Ah November, I remember it well. Flowers may blossom in the April spring but November is the time for the sprouting of moustaches. You may wonder around campus, setting eyes upon those fellow ‘Movember’ members and think ‘Why do they grow it out?’ We interviewed Cora Philips, Movember ambassador at Southampton, to find out what lies behind the artistic facial hair.
What is Movember exactly?
The Movember Foundation is an international campaign which challenges men to grow moustaches during Movember to raise funds for men’s health programmes. Men sign up to the campaign and start on the 1st November with a clean-shaven face, committing to growing a moustache for 30 days. The campaign is not just for men though, along with ‘Mo Bros’ there are ‘Mo Sistas’, who can get involved through fundraising and raising awareness about men’s health issues.
How did Movember even begin?
The campaign started in 2003 in Australia, when two mates were sitting talking in a bar about recurring fashions. They realized that the moustache had not come back into fashion and challenged each other to grow ‘mos’ for that month. Their friends got involved too and they quickly realized that they were receiving a lot of attention, people wondering why they were rocking some ugly facial hair. They decided to build on this attention and do it for a good cause- men’s health. Since then, Movember has grown to 21 countries and raised £346 million.
What does Movember raise awareness of?
Movember raises awareness for three areas of men’s health- prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. All of these issues concern a large number of men but not enough is known about them. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the UK; testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 25-49 years and 1 in 8 men are diagnosed with a common mental disorder at any one time. Men often do not discuss or know how to spot the symptoms for these illnesses, so Movember is vital in starting conversations about men’s health.
How do people raise money for Movember?
People can raise money for Movember by signing up either individually or as a team to uk.movember.com and joining the University of Southampton network. Once you have signed up you will have your own Mo page, which is your fundraising page where family and friends can donate. By joining your Mo page to the University of Southampton network, you will be entitled to free entry into the Southampton club, Switch, when you hit a fundraising total of £25. The Movember website is full of fundraising ideas so you will not be scratching your head wondering how to raise money.
What can students do to show their support for Movember?
Whether you sign up to the campaign or not, there will be events on campus which you can get involved with and attend. There will be a ‘Shave Off’ in association with Shine hairdressers on 31st October in SUSU to get you clean-shaven for the beginning of Movember. There will be a Movember themed movie night at Union Films, a karaoke night at the Stag’s and the Mo Awards, as well special Movember refreshments in SUSU Bars.
To keep updated, like the University of Southampton Facebook page, facebook/uosmovember.
Now start massaging those hair follicles!