeb Mo Bro is Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman who's created several videos to promote Movember (including the one above with 1.7 million views). 

Other famous participants include Snoop DoggFoster the People, Brody Jenner, Morgan Spurlock, Matt Leinart, and even Mr. Clean.

Jordan Naylor/Getty Images for SXSW
Jordan Naylor/Getty Images for SXSW

How did this all begin?

The story of Movember begins in 2003 when two friends (or mates as they more commonly call them in Australia) Travis Garone and Luke Slattery met up for a beer in Melbourne. Movember.com cites they (most likely drunkenly) discussed how "the moustache had all but disappeared from fashion trends. Could they bring it back?" and found 30 guys willing to take up the challenge."  

What they realized was how the staches could spark conversations so the following year, they began growing mustaches in the name of charity. Their first month alone, they raised $40,851 and funded six men's health projects.

Who benefits from Movember?

You mean other than the guy who might schedule the doctor appointment that could save their life?  

Proceeds of Movember focus on prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and physical activity. So far, that's translated into raising more than $650 million, helping more than 1,000 projects via 20 partner organizations in 21 countries. In America, Movember's fundraising goes to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Prevention Institute.

You can learn more about all the organizations, projects and strategies at Movember.com.

I'm in! How do I participate?

Awesome! You can sign up at Movember.com, which is filled with tons of information. Or you can do your part by donating right here

Then, come November 1, make sure that shaver is hidden because you're not shaving that mustache all month. Also, we suggest reading up about prostate cancertesticular cancermental health and physical activity so you're informed when people ask why you're sporting a new stache.

Happy Movember, all!