Posted in Opinions, Top Opinions

Movember is still a viable movement

Despite its conceptual flaws, it still boils down to fighting a terrible illness

Image Credits: Averi Balleza

As we draw closer to Movember, get ready to hear from many that because moustaches no longer equal a mandatory accumulation in research funds, there’s no point to growing them.  

Despite this claim neglecting the fact that Movember has raised over $446 million since 2003, this month is about more than sponsorships for facial hair. Movember advocates for awareness about men’s mental and physical health, while simultaneously encouraging early cancer detection.      

So, what about those hipsters who sport the most fashionable modes of facial hair all year long, or those men who can’t seem to sprout one hair above their lips? How are they contributing to the quest for men’s health? Well, the idea that all men must grow beards to support prostate cancer research — or that if they already have a moustache, they’re not doing it for a good cause — are nothing more than common misconceptions.

Whether the choice is personal or one made by stubborn hair follicles, not all men need to modify the way they look to support the eradication of a terrible, terrible disease. That’s almost as preposterous as saying, “There’s no way you can support breast cancer research because you don’t have boobs.”

People can find other ways to support the cause. Besides, when some men look as creepy as Kip or Uncle Rico with a moustache, it’s better for all of us when they choose to be a part of the campaign by different means — perhaps by sporting some moustache gear instead.

Yes, the campaign has been the source of some unrest over the years for the problematic implications many have drawn from it. It employs archetypal masculine mottos such as “Real men, growing real moustaches, talking about real issues,” which once again reduces masculinity to physical characteristics like facial hair. It’s also been used as an excuse to shame women for their own body hair.

Nevertheless, completely boycotting an event that fights cancer is just unreasonable. Whether we like it or not, there is a new case of prostate cancer every 2.4 minutes according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Nothing will be done about it by simply sweeping the issue under the carpet.

Movember promotes a sense of community for males by reinforcing a supportive environment for afflicted men and their well-being. Until the people who criticize Movember find a better way to tackle the plethora of illnesses that affect the male population, they have no right to complain about a project that brings widespread awareness and funding to men’s health.