This year’s Movember continues the already famous tradition of the ‘Hairy Ribbon’ raising awareness on men’s health.
The Movember tradition started in 2003 and consists in growing a mustache for the entire duration of the November month. The game comes with rules: start the month with a freshly shaved face, grown a mustache for the entirety of Movember, don’t allow your mustache to join your sideburns, (that turns it into a beard!), or your chin (that’s a goatee!), behave like a true gentleman.
What started as nothing more but a social experiment that was meant to observe the change in attitude towards the newly mustache wearers by family, friends and co-workers shifted in 2004. The founders of Movember witnessing the buzz 2003’s event generated, decided to attach a cause to it. A further inquiry showed that prostate cancer occurs in men at a similar frequency breast cancer does in women. However, the two causes don’t receive equal attention, awareness and funding wise. So they decided to turn the Movember into the Hairy ribbon of prostate cancer, much like the pink ribbon is known as the symbol for breast cancer awareness.
The first year as a charity event, Movember raised $43,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation in Australia, the largest donation the institution received to that date.
Ever since, the Movember mission remained the same: causing an everlasting impact on men’s health by encouraging men to take control over their own health state and to become aware of their family health history and of the health issues they should be taking up with their doctors.
In its eight years of existence, the movement for men health awareness grew to become a global event that spread outside Australia’s borders to New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Spain. The cause has been joined by over 1,9 million men and women who dedicate the month of November to further changing the face of men’s health in the world. The event formally runs in 21 countries and the funds obtained are used for supporting world-class programs for education, awareness and research. In 2009 the Global Action Plan was created as means for world class prostate cancer researches to collaborate. To the date, the funds raised during Movember amount to a total of $299 million, deeming the movement as the largest funder for prostate cancer programs in the world.