Grow a mo, save a bro.
November, or Movember, brings about an important message to all men out there. It’s time to open up and address men’s health concerns. The Movember Foundation stands for three principals. To improve quality of life, prevent suicide in men and to help men take action. All of which leads to growing a mustache and joining the movement. In the spirit of Movember, we’re going back to our roots. We take a look at some of the most beautiful staches, it’s history and shed light on men’s growing health concerns.
The history of the mustache
Throughout history, men’s facial hair has swayed in and out of the fashion trend. The debate on the George Clooney stubble over the clean shaven Matt Damon is never going to end. Likewise, the mustache has had it fair share of success and failures in the past. If Tom Selleck oozed class with it, then Hulk Hogan reminded us why it can be incredibly creepy at the same time. However, a well groomed pair of whiskers will always get the attention it deserves.
According to the BBC, Edward, the Prince of Wales, was commemorated in the 14th century. Interestingly, his tomb showed him in a full armor, with his famed mustache left exposed by the chainmail that covered his entire face and neck. Thus, suggesting that the armor may have been specially designed for his mustache. Furthermore, the legacy of the mustache continued in the 17th century when Russia’s Peter the Great imposed his beard tax. To modernized Russia, the Tzar gave local authorities the permission to shave beards of anyone who refused to pay the beard tax. In turn, popularizing the supposedly ‘legal’ pair of whiskers.
Moving on to the 18th century, mustaches were hotter than ever. However, things went downhill from there, as beards were associated to bravery during the war. Therefore, seeing a surge in the bigger and hairier counterparts. However, the pendulum swung back to the stache when beards were deemed dirty. Soon, Salvador Dali’s iconic pair of whiskers began to get the world’s attention. Next, Royal Air Force pilot Jimmy Edwards then took things up a notch with the exclusive The Handlebar Club. Finally, Tom Selleck arrived to rule our screens and hearts with his signature suave and facial hair. Unfortunately, the stache fell out of favor again, this time for the sexy stubble. Nevertheless, in 2003 two mates met for a beer in Melbourne. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Beyond Magnificent Movember Mustaches
Movember is more than just growing an incredible handlebar. The Movember movement aims to address the growing health concerns for men of all ages. According to the website, 75% of all Australian suicides are men. Therefore, for guys out there, it’s time to reach out speak out. Someone, will listen. Additionally, health issues like prostate and testicular cancer often go unnoticed and untreated. There’s many reasons to why this occurs but one of the biggest causes lies in men themselves. They’re ashamed to talk about it.
How many young adolescent males are open enough to speak to their dads about testicular cancer? How many dads are willing to have a conversation about this with their young sons? According to the Prostate Cancer UK, one in eight men will be affected by this in their lifetime. In the UK alone, one man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes. As for testicular cancer, most victims are men under the age of 35. The Movember site points out that the testicular cancer rates have already doubled over the past 50 years. If that does not get your attention, then we’re not sure what will.
There are several ways to be a part of the Movember movement. In a bid to include men of all ages, the Movember foundation has made it easy for everyone to raise awareness. In ‘Grow’, men can inspire conversations by simply growing their mustache. As for ‘Move’, men can commit to walking 60 kilometers and get the community involved. For ‘Host’, men can simply get together over a beer or two, and speak out. Whatever your choice may be, one thing is certain, it’s time to talk about men’s health. So, what’s your movember story?
For more inspiring and thought provoking conversations, read up on our redefining masculinity with stock photography piece. Also, do check out our bid to recolor stock photography with accurate cultural representation.