Movember: A month of mustaches for men’s health

Every November, bushy mustaches and men’s well-being take center stage during a month-long event called Movember. The event doubly serves as a charity organization spreading men’s mental and physical health awareness. 

The annual event began in 2003 by two men named Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, according to Movember’s website. During a night out, the pair jokingly discussed a plan to bring the mustache back into style, since in their view, it “was nowhere to be seen in recent trends.”

Garone and Slattery decided to ask their friends to join the challenge of growing a mustache, or a “mo,” by sending out an email that stated, “Are you man enough to be my man?” Thirty of their friends agreed to the challenge. They’ve since been honored as the first thirty “Mo Bros.” The pair also decided to dedicate the challenge to men’s health and prostate cancer. 

Since then, Movember has expanded its reach across the globe. According to its 2021 annual financial report, there are 347,429 Mo Bros and Mo Sisters in twenty countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ireland and the United States. In 2021, they raised $87.9 million for men’s health organizations and have funded over 1,250 men’s health projects. 

Movember has twenty men’s health partners they work closely with to facilitate funding and research. These include the Ironman Registry, an international research organization for men with advanced prostate cancer and Farmstrong, an organization dedicated to men’s health issues in rural communities, among others.

On campus, Graysen Wills, a senior business administration major, has been leading the charge with his fraternity Theta Chi on spreading awareness and getting people to participate in the festivities. A few people outside the chapter have helped as well, Willis said.

There are plenty of other ways to get involved during Movember. The first and most important way is to grow out a mustache. On campus, Wills has seen people engaging in the organization’s original activity. 

“Men are supposed to grow their mustaches out for the entire month of November to bring awareness to men’s health issues. People generally seem to be participating in the month’s event by growing them out,” Wills said. 

Another activity is “Make a Move,” in which participants run or walk sixty miles over the course of the month in order to honor the  approximately 60 men who die by suicide each hour, every hour across the world. 

“Host a Mo-ment” is the third activity people can participate in during Movember. The goal of the event is to gather a group of people and do something easy and enjoyable in order to have “a good time for a good cause.” 

Lastly, the final Movember activity is “Mo Your Own Way,” an activity involving “physical endurance or some other wildcat idea.” This event can last a day, several weeks or much of the year. The goal is to simply “take whatever Mo Your Own Way means to you and run with it.” 

Each of these activities are meant to fundraise for Movember and its men’s health partners. People can organize their events, share them using social media templates and raise money through the Movember app. 

For 19 years, Movember has done extensive work in spreading awareness and furthering research on men’s health issues. For more information on Movember, contact [email protected].