As bad ass as I think the Fu Manchu look is on me, I’m glad Movember is winding down. As you know, I shaved my goatee for the first time in over a decade on Nov. 1 to commemorate Movember – an international awareness and fundraising effort calling on men everywhere to start November clean shaven and grow a mustache as a ribbon for men’s health. When folks ask about your lip sweater, you take that opportunity to remind them to get checked for prostate and testicular cancer.
For the record, I’m now fully Fu Manchu’ed in honor of Dr. Aaron Perlut, president and founder of the American Mustache Institute and leader of my Movember Team. Just to ensure he gets the appropriate embarrassment for daring me into this thing, here’s a great video that includes him in a Borat thong while someone shaves his ass.
Our team has raised over $3,500 for prostate cancer research through the official Movember site. I have accounted for roughly 10 percent of my team’s earnings. If you donated on my behalf, I thank you, so very much.
But the month is over and that typically means we move on to the next movement or cause and circle back to male cancer awareness next November. That’s poor form. If anything, movements like Movember should help us keep the topic top of mind throughout the year. Sure, it’s a fun play to raise some money and get people talking, but few people go beyond the superficial motions of the month.
Here’s what I propose we do year-round to make Movember more about men’s health than a one-month fundraiser:
- When you see someone with a mustache, let that be the trigger that reminds you to get checked or remind someone else to.
- Randomly announce to crowded men’s rooms, “Prostate cancer kills over 30,000 men each year. Get checked, boys.”
- When Facebook reminds you of someone’s birthday this year, if they’re a male over 40, send them birthday wishes and add, “Please check your prostate. I’d like to do this again next year.”
- Greet men with, “Thank God my prostate’s healthy. You?”
- If you see anyone with a Rollie Fingers ‘stache, walk up to them, nod and then bear hug them.
Okay, maybe the last one is a bit awkward, but after you hug them say, “I did Movember, too. Glad your prostate is healthy.” No, they may not have a clue what you’re talking about, but I’m betting they’ll Google it when they shake off the heebie jeebies.
The point is this shouldn’t be a one-month, one-off. Prostate and testicular cancer are mostly preventable if men everywhere would get over their fear or distaste for doctors and get checked. It takes 15 minutes a year to get checked. If you don’t, you may not have many years left with us.
And that, my friends, would suck.
- The hairy roots of Movember (theglobeandmail.com)
- This Month In Marketing – Movember (wpromote.com)
- Marines grow ‘Afghanistache’ for men’s health awareness (waronterrornews.typepad.com)
- Movember moustaches overtake Canada’s Parliament (theprovince.com)