Ladies, are you wondering why your man has developed a scratchy face or a silly mustahce? Men, are you looking for a good reason to stop shaving or get that beard going to keep your face warm this winter? Fear not! Movember is here! What is Movember you ask? Movember is a mens health awareness movement that takes place in November and yes, it involves facial hair and lots of it.
What is Movember?
Movember is a fundraising and awareness campaign started by The Movember Foundation in Australia in 2003. While Movember does involve not shaving and some silly mustaches or beards may be grown, Movember is no joke! $650 million dollars has been raised since the first Movember and over 1,000 programs to improve mens health and life expectancy have been funded. The Movember Foundation is dedicated to raising money and awareness for four of the biggest health issues faced by men. These areas are:
- prostate cancer
- testicular cancer
- poor mental health
- physical inactivity
Movember is an international movement and they make sure the money raised goes to where it will be most effective by focusing on a diverse range of country-specific and local programs for each area.
How Movember Works
During the month of November, men are supposed to grow a mustache or beard. The idea is that a mustache is natures billboard that can spread the word about mens health issues. Mens health issues need to be addressed because men on average die 6 years earlier than women.
Men, when your mustache or beard is growing in, it is bound to get some looks or even questions. Use the new found attention on your face to tell people about the four health issues faced by men and explain that you are raising money for thirty days to make a change for the health of all men. The fundraising is made easy using facebook to connect and with the Movember personal fundraising page you set up when you sign up as a participant. We share so much via social media, why not share your Movember experience and raise awareness and some money to help men live longer, healthier lives?
Women, if you have a significant other, you can encourage him to sign up and participate in Movember. However, you can get involved and fundraise yourself! Movember includes a new initiative called MOVE. With MOVE, you pledge to get active and move every day in some way to raise money for mens health issues. You also use the personal fundraising page and share your updates on social media to get others involved. The MOVE inititiave is a win for everyone, you get active and boost your health going into the holidays and support the cause of mens health at the same time. We love this idea and think it will fit in perfectly with our very own Get Fit initiative here at Daily Mom. Check out all our Get Fit posts to help you get a jump start on your MOVE campaign during MOVEMBER.
Prostate Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among all men in the United States. 14 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life. Awareness really saves lives when it comes to this type of cancer. If prostate cancer is found while it is still localized to the primary state, it is cured 80 percent of the time. 80 percent is huge! Men cannot afford to be unaware of this disease because if prostate cancer goes undetected and moves regionally to the lymph nodes, the survival rate plummets to 12 percent. If the cancer metastasizes, the survival rate is 4 percent. Early detection means a difference of 76 percent in surviving. Thats staggering and sobering. So while beard and hipster mustaches are fun, the point of Movember is to raise funds and awareness for a very serious issue.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men ages 15-34. Because this cancer affects young men, it can go undetected because young men dont expect to develop cancer when they feel young and healthy. Most testicular cancers can be cured, even when found at a later stage. The survival rate is 95.3%. However, testicular cancer can cause infertility because less sperm is produced after treatment for this type of cancer. Fertility issues can be heartbreaking for a couple and men need to be aware of this when taking on a battle with testicular cancer.
Mental Health Issues
The state of mental health for men is not good. It is pretty bad in fact. Two thirds of all suicides are committed by men. About 87 men commit suicide in the United States every day. That number is sickening and something needs to be done about it. Men are expected to live up to masculine stereotypes and those stereotypes dont have room for men to ask for help for depression or other mental health problems for fear of sounding weak. However, the highest rate of depression can be found in men ages 40-59. Mental health matters and the current crisis in mental health for men is being addressed through the Movember movement.
Sitting around is killing men! If men would live active lifestyles, diseases could be prevented and lives would be longer. Physical inactivity puts men at higher risks for lots of diseases, including cancer. It is estimated that 3.2 million deaths each year are because of lack of physical activity. The MOVE initiative is perfect to tackle this problem because it will get people moving and raise money for programs and awareness to improve physical activity all over the world.
Growing That Sweet ‘Stache or Beard
It is not too late to get started and participate in Movember. Stop shaving and sign up! When growing facial hair, expect it to look awkward at first and know that it will itch. Mustache experts agree that you just have to let it grow in and use a comb to train it where you want it to go when you are aiming for a certain style of mustache. Whether you are growing a beard or a mustache, try not to touch your face a lot. Touching your face can introduce bacteria into your pores and cause ingrown hairs. Avoid electric razors and caustic face washes meant to treat acne. You will probably need more than a month to get your mustache or beard to a state that you would want to wear all the time. So, if you are committed to the mustache or beard lifestyle, keep on keeping on.
Ladies, if you make it through November without forcing your man to shave or if you men make it past the itchy phase and have a glorious beard come December 1st, come on back to Daily Mom for tips on beard maintenance or on how to go back to a clean shaven face after Movember from our very own bearded Daily Dad.
Photo Credits: Jay, Sarah, The Memoirs of Megan
Sources: SEER Stat Fact Sheets, Prostate Cancer , SEER Stat Fact Sheets, Testis Cancer, Testicular Cancer – For Patients , American Psychological Association – Mens Mental Health Needs Often Misunderstood, The 12 Do’s and Don’ts of Growing a Mustache for Movember