I admit I'd never heard about the rules of Movember until this week. I'd never really known about this annual facial hair growth month until I noticed a bunch of mustachioed men popping up on my Facebook feed during the last few weeks.
Why were all these people suddenly growing mustaches?
My two daughters have been obsessed with mustaches for about a year now. They have mustache shirts and mustache erasers. Instead of stars on her ceiling, my thirteen-year-old daughter has glow-in-the-dark mustaches.
But Movember is more than mustache erasers. Started in Melbourne, Austalia, in November, 2003, Movember has become a yearly global charitable campaign celebrating the mustache while raising money for men's health issues—in particular prostate and testicular cancer as well as male depression. This year 1.9 million 'Mo Bros' participated throughout the world. According to Movember.com, last year the organization raised $126.3 million.
The rules of Movember are simple. On November 1, a man registers at Movember.com with a clean-shaven face. Then this man, now known as a "Mo Bro" begins growing his mustache. He cannot shave it off until November 30. During the month when friends, family and strangers ask him about his mustache, he tells them why he is doing it and asks them to donate money to the cause.
It is like a walkathon, but instead of marching through towns and villages or clocking laps around a track, these men groom, wax and trim their mustaches. Instead of wearing a pink ribbon, they don facial hair.
You may think this a men-only event, but I read a trending story on Yahoo news about Siobhain Fletcher, a 36-year-old woman from northern England. She has a rare medical condition that causes her to grow facial hair. For Movember she decided to grow a beard to support the cause. So far she's raised about $2,000.
At the end of the month, Mo Bros are supposed to throw Movember parties.
Or they can stay home and shave.