Known colloquially, Movember is an annual charity in which men gather together and grow mustaches for the month of November, “mustache” and “November” being the roots words to the portmanteau and charity name, in order to raise awareness for men’s health. While men’s health seems like a broad spectrum of topics, it allows any team to post on social media about a cause close to them, be it prostate cancer, testicular cancer, or men’s suicide to name a few.
I want to begin by saying it is a great cause, and this year I have joined a Movember team and am sporting a month-long mustache. A group of daring gents at my office have all taken it upon ourselves to fashion said facial hair, all for different reasons. The most obvious, we are all men and would have personal benefit if money was raised to, at the very least, manage, or treat things like terminal and mental illness. But others have joined in support of a colleague, and some have joined because their lives have been personally affected. All that being said, if you feel so inclined to donate, please do. More pictures to come.
Now, for a more lighthearted approach to the mustache: a very polarizing facial hair form. It has long had a history of elegance and masculinity. Cops, baseball managers, 1940’s actors, the French, Burt Reynolds, Brad Pitt in Inglorious Basterds all sport mustaches. From pencil-thin to burley, the mustache found a place among men in all stations. More recently, the mustache has found itself as the moniker of the creep or the stereotypical “porn stache”. A form of facial hair that has been relegated to the sideline, and only ever sported as a bit or the punishment for losing a bet. Going into the month I was infantilized with idea of a mustache from a bygone era, and once I was fifteen days into a month long endeavor I became all too familiar with its current reputation.
I am happy to be supporting such a great cause and will most likely do it again in future Novembers, but the toll on my personal life such a small thing can make is something you should prepare for if you choose to participate yourself. I learned some things along the way and the whole idea of this blog is to pass on wisdom.
You catch a lot of looks on public transportation when you’re wearing a mustache. I am one to always have sunglasses on. If you are wearing sunglasses and a mustache you’re probably also wearing a police uniform. If you are wearing sunglasses and a mustache with no uniform you are probably on your way to go meet with a police officer. You get the strangest gazes and glares. Once I get to my office I am welcomed by many mustached men, and those that aren’t, understand what is going on. Maybe the big push for Movember next year should be to raise awareness for Movember itself so more people during my 35-minute commute are hip to why there is a caterpillar on my upper lip.
People just assume you take things less seriously. That you are less serious. You certainly can’t be self serious because you grew a mustache. Everything you say comes with an air of irony or sarcasm, which is welcomed. Because anything without that flare comes off as weird. Spend one afternoon with a woman you’re interested in, second guessing every sentence you say, and you’ll never think to grow a mustache again.
Lastly, mustaches just look weird now. People aren’t used to seeing them. Everyone you know with a mustache has always had a mustache. Also all those guys smoke cigarettes and can fix every car ever. You don’t know anyone who had no mustache and then all of the sudden had a mustache. What I’m saying is mustaches are not a form of facial hair as much as they are type of lifestyle. I, personally, have a baby face when I completely shave, which is what I have been doing all month long with the exception of the mustache. I have a baby’s chin and an uncle’s mustache which just feels illegal to type.
As the month is coming to a close I encourage you to support the movement. My link is available to donate, but if you know someone else doing the same, support them. At the very least, a great way to support is to stare less. I get it, they are noticeable and out of place, but try, please try, to find it in your heart to accept them.
Like. Comment. Share. Shave. And as always, Happy #MillenialFriday